Drums Along the Mohawk - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Drums Along the Mohawk Reviews

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February 24, 2015
Another reviewer called "Drums" "...one of the better films about the Revolutionary War". Well, yes ... but how many films about the American Revolution can you name? I can think of only "April Morning" and ''The Crossing". (Can't count "Johnny Tremain" -- sorry.) So it's difficult to make a judgment like that, with so little to compare it to. That said, "Drums" does handle the "feel of the times" better than the others mentioned, if not the history itself -- but one must always keep in mind that films are made to make money, not to be models of historical accuracy; and on the cusp of World War II, Ford simply couldn't portray the British as villains as they were fighting for their lives against the Nazis. Which left the Indians to take the blame for pretty much everything, like so many other frontier films of that period. So, subtract a star for Native American stereotypes and historical license -- but it's still a good tale, and cinematically significant as Ford's first color film and Fonda's first major role. Recommended.
½ January 30, 2014
Not one of John Ford's best. But it still has the John Ford epic quality. If you can get beyond the stereotypes. Which honestly were a part of the times that the film was made. It is a good film about life on the frontier during the American Revolution. A sweeping film.
January 3, 2014
Visually wonderful, a 1939 technicolor piece, but oh it is so dated. It is ultimately about how the American settlers were able to displace the native people from their own land, and how unreasonably they were to side with the British who would have given them a chance to save their way of life. And Claudette Colbert, who spends most of the movie, wailing or fainting, is about 20 years too old to play a young bride.
September 1, 2013
Drums Along the Mohawk produced by pioneer Darryl F. Zanuck, directed by John Ford (Stagecoach). Starring legendary Henry Fonda, legendary Claudette Colbert and Edna May Oliver (the standout in the film playing wealthy widow who owns vast farm), Ward Bond (The Searchers), Chief John Big Tree (the hilarious character - when all acted seriously), Russell Simpson. Film is based on the novel of same name by Walter D. Edmonds. This is first color film by John Ford, and so was for Claudette Colbert. Made over the budget of $2 million. Film was nominated for two Academy Awards, namely, Best Supporting Actress for Edna May Oliver, and Best Cinematography.

Set in 1776 - during American Revolution on the Albany, New York frontier - Gilbert (Henry Fonda) and Lana (Claudette Colbert) are newlywed couple heading to start their new life at Deerfield at Mohawk Valley. But they are ambushed by Indians and British ; as their house is burnt to ashes.

Fabulous photography as well as direction (John Ford) - Film begins mildly, and by caressing your brain with its simple and doable characters, all of whom gave their true dedication of acting (especially the Indian on-the-side-with-Americans / the priest / and other meadow-owners). I shall not tackle the matter of acting; as much as I would like to touch the subject of creating an atmosphere that was complete mastery - and all that credit goes to the crew involved in fabricating that small set-designing.
½ August 3, 2013
Drums Along The Mohawk is a very enjoyable and very underrated historical film. While the film could use more polish in terms of its plot, for the most part, it is a very engaging film that is well written, well acted, action packed when it needs to be, and funny when it wants to be. If you enjoy an interesting historical film, this is one worth checking out because it succeeds in a large portion of the criteria for such films. I'm not particularly sure of why some people seem to hate this film nowadays, but, oh well.
½ May 17, 2013
I'm off to the pub .
March 16, 2013
It looked nice but a story with no real direction led to the movie being a big disappointment.
½ October 31, 2012
Idyllic and patriotic vision of America on the frontier and acquisition of freedom.
July 11, 2012
I love Henry Fonda in this movie he was brilliant and so brave in the film!!!! :D
July 3, 2012
good historical/action/adventure pic
June 13, 2012
"drums along the mohawk" has the fantastic performances, brilliant direction, and clean cinematography that i have come to expect from a john ford film. the story is often sad, with a few random humorous moments thrown in for good measure.
May 1, 2012
Drums Along the Mohawk is a stunning film. It is about a husband who takes his new wife to his farm in upstate New York. Claudette Colbert and Henry Fonda give excellent performances. The screenplay is well written. John Ford did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and romance. Drums Along the Mohawk is a must see.
July 15, 2011
Claudette Colbert is as cute as can be, but I don't think she showed she had much chemistry with Henry Fonda outside of one scene on their farm. The war scenes are pretty great, as well as the chase scene, but this time period just doesn't excite me in the same way the old west does.
March 30, 2011
A lesser in the glut of 1939 classics, but still an accomplished western ruined somewhat by the desire to be as patriotic as possible.
½ November 14, 2010
John Ford made 2 great films in 1939...plus this one. It's an obnoxiously idiotic action movie that is easily one of John Ford's weakest films.
½ October 29, 2010
Story was decent, but what made this film great was the characters- the widow, Christian, Blue Back, the doctor, the handsome soldier... Great family movie, too- comedy, action, drama... Just be aware of 1930's attitudes towards Native Americans, who are pretty much the bad guys.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 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.
½ August 14, 2010
Classic slice of Americana from director John Ford features terrific color cinematography and an outstanding cast including Claudette Colbert who is surprisingly believable and effecting as a frontier woman.
June 22, 2010
vu le samedi 19 juin 2010 à 19h à la Cinémathèque de Toulouse dans le cadre du cycle John Ford du mois de juin 2010 !
½ June 7, 2010
This is a classic for sure. A newly-wed couple is caught up in an epic struggle of pioneers trying to settle land in an early America. Lots of suspence and drama all the way through. I'd recommend it.
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