Distant Drums

Distant Drums

Director: Raoul Walsh Cast: Gary Cooper, Mari Aldon, Richard Webb

DVD (Colorized)

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Filmed on location in Florida's Everglades, Distant Drums stars Gary Cooper as Indian fighter Quincy Wyatt. At the height of the Seminole wars, Wyatt leads a small group of soldiers into the Everglades to offer resistance. Along the way, they rescue Judy Beckett (Mari Aldon), one of several white prisoners of the Seminoles. Judy proves to be as worthy a "soldier" as Wyatt and his men during the final Seminole attack. Prominent among the supporting players is Robert Barrat as General Zachary Taylor. Distant Drums was produced independently by Milton Sperling's United States Productions, and distributed by Warner Bros.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/23/2014
UPC: 0887090081702
Original Release: 1951
Rating: NR
Source: Olive Films
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Colorized]
Time: 1:41:00
Sales rank: 20,981

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gary Cooper Capt. Quincy Wyatt
Mari Aldon Judy Beckett
Richard Webb Lt. Richard Tufts
Ray Teal Private Mohair
Arthur Hunnicutt Monk
Robert H. Barrat Gen. Zachary Taylor
Clancy Cooper Sgt. Shane
Sheb Wooley Pvt. Jessup
Warren MacGregor Private Sullivan
Mel Archer Pvt. Jeremiah Hiff
Gregg Barton Pvt. James Tasher
Larry Carper Chief Oscala
Carl Harbaugh M. Duprez
Angelita McCall Amelia
Lee Roberts Pvt. Tibbett
Dan White Cpl. Peachtree

Technical Credits
Raoul Walsh Director
Douglas Bacon Art Director
Gordon Bau Makeup
Marjorie Best Costumes/Costume Designer
Folmar Blangsted Editor
Niven Busch Screenwriter
Oliver S. Garretson Sound/Sound Designer
Sidney Hickox Cinematographer
Martin Rackin Screenwriter
Russ Saunders Asst. Director
Milton Sperling Producer
Max Steiner Score Composer
William Wallace Set Decoration/Design

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Distant Drums
1. Chapter I
2. Chapter II
3. Chapter III
4. Chapter IV
5. Chapter V
6. Chapter VI
7. Chapter VII
8. Chapter VIII

Customer Reviews

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Distant Drums 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fine film a fun film vigorously directed by RAOUL WALSH. In a way it is an early anti-terrorist film. This is not your ordinary Indian vs. Whites movie because the bad guys here are quite formidable Pirates allied with the Seminoles with a huge fortress as a base. Presumably the pirates, they make their living by piracy, rape, mayhem, kidnapping and gun-running. The pirates are allied to an evil bloodthirsty 'fundamentalist' chief, based on a historical character Osceola, who was a leader of the Seminoles. Perhaps the orignial chief had Braveheart like qualities but her he delights in feeding prisoners to the 'gators, unspeakable torture and cutting off of heads. (most of this violence is indirectly alluded to by floating hats among the 'gators etc). Gary Cooper is splendid as the unorthodox Indian fighter Capt.Quincy Wyatt. Wyatt is no mad white racist but in fact had taken an Indian wife and has a mixed-race child whom he loves dearly. Since this film was made in the early 50's it is interesting that it deals with class issues and miscegenation though not directly black miscengenation even though the slavery of the South is alluded to. Beckett (Mari Aldon), one of several white prisoners of the Seminoles and their pirate gun-running kidnapping allies One of the themes of this film is admiration for the noble, stoic, courageous aspects of American Indian culture mixed with horror for their barbarity. Yet there are 'good Indians' the loyal comrades of Wyatt. The message here is that once Indians assimliate to American culture, become Christians and get jobs as Army scouts and hunters everyone will live in peace and harmony and sing JOY TO THE WORLD. This is a 1950's film after all. The interesting thing about this film is that there are good Indians who aren't dead or savage and presumably these are the accomodationist (Christianized) Creek Indians and other like minded Seminoles. The Seminoles, in this film, are the bad guys, to be sure, fanatically attached to a savage way of life that must be tamed if Florida is ever to be a good real estate investment. No Dancing With Seminoles here! One of the themes of the movie is forgiveness and overcoming bitterness. If this were a modern movie Wyatt would want 'revenge' against the U.S. Army because as I recall some 'liquored up' recruits murdered (and presumably raped) his Indian wife. But Wyatt, though in mourning, remains loyal to his regiment, his flag and his country. When duty calls Cooper is ready to spring into action against the savage Seminoles to serve General Zachary Taylor, who not only was a great hero of his era, later became president of the United States. I can think of few films that deal with this era of American-Hispanic-Indian contact. One is IT TAKES A HERO. I first saw it in Spain in 1964 when it was called TAMBORES LEJANOS LA MEJOR CREACION DE GARY COOPER or DISTANT DRUMS THE GREATEST CREATION OF GARY COOPER. My father and my Auld Pop loved Westerns so I grew up watching the classic Westerns of the 40's and 50's. Many people think of HIGH NOON, a fine film when they think of Gary Cooper but the first GARY COOPER films I saw were GARDEN OF EVIL (with Susan Hayward and Richard Widmark), SPRINGFIELD RIFLE and then DISTANT DRUMS. I liked other stars but Gary Cooper became my favorite. When I lived in Spain I found out Gary Cooper was quite popular there and in those days 1970's-1980 it was still common for old films to be re-released in theatres so I was able to see a number of his films in Spanish or VO (Orignal Version) the way they were supposed to be seen. For adventure movies set in a spectacular natural setting a big screen effect really helps. DISTANT DRUMS was filmed on location in Florida's Everglades and in the CASTILLO SAN MARCOS National Park. Castillo San Marcos is the oldest and greatest Spanish fortification in North America and when they approach this seemingly impregnable fortress it is quite a vista.