21 user 4 critic

A Thunder of Drums (1961)

Approved | | Western | 14 November 1961 (Japan)
The trials and tribulations of bitter veteran Captain Maddocks and argumentative rookie Lieutenant McQuade at a cavalry desert outpost.


Joseph M. Newman (as Joseph Newman)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Boone ... Capt. Stephen Maddocks
George Hamilton ... Lt. Curtis McQuade
Luana Patten ... Tracey Hamilton
Arthur O'Connell ... Sgt. Karl Rodermill
Charles Bronson ... Trooper Hanna
Richard Chamberlain ... Lt. Porter
James Douglas ... Lt. Thomas Gresham
Tammy Marihugh ... Laurie Detweiler
Carole Wells ... Camden Yates
Duane Eddy ... Trooper Eddy
Slim Pickens ... Trooper Erschick
Clem Harvey ... Trooper Denton
Casey Tibbs ... Trooper Baker
Irene Tedrow ... Mrs. Scarborough
Marjorie Bennett ... Mrs. Yates


Captain Maddocks will never be promoted beyond Captain because of a mistake that he made in the past. Lt. McQuade is a green rookie who is now under the command of the tough Captain and he does not seem to be able to do anything right. Lt. McQuade also has trouble with Tracey, but it will be the renegade Indians that will test him and teach him the importance of following orders. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A regiment of forgotten men... a woman no man could forget!




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The real Fort Canby was named after General Edward R.S. Canby. Canby military career was spent in the west. Including, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, and California. Even during the Civil War, he was involved in a major battle in New Mexico that led to his promotion from Colonel to General. He was murdered along with Minister at peace conference by a Modoc Indian. The Indian attacked him without warning while they talked. The general was shot twice in the head and his throat was cut. See more »


When an Indian sneaks into the Fort at night and stabs a guard he is chased out of the Fort by the Captain and lieutenant. The Fort has a big iron spiked gate that the groups enter through in several shots and yet the Indian attacker enters the compound over a short fence they all jump over. See more »


Tracey Hamilton: It's an eye-opener to a girl when she finds her body can trap her decency.
See more »

User Reviews

Richard Boone's interpretation compared with John Wayne
7 December 2004 | by krc-1See all my reviews

This movie is interesting, as the two central characters played by Richard Boone and George Hamilton are,in the story by James Warner Bellah, Capt. Nathan Brittles and Lt. Clint Cohill, who appear in the John Ford classic 'She Wore a Yellow Ribbon'. John Wayne's gruff but fatherly character contrasts with Boone's gruff but miserable martinet. We also know (or may infer) from 'Ribbon' that it is Cohill's father,General Cohill, who has blocked Brittles's promotion. Hence the 'attitude'. Boone's character could have been played more sympathetically, but he does come across as an experienced old hand who outwits his Apache foe and in the process teaches valuable lessons to his protege.

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Release Date:

14 November 1961 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

A Thunder of Drums See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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