Drums Along the Mohawk

Directed By: John Ford Starring: Henry Fonda

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Product Overview

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.


Studio Foxvideo
SKU 205817833
UPC 024543482765
UPC 14 00024543482765
Format DVD
Release Date 12/4/2007
Rating NR
Editors Note
Note DRUMS 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.
Plot Summary
Summary The simple life of two newlyweds in the Mohawk River Valley is savagely disrupted by Indian raids.
John Ford
Henry Fonda
Cast & Crew
Alfred Newman - Original Music By
Bert Glennon - Cinematographer
Claudette Colbert - Actor
Darryl F. Zanuck - Executive Producer
Eddie Collins - Actor
Edna May Oliver - Actor
Henry Fonda - Actor
John Ford - Director
Lamar Trotti - Screenplay
Ray Rennahan - Cinematographer
Robert L. Simpson - Editor
Sonya Levien - Screenplay
Walter D. Edmonds - Based On Novel By
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1939
Catalog ID 2248277
UPC 00024543482765
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 104 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
Nominee (1940) Oscar, Edna May Oliver, Best Actress in a Supporting Role,Oscar, Ray Rennahan, Bert Glennon, Best Cinematography, Color
ReviewSource Variety
Review Having great sweep and colorful backgrounding, with the photography unusually good, the picture is an outdoor spectacle which highly pleases the eye even if the story [from the novel by Walter D. Edmonds], on occasion, gets a bit slow and some incidents fail to excite...While the backgrounding is beautiful, as photoged by Bert Glennon, it doesn't always look like the Mohawk Valley (upstate New York) region with wheat fields, evergreens, big birches, etc. as atmosphere...The story deals with farming pioneers of the Mohawk Valley sector at the time of the Revolutionary war, with Indian terror and English intrigue, plus hardship, testing the stamina of the colonists. Romance of Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert, who have married and are forging ahead to new frontiers, has pull.
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource FilmCritic.com
Review Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert star in this outdoor adventure taking place during the American Colonial period, playing a young married couple who try to make a home in New York's Mohawk Valley and end up having to brave bands of marauding Indians and John Carradine with a black eye patch as they struggle to form a nuclear family in a burgeoning frontier community (in upstate New York). As usual, Ford, the supreme purveyor of pictorial grandeur in American film, manages to place his camera in the most effective locations...The colors are rich and pop out at you like paintings in a museum, from Fonda's blue eyes, the lush green and blue outdoor landscapes, the evocative colors of the changing seasons, rustic brown interiors, and the bright orange-yellows of flame and fire. The most interesting shot is a scene in a dark, heavy downpour, the rain falling like silver nitrate bullets, anticipating the climax of Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven by a good 50 plus years.
Reviewer Paul Brenner
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Aspect Ratio 1.33:1, Spanish, Subtitled, Sensormatic, No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
At-A-Glance Film Reviews The audience quickly warms to the characters of this involving motion picture. Filmed in lush, vibrant color.
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid ...Ford's first film in color and contains at least a handful of his most beautifully composed moments.
Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress Beautifully photographed historical drama from John Ford.

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