Drum Beat (1954)

Not Rated   |    |  Adventure, Western

Drum Beat (1954) Poster

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.



  • Alan Ladd and Charles Bronson in Drum Beat (1954)
  • Alan Ladd and Audrey Dalton in Drum Beat (1954)
  • On location at Oak Creek in Arizona during filming of "Drum Beat"
  • Alan Ladd and Audrey Dalton in Drum Beat (1954)
  • Alan Ladd and Elisha Cook Jr. in Drum Beat (1954)
  • Drum Beat (1954)

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3 July 2001 | Mickey-2
| 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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