6.5/10
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17 user 9 critic

Drum Beat (1954)

In 1872, Indian fighter Johnny MacKay is appointed peace commissioner for the California and Oregon territory but he faces tough opposition from the renegade Modocs led by their brutal chief Captain Jack.

Director:

Delmer Daves

Writers:

Delmer Daves (screenplay), Delmer Daves (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Ladd ... Johnny MacKay
Audrey Dalton ... Nancy Meek
Marisa Pavan ... Toby
Robert Keith ... Bill Satterwhite
Rodolfo Acosta ... Scarface Charlie
Charles Bronson ... Kintpuash, aka Captain Jack
Warner Anderson ... Gen. Canby
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Blaine Crackel
Anthony Caruso ... Manok
Richard Gaines ... Dr. Thomas
Hayden Rorke ... President Ulysses S. Grant
Frank DeKova ... Modoc Jim
Perry Lopez ... Bogus Charlie
Isabel Jewell ... Lily White
Peggy Converse Peggy Converse ... Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant
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Storyline

President Grant orders Indian fighter MacKay to negotiate with the Modocs of northern California and southern Oregon. On the way he must escort Nancy Meek to the home of her aunt and uncle. After Modoc renegade Captain Jack engages in ambush and other atrocities, MacKay must fight him one-on-one with guns, knives and fists. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They called him a Wanderer because a horse was his home...they called him "Injun Lover" but never to his face...but they called on him when everyone else had run away ! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 April 1955 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Delmer Daves' Drum Beat See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,000,000, 31 December 1954
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jaguar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| Mono (optical prints)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

General Edward Canby, whose death is depicted in this movie, was in reality the only U.S. army general killed during the American Indian Wars. "General" G. A. Custer, killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876, was not in fact a general at the time of his death. After the Civil War, he held the permanent rank of Lieutenant Colonel. See more »

Goofs

This movie was based on the 1869 Modoc Indian uprising in northern California, yet they show 44-40 lever action Winchester rifles, which were not introduced until 1873. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Canby: We want to stop this purposless killing. Any war that doesn't bring about a peace with honor is futile.
Mr. Dyar: Well, peace with honor and peace with Captain Jack are apt to be jackasses of two mighty different colors.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Good Life (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Drum Beat
Music by Victor Young
Lyrics by Ned Washington
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Scenic Western with forced look
2 September 2014 | by drystyxSee all my reviews

A fairly scenic Western which boasts that it is based on true events, and announces in the beginning that it does take literary license to make it more entertaining, so there's no beef about that.

Ladd plays Indian fighter Johnny, who has a hate-like-hate relationship with Captain Jack, played by Charles Bronson, and is on a first name basis with the leading thugs that accompany Captain Jack.

Captain Jack is a Modoc Native American, but he is not a real captain. He steals medals from officers he kills. The real leaders of the Modoc don't trust him, and think little of him. Same for his main cohorts.

He makes a name for himself in villainy, and President Grant tries to quell his killing peacefully. He sees the importance of keeping peace with the good Modoc people who would make good neighbors.

As with any Delmer Daves directed movie, we know his high handed American Nazi ideology will prevail, and he will force the issue to kill at least one beautiful brunette woman. One must wonder if Daves was once jilted and humiliated by a brown eyed brunette, in order to make him continually do this.

It is just one of the "forced" looking events that take place in this movie. More "forced" is the direction, in which Daves seems to want to display certain lines and characteristics in very unnatural looking sequences of events. It looks like Daves had in mind to make sure certain lines were spoken, and certain images taken. It almost looks like a movie made by a story book artist.

Daves is a bit more subdued in this movie than in most movies, however, and it probably is the best of his works, which isn't saying much.


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