Drum Beat (1955)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Drum Beat Photos

Movie Info

Though heavily advertised as Delmar Daves' Drum Beat, this film owed its existence to producer-star Alan Ladd. The star is cast as a veteran Indian fighter Johnny MacKay, who because of his close relationship with the Medoc tribe is sent out to negotiate a peace treaty. Once he has arrived in Medoc territory, Johnny (Ladd) must contend with the misspent emotions of his childhood sweetheart Toby (Marisa Pavan), the sister of Indian chief Manok (Anthony Caruso). Jealous over Johnny's relationship with pretty Nancy Meek (Audrey Dalton), Toby has cast her lot with renegade warrior Captain Jack (Charles Bronson), who honors no treaties. Though the film has a Native American villain, Drum Beat is largely sympathetic to the plight of the Indian. Based on a true story, the film is distinguished by J. Peverell Marley's breathtaking exterior photography, and by Victor Young's ballad-like musical score.
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In Theaters:
Warner Bros.


Alan Ladd
as Johnny MacKay
Audrey Dalton
as Nancy Meek
Charles Bronson
as Capt. Jack
Robert Keith
as Bill Satterwhite
Rodolfo Acosta
as Scarface Charlie
Warner Anderson
as Gen. Canby
Richard Gaines
as Dr. Thomas
Edgar Stehli
as Jesse Grant
Hayden Rorke
as President Ulysses Simpson Grant
Frank de Kova
as Modoc Jim
Perry Lopez
as Bogus Charlie
Willis B. Bouchey
as Gen. Gilliam
Peter Hanson
as Lt. Goodsall
Peter Hansen
as Lt. Goodsall
George J. Lewis
as Capt. Alonzo Clark
Isabel Jewell
as Lily White
Frank Ferguson
as Mr. Dyar
Peggy Converse
as Mrs. Grant
Pat Lawless
as O'Brien
Paul Wexler
as William Brody
Richard Cutting
as Col. Meek
Charles Buchinsky
as Capt. Jack
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Critic Reviews for Drum Beat

All Critics (1)

Ladd cuts a fine Western figure.

Full Review… | July 14, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Drum Beat

I'm not afraid of brass buttons or bullets. In 1872 the west is still being modernized and settled. Most of the Indians have left the plains and settled on reservations; however, some tribes have decided reservation life is not for them. When they start killing settlers, the US government and non-hostile Indians both seek a peaceful resolution. President Grant sends John McKay to negotiate with the upset Indians, the non-violent Indians, and the local plainsman. "At least they didn't shoot." "Maybe the shooting comes next." Delmer Daves, director of 3:10 to Yuma, The Hanging Tree, A Summer Place, Broken Arrow (1950), Dark Passage, and Never Let me Go, delivers Drum Beat. The storyline for this picture is fairly standard for the genre but delivers excellent characters and a remarkable script. I loved the performances in this picture, specifically, the performance delivered by Charles Bronson. "I surely ain't going without a gun in my britches." We continue to DVR Charles Bronson pictures and I always find him entertaining and uniquely funny. He plays the antagonist that is both ruthless and unforgiving but he also has a sense of entitlement and humor. If you are a fan of westerns and this era of acting, you should give this picture a shot. "You're a tyrant. All take and no give." Grade: B

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

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