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.


6.4/10
763

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2 September 2014 | drystyx
7
| Scenic Western with forced look
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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Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)

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