Drums Across the River

Watch Drums Across the River

"A wilderness of danger! An empire of savage hate!"
  • Approved
  • 1954
  • 1 hr 18 min
  • 6.2  (1,062)

Drums Across the River is an American western film produced by Universal Pictures in 1954. The movie stars war hero Audie Murphy as Gary Brannon, a former Confederate soldier who now works as a deputy for the Union. The film is directed by Nathan Juran and written by James E. Moser. The story takes place in Montana during the late 1800s when the Union is trying to enforce its laws over the troubled territory. The film showcases the struggle between the Native Americans, the settlers, and the Union lawmen as they try to make a home in the harsh terrain of the west.

In the beginning, Gary Brannon saves a man named James Cranston (Lyle Bettger) from getting lynched. Cranston is a gambler, and Brannon doesn't like him, but he feels it's his duty to protect him. Gary discovers that Cranston is looking for gold and has a map that shows the location of a valuable deposit. Brannon becomes suspicious of Cranston's intentions and follows him to his destination.

Once there, Gary meets and falls in love with a young woman named Julie (Mara Corday). Julie is the daughter of the leader of a Native American tribe, and her father disapproves of their relationship. Gary also learns that Cranston's real mission is to steal the tribe's land to mine for gold.

Meanwhile, the tribes are protesting against the Union as they continue to take over their land. The settlers are fighting back with violence, which only makes matters worse. The situation is complicated by the arrival of the ruthless Indian Agent Callahan (Walter Brennan), who wants control of the native land.

As the tensions rise between the Native Americans and the settlers, Cranston persuades the other settlers to band together and attack the Indians. In the ensuing battle, Gary and Julie find themselves on opposite sides. Gary, torn between his loyalty to the Union and his love for Julie, must decide which side to choose.

The central theme of the movie revolves around the conflict between the Union's law enforcement and the lawlessness of greedy land grabbers. The film depicts the unfairness of the westward expansion, portraying the Native Americans as the underdogs, forced to fight for their land and survival.

Drums Across the River showcases the talent of war hero Audie Murphy, who delivers a strong performance as a conflicted lawman. The film also features an outstanding performance by Walter Brennan as Callahan, portraying a self-righteous character with a hidden agenda.

The movie's cinematography is visually impressive, capturing the rugged and vast Montana landscape. The scenes of the Indian uprising are particularly graphic and violent, displaying the bloody battle between the tribes and the settlers.

The plot of Drums Across the River features a traditional western theme, with elements of love, romance, and action. The film maintains a constant tension, leading up to an impactful climax. The dramatic tension and action sequences provide a satisfying conclusion to the story.

Overall, Drums Across the River is a quintessential western movie that highlights the complexities of the westward expansion. It's a testament to the talents of its cast and crew, delivering a classic tale of love, betrayal, violence, and justice. The film is a tribute to the western genre, which has always fascinated the American audience.

Drums Across the River is a 1954 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 18 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2.

Drums Across the River
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 18 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (1,062)