The Drum (Drums)


The Drum (Drums) (1938)




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Movie Info

The Drum is an opulent Technicolor "British India" epic, based on a story by A.E.W. Mason (of Four Feathers fame). Teenaged actor Sabu stars as a young East Indian prince educated in England. By rights, his loyalties should lie with his countrymen, but in typical "Sun Never Sets" fashion most of the other Indian characters are as evil and untrustworthy as Prince Guhl (Raymond Massey). Guhl plans a revolt against the British, intending to wipe out the Royal troops as the English officers enjoy the hospitality of Guhl's spacious palace. It's up to Sabu to warn the troops of Guhl's treachery by means of tapping out a message on the drum of the title. In the US, The Drum was released as Drums, on the theory (according to film historian Alan Barbour) that Americans must have more of everything.

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as Prince Azim
Raymond Massey
as Prince Ghul
Valerie Hobson
as Mrs. Carruthers
Roger Livesey
as Capt. Carruthers
Desmond Tester
as Bill Holder
David Tree
as Lt. Escott
Roy Emerton
as Wafadar
Edward Lexy
as Sergeant-Major Kernel
Amid Taftazani
as Mohammed Khan
Archibald Batty
as Maj. Bond
Frederick Culley
as Dr. Murphy
Alf Goddard
as Pete Kelly
Ronald Adam
as Maj. Gregoff
Miriam Pieris
as Indian Dancer
Leo Genn
as Abdul Fakir
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Critic Reviews for The Drum (Drums)

All Critics (4)

The appeal is to the shallower herd instinct, the instinct which prefers, with double instinctiveness, to mistake melodrama for tragedy, and is too willingly moved to tears by a regiment marching-though it knows not whither or why.

Jun 26, 2018 | Full Review…

As a spectacle in Technicolor the film is outstanding, and the acting all-round is good, within the limits of the story, which is melodramatic and obvious in conception.

Jan 30, 2018 | Full Review…

One of the most fascinating and entertaining asides in British cinema, Sabu is just meta-colonial enough to maintain relevance.

Nov 29, 2011 | Full Review…

Rousing and lavish Technicolor old-fashioned adventure story.

Mar 25, 2009 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

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