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Drum Beat (1954)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Western | 6 April 1955 (Japan)
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 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 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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only the fierce Modocs knew the terrible meaning of each beat of the Drum ! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 April 1955 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Delmer Daves' Drum Beat See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jaguar Productions See more »
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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

When a group of Modocs are tracked to Willow Creek, there is a meeting in a cabin where the civilian scout meets up with the army Captain. They forget to lock the door and the Modocs walk right in. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Canby: Sometimes it is as necessary to take risks to win peace as it is in war to win victories.
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

 
Is this the real history of Modocs?
4 May 2011 | by esteban1747See all my reviews

This film is not good treating the Indians, normally the directors in Hollywood in the past go to the facts or consequences of initial disagreement between Indians and whites but not to what whites did it with the Indians, i.e. the real cause of the problem. Did the director Delmer Daves try to show why and how the Modocs were moved from their reservation in Northern California to one in Oregon? Why did the whites move the Modocs from their home? What were the real causes of the war? Instead we have the consequences of mistreating Indians, a film with many Indians killed and so many white people wanting to make "justice". The Indians by themselves were always peaceful and this film shows an image totally absurd. Personally I do not know the whole history but it is doubtful that Captain Jack was a terrorist as he is shown. Even there is some incoherence the way Charles Bronson (Captain Jack) behaved during the battles and how presumably he killed General Canby with the other Captain Jack caught by the army and condemned. Reading a little bit about Johnny MacKay one may be doubtful about his so peaceful intentions as shown in the film. This material does not make any justice with the Modocs. When one sees such a film finally accepts that Marlon Brando was right.


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