Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
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Directed by John Ford.
|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 co-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.|
"...Ford's first film in color and contains at least a handful of his most beautifully composed moments. Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Beautifully photographed historical drama from John Ford. Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress
Editor's NoteDRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK is John Ford's first film in Technicolor (which recently perfected far richer shadings of color than had previously been possible), and the director uses it to stunning effect. The film stars Henry Fonda as Revolutionary War-era farmer Gilbert Martin, who, in 1776, has returned with his well-born wife, Lana (Claudette Colbert), to his rustic cabin in the increasingly dangerous Mohawk River valley. At first unaccustomed to the harsh physical challenges of frontier life, Lana adjusts to the work at hand and is soon able to help her husband in the fields. Shortly after they learn that the colonies are at war with the British, their farmhouse is attacked and burned to the ground by a party of Tory-led Indians. The feisty Widow McKlennar (Edna May Oliver) provides temporary shelter for the couple, but it's only a matter of time before the Indians launch a more brutal assault. Save for THE QUIET MAN, DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK contains the richest passages of pastoral imagery in Ford's entire canon, the visual beauty nearly upstaging the spectacular and terrifying Indian battles. The performances, particularly Oliver (who garnered an Oscar nomination) as the vinegary widow and the superbly stoic Fonda, enable Ford to again demonstrate the heroism and limitations of rugged individualism. The scenes of an Indian prisoner spread-eagled on a wagon and Gilbert's escape are repeated almost exactly in the 1982 dystopian classic THE ROAD WARRIOR.
Cast & Crew
|Edna May Oliver|
|Alfred Newman - Original Music By|
|Bert Glennon - Cinematographer|
|Darryl F. Zanuck - Executive Producer|
|John Ford - Director|
|Lamar Trotti - Screenplay|
|Ray Rennahan - Cinematographer|
|Robert L. Simpson - Editor|
|Sonya Levien - Screenplay|
|Walter D. Edmonds - Based On Novel By|
Plot SummaryThe simple life of two newlyweds in the Mohawk River Valley is savagely disrupted by Indian raids.
|Oscar, Edna May Oliver, Best Actress in a Supporting Role|
|Oscar, Ray Rennahan, Bert Glennon, Best Cinematography, Color|