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Lawless frontier. Indian attacks. Settlers protecting themselves the only way they know how-with guns and courage. In the years before the Revolutionary War, the East was as wild as the West would be one hundred years later. Henry Fonda delivers one of his most memorable performances ever as a young frontier leader protecting his family in the backwoods of New York state. Claudette Colbert so-stars as his spirited wife. With a fine supporting cast that also includes Edna May Oliver and John Carradine, this is one of John Ford's most exciting historical dramas.
Nineteen thirty-nine is often proposed as the movies' halcyon year, and three reasons why were directed by John Ford: Stagecoach, Young Mr. Lincoln, and Drums Along the Mohawk. In that exalted company Drums... would have to be accounted "merely superb"--even if it's the best film ever made about the American Revolution and, oh, only about eighth-best picture of its year.
Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert play newlyweds in New York's Mohawk Valley at the time of the Revolutionary War. That war is more a distant rumor than a direct concern of people with cabins to raise, crops to harvest, and firstborn on the way. When it comes to their valley, in the form of hitherto-peaceable Indians whipped up by a gaunt Tory with an eyepatch (John Carradine), life changes as though with the passing of a cloud shadow.
In this, his first color film, Ford created indelible images of the dawning of America: a lone wagon making its way through acres of long grass rippling in the wind; the Indians, at the onset of their first raid, seeming to materialize out of the mist, out of the very trunks of trees; a ragged line of farmers with flintlocks passing along a split-rail fence, then resolving into a column, an army, marching toward a distant horizon. (Utah's Wasatch mountain country stands in persuasively for upstate New York in pioneer days.) Edna May Oliver scored a best-supporting-actress Oscar nomination as a memorably crusty frontier widow, while Ward Bond--oddly omitted from the opening credits--claimed a place of honor in the John Ford Stock Company playing Fonda's best friend. --Richard T. Jameson
I bought this movie for my father. He love old movie from this period . the settlers and the Indians struggle to get along or not.Published 14 months ago by Rosemary Gale
Another great film from the passed, Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert are at their best. Great action. A must see for allPublished 18 months ago by Vicki Rigsby
Read the book many years ago -Walter D. Edmonds was a great writer of American history novels. The movie was interesting for costumes, picturizations of early colonial life, and a... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Douglas MacKay
Doing family history very informative as some of my ancestors are mentioned in the movie also a good film to watch.Published 21 months ago by Evelyn Heppenstall
Loved this movie years ago - still a great movie! The storyline is very good. Claudette Colbert was great in "It happened one night" and in this movie too.Published on Oct. 31 2013 by Lulu
Henry Fonda was miscast in this. He is too smooth and gentle to be a frontiers man of the time. Claudette Colbert was not right for the character but as the movie progressed she... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2013 by P B
I was expecting a real drama, but it was well done but not a fast action show at all, it ended the way I expected it toPublished on May 19 2013 by terry