Drums Along the Mohawk


Drums Along the Mohawk

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,988
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Drums Along the Mohawk Photos

Movie Info

John Ford directed this outdoor adventure set in the American Colonial period. Gilbert and Lana Martin (Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert) are a young couple trying to make a home in New York State's Mohawk Valley, but repeated attacks by Indians drive them, along with other settlers in the valley, into a nearby fort, where they watch helplessly as the natives lay waste to their farms and cabins. A spinster with a large farm, Sarah McKlennar (Edna May Oliver), comes to their rescue when she hires Gilbert to work as a field hand and gives the Martins a place to stay. The rugged life of the farm and frontier doesn't always sit well with Lana, who was raised in wealthy and comfortable circumstances; in time she develops a thicker skin and learns to love their new life in the Mohawk Valley, especially after giving birth to their first son. Gilbert joins the militia, who must do battle both with the local Indian tribes and the British soldiers who are provoking them to battle. Gilbert returns wounded, and as he recuperates, a healthy crop rises in the fields, but their satisfaction is short lived when the Indians once again hit the warpath. 1939 was a stellar year for John Ford; along with this highly successful adventure tale, which was nominated for three Academy Awards, Ford also released the ground-breaking western Stagecoach.

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Claudette Colbert
as Lana (Magdelana)
Henry Fonda
as Gilbert Martin
Edna May Oliver
as Mrs. McKlennar
Eddie Collins
as Christian Reall
Dorris Bowdon
as Mary Reall
Jessie Ralph
as Mrs. Weaver
Arthur Shields
as Rev. Rosenkrantz
Robert Lowery
as John Weaver
Roger Imhof
as Gen. Nicholas Herkimer
Francis Ford
as Joe Boleo
Ward Bond
as Adam Hartman
Kay Linaker
as Mrs. DeMooth
Russell Simpson
as Dr. Petry
Si Jenks
as Jacob Small
Jack Pennick
as Amos Hartman
Arthur Ayleswofth
as George Weaver
Charles Tannen
as Dr. Robert Johnson
Paul McVey
as Capt. Mark DeMooth
Tiny Jones
as Mrs. Reall
Edwin Maxwell
as Rev. Daniel Gros
Robert Greig
as Mr. Borst
Clara Blandick
as Mrs. Borst
Tom Tyler
as Capt. Morgan
Lionel Pape
as General
Clarence Wilson
as Paymaster
Mae Marsh
as Pioneer Woman
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Critic Reviews for Drums Along the Mohawk

All Critics (10)

Audience Reviews for Drums Along the Mohawk

  • Sep 06, 2010
    I love John Ford and the The Quiet Man might very well be my favourite movie but this flick is plain and simple a horrible, dull and very racists piece of crap. Claudette Colbert makes for a cute lead with Bambi eyes but her role is very one-dimensional and limited to the faithful wife of the American Soldier. Henry Fonda is colourless and bland. What upsets me the most is the ridiculous portrayl of the First Nations and black people, they are either ravaging monsters and blabbering idiots. To make things worse, at the very end of the movie, to the sound of the national anthem everybody pledges allegiance to the flag, including the idiot Indian and servant black woman ! Of course, this being John Ford's first colour film, there are some lovely scenes of great cinematic beauty to be seen in this movie (inspired by Gone with the Wind it seems) but that does not excuse the lack of story and the blatant racism. Utter Rubbish. HX
    Henrik S Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2010
    full of stereotypes, especially the description of indians as ape-like barbarians or christianity-converted dim-witts. i watched it just because i was curious how claudette colbert looks in color movies, and her costumes are sorta plain without the genius touch of paramout's travis banton, not doing colbert justice. henry fonda feels lacklusterly awkward with his un-becoming pig-tail. the reason i could be able to abscent-mindedly finish viewing it is its striking photography of inland wilderness, and how soothingly wide the blue sky is rendered along with limitlessly grand pastures, cliffy hills and the massive forests of tall pines(who knows what kind of tree is that..)..it manifests the aloof charm of primitive inland america despite the people in it weren't (portrayed) half as charming as its breath-taking landscapes. i would certainly watch it again to doze off while gazing at those striking views of celluloid nature.
    Veronique K Super Reviewer
  • May 16, 2009
    I?ve always had a love hate relationship with John Ford, love the filmmaking hate the politics. One of the most notable periods of Fords career was the period from 1939 to 1940 when he released four movies, three of them classics. The classics were Stagecoach, Young Mr. Lincoln, and The Grapes of Wrath, then there was Drums Along the Mohawk which is said to be quite good, but not up to the level of the other three in the winning streak. I felt compelled to check it out, and I?m probably going to concur with popular opinion. This was Ford?s first color film, and it has that really beautiful look of other late-thirties color flicks. I also liked that the film was a look at the American Revolution?s western front fighting against Native Americans allied with the British, not a section of history that?s examined very often. Aside from those two interesting aspects, the film is mostly lacking. The characters were boring, and the film?s view of Native Americans seemed unsavory even by Western standards.
    MJS M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 17, 2009
    Admittedly not Ford's best, not even his best in 1939 but Drums Along the Mohawk is still one of the better movies about the American Revolution and it contains some of Ford's most beautiful compositions.
    Bob S Super Reviewer

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