Drum Beat is an American movie filmed in 1954. The story is about a veteran Indian fighter named Johnny MacKay, sent for by President Grant. He reports to Washington officials about hostilities between various groups and is appointed peace commissioner for the territory he reports on. The movie was written and directed by Delmer Daves.
Drum Beat is co-produced by Alan Ladd and Daves. It was the first film for his company, Jaguar Productions. There was a comic book adaptation in 1955 called Dell Four Color based on the movie. Here are some details about the movie and a few other things.
Where The Movie Was Filmed
The movie was filmed in Sedona, Arizona. The region is well known for its majestic red rock scenery and evergreen vegetation. These are two important features of the place that make it unique and attractive. The colours of the rock are considered to be one of the most neuro-stimulating colours.
The movie takes elements from the Modoc War and places them in this serene landscape to create a truly stunning world. The filming mainly took place in the Coconino National Forest. The forest captures the best parts of Sedona with the Red Rocks, the Ponderosa Pine Forests, and even the alpine tundra. With various landscapes to use, the film did not lack the scope for creativity.
The story follows Johnny MacKay; President Grant recently appointed Peace Commissioner. On his way to the west, the escorts Nany Meek, the niece of a retired army colonel. On an ambush outside Sacramento, their stage driver Bill Satterwhite’s sweetheart is killed by a Modoc renegade. A little while later, Nancy’s aunt and uncle are also found murdered, and their ranch is burned.
MacKay meets the grown children of an old Modoc chief at Fort Klamath, who tells him that it is a man who calls himself Captain Jack who is responsible for most of the brutality. They also tell him that the others merely wish to live in peace. They played the intermediates between Johnny and the Modoc.
After a long and gruelling time and a few fights and hiccups along the way, the President orders Johnny to do the needful to bring Jack to justice. Johnny manages to dislodge the Modoc renegade. He and Jack have a shootout followed by a hand-to-hand, in which Johnny comes out on top, arresting Captain Jack. Jack is put on trial and sentenced to hang. With his job done, Johnny decides to return to the woman he loves, Nancy.
Drum Beat stars some prominent people like Alan Ladd, Charles Bronson, Anthony Caruso, Audrey Dalton, Marisa Pavan, Warner Anderson, Frank de Kova, Rodolfo Acosta, Robert Keith, Hayden Rorke, Elisha Cook Jr., Richard Gains and Peggy Converse.
Where To Watch?
Drum Beat is available to watch on Watch TCM, Apple TV and Prime TV. I would recommend watching it as it is practically a classic with some good story writing and decent acting. For a 1954 film, it is rather good.