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Drums Along the Mowhawk (The Ford at Fox Collection)
Drums Along the Mowhawk
The Ford at Fox Collection
Actors: Henry Fonda, Claudette Colbert
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Drama, Military & War
NR     2007     1hr 44min

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 l...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Henry Fonda, Claudette Colbert
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Classics, Westerns, Love & Romance, Military & War
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Full Screen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/04/2007
Original Release Date: 11/03/1939
Theatrical Release Date: 11/03/1939
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Still the best movie about the American Revolution ever made
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 07/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are relatively few movies about the American Revolution. I think this is due to the fact that the American side lost most of the battles of that war. The battle at Saratoga, the surprise attack at Trenton, and the siege of Yorktown are part of the short list of American victories, and except for the occasion television movie or mini-series, they are rarely touched upon. Consequently, "Drums Along the Mohawk" remains the best of American movie about the revolution even though it was made before World War I and even though the redcoats are not really involved in the fight."Drums Along the Mohawk" does not start off as a movie about the American Revolution. Instead it begins as a movie about settling the frontier, which, at that point, was upstate New York. The focus is on a pioneer couple, newlyweds, Gilbert (Henry Fonda) and Magdalena (Claudette Colbert), called Lana. Martin is a farmer who brings his bride to the Mohawk Valley where their home is burned out by Indians allied with the British. The couple are taken in by neighbors after that happens and Martin joins the militia, but the settlers are going to need more men than that to fight the Indians and save the fort from attack. Based on a novel by Walter D. Edmonds the screenplay for "Drums Along the Mohawk" is by Sonya Levien and Lamar Trotti, although William Faulkner worked on it without receiving credit as well. Edmonds' history novels were all set in upstate New York and "Drums Along the Mohawk" is about the warfare between the settlers and the Six Nations of the Iroquois allied with the British. The Battle of Oriskany in 1777, fought in a forest, was a American victory although their commander General Nicholas Herkimer (Ralph Imhof) died of his wounds in one of the moving scenes of the film. This was the third film that John Ford made in 1939, following "Stagecoach" with John Wayne and "Young Mr. Lincoln" with Fonda; his next film would be "The Grapes of Wrath." Colbert and Fonda are the stars, but they are upstaged by several members of the supporting case, such as Edna May Oliver as Mrs. McKlennar and Arthur Shields as the Reverend Rosenkrantz. The old lady has such an iron will that she can make Indians take her bed out, with her in it, while they are burning down her home, and the reverend has a memorable scene in which he eases the suffering of a tortured settler. Fonda is young and earnest, while Colbert comes to terms with what it means to be living on the American frontier in troubled times. More than anything else "Drums Along the Mohwawk" is about people coming to the realization that they are Americans, an interpretation more than amply justified by the film's final scene. These are not the Sons of Liberty living in Boston and dealing with the King's troops and all those burdensome taxes. These are small families living out on the frontier for whom the idea of the United States of America was as odd as a flag with thirteen red and white stripes with a circle of white stars on a blue field. Perhaps it is because it takes place off the main stage that "Drums Along the Mohawk" manages to hit the right notes."
A Revolutionary War classic
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 06/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Drums Along the Mohawk is a very good movie about a period in American history that not many movies have been made about. Set during the Revolutionary War, the story is about two newlyweds and their new life in the Mohawk Valley. The couple is trying to establish themselves with a home and farm of their own, but are interrupted when the British and the Mohawk Indian tribe begin to raid all along the valley. The settlers must deal with the raiding Indians while also trying to survive. There is plenty here for fans of Henry Fonda also. The action scenes are excellent, especially the attack on the fort. However, it is also very effective when the characters talk about a battle and how horrible it was rather than the viewer actually seeing it. An enjoyable film that is still very good! Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert play Gil and Lana Martin, the newlywed couple struggling to survive. Both are very good and believable as husband and wife. This was a good period for Fonda when he made The Grapes of Wrath around this time. There is an excellent supporting cast, most notably Ward Bond as Adam, Gil's friend and neighbor, Edna Mae Oliver as the widow Mrs. McLenard, who puts up Gil and Lana when their house is destroyed. She has some incredibly funny scenes especially when some marauding Indians invade her house, but she refuses to leave even as they drag her out on her bed. This is an excellent movie with a great cast and excellent story. Do not miss this Revolutionary War classic!"
John Ford and the American Revolution
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Based on Walter D. Edmonds' historical novel, "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1939) remains among the few memorable films about the American Revolution. Director John Ford's first Technicolor production benefits immeasurably from the Oscar-nominated cinematography of Bert Glennon and Ray Rennahan. Though episodic and slow moving in its narrative structure, Ford doesn't shy away from the brutal savagery of frontier life. Henry Fonda and Edna May Oliver deliver standout portrayals, thus compensating for a miscast Claudette Colbert - the weak link in an otherwise excellent ensemble. Not top-drawer Ford, but entertaining nonetheless."
Steamboater | 03/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Apple-cheeked Claubert and tall and gangly Fonda are so young, they're a pleasure to watch. All performances, including Ward Bond and Edna May Oliver, are exceptional and the color is amazing. "Drums Along The Mohawk" is an epic of the frontier that you'll want to watch again and again. Although the film takes place in upper New York State, viewing the terrain, it was probably shot in northern California. No matter. The film begins with hope alive and better things to come yet is dashed by the realities of the frontier and war. Battle scenes between indians and settlers can be a little frightening so I'd recommend that if you're going to let small children see this, an adult should sit with the child. A perfect film."