President Grant orders Indian fighter MacKay to negotiate peace 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's group engages in ambush and other atrocities, MacKay eventually ends up tracking Captain Jack down and fighting him one-on-one to apprehend him.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The actual fighting in the Modoc War occurred mostly in the lava beds of southern Klamath County, Oregon, and Northern California's Tule Lake area. See more »
When Captain Jack meets with the peace commission and asked by Johnny MacKay what it would take to make peace, he responds "all of the Lost River to the Klamath. River" See more »
Peace is going to be awfully hard to get.
That's your business... not mine!
Bill, I need your help. Don't go running off half wild killin' Modocs. Only one got Lily.
You think she was worth only one of them devils? You dish our your peace, Johnny. I'll dish out my end!
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Standard western fare that has the US Cavalry trying to put down an Indian uprising after the Civil War
"Drum Beat", released in 1954 pits Alan Ladd, as an Indian fighter turned peace commissioner, against the leader of the Modoc Indians of N. California, led by Charles Bronson. Ladd, as Johnny McKay, has an intense bitterness towards Indians in general, as they had slaughtered his family years earlier. However, Pres. Grant desires him to work with the Modoc tribe, in particular, to bring peace in the area of California and Oregon. The Modoc chief, Captain Jack, played by Charles Bronson, feels that an area of land is Modoc land only, and it is his to take, and keep. He also has an intense feeling toward the army medals and blue coats, which, to him, are symbols of power and authority. He even kills a retired army colonel, and seizes the medals off the coat the man was wearing.
Ladd, with the aid of Modoc Indians that desire peace, attempts to settle the conflict, but hostilities do break out between the tribe and the soldiers. This was the role that Ladd seemed to shine best in, that of the tight-lipped, slow-to-anger, tough guy. Watchable western fare.
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