Drums Along the Mohawk: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Drums Along the Mohawk
Directed by John Ford
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck (executive producer)
Written by Novel:
Walter D. Edmonds
Screenplay:
Sonya Levien
Lamar Trotti
Starring Claudette Colbert
Henry Fonda
Edna May Oliver
John Carradine
Ward Bond
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Bert Glennon
Ray Rennahan
Editing by Robert L. Simpson (film editor)
Studio Twentieth Century-Fox
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox
Release date(s) November 3, 1939
Running time 103 minutes
Country USA
Language English

Drums Along the Mohawk is a 1939 historical Technicolor film based upon a 1936 novel of the same name by American author, Walter D. Edmonds. The film was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and directed by John Ford. Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert portray settlers on the New York frontier during the American Revolution. The couple suffer British, Tory, and Indian attacks on their farm before the Revolution ends and peace is restored. The film—Fords first colour feature—was well received, was nominated for two Academy Awards and became a major box office success, grossing over US$1 million in its first year.

Contents

Plot

In 1776, American colonists Gilbert Martin (Henry Fonda) and Lana Borst (Claudette Colbert) marry and leave her luxurious home in Albany, New York for a small farm in Deerfield on the western frontier of the Mohawk Valley in central New York. Lana has difficulty in adjusting to frontier life, but soon is working alongside her husband.

The American Revolution begins. Lana is pregnant and miscarries when the Martin farm is burned to the ground in an Indian attack led by a Tory, Caldwell (John Carradine). With no home and winter approaching, the Martins accept work on the farm of wealthy widow Mrs. McKlennar (Edna May Oliver).

Life returns to peaceful normality; Mrs. McKlennar and the Martins prosper. However, an attack by Tories and Indians threatens the valley, and the miltia is called up. Ill-equipped and poorly trained, the settlers barely manage to defeat the enemy at Oriskany. Gil returns home wounded and delirious. Lana is again pregnant, and while Gil recovers from his wounds, she gives birth to their son.

The enemy attack German Flatts, and the settlers take refuge in Fort Herkimer . Mrs. McKlennar is mortally wounded, and ammunition runs short. Gil makes a dash through enemy lines to secure help from nearby Fort Dayton. As the Indians scale the walls of Fort Dayton, Gil arrives with reinforcements. The Indians are overwhelmed. After the battle, the settlers learn the revolution has ended, and the American flag is unfurled above the fort.

Differences between film and novel

Of dramatic necessity, the film neglects many of the book's characters and incidents. However, the most glaring discrepancy from novel to film is the assignment of the "run" to Gil Martin, rather than to Adam Hartman, whose historical counterpart is Adam Helmer, a frontiersman who executed the run in the novel as well as in history. The Tory leader Caldwell is patterned after William Caldwell, who unlike in the dramatization, survived the conflict for another fifty years.

Credited cast

Critical reception

Frank S. Nugent reviewed the film for the New York Times of November 4, 1939 and wrote, "Walter D. Edmonds's exciting novel of the Mohawk Valley during the American Revolution has come to the...screen in a considerably elided, but still basically faithful, film edition bearing the trademark of Director John Ford...It is romantic enough for any adventure-story lover. It has its humor, its sentiment, its full complement of blood and thunder...a first-rate historical film, as rich atmospherically as it is in action...Mr. Fonda and Miss Colbert have done rather nicely with the Gil and Lana Martin...Miss Oliver could not have been bettered as the warlike Widow McKlennar...Mr. Shields's Rev. Rosenkrantz...Mr. Imhof's General Herkimer, Mr. Collins's Christian Reall, Spencer Charters's landlord, Ward Bond's Adam Helmer...They've matched the background excellently, all of them."[1]

Academy Award nominations

The film was nominated for two awards: Best Supporting Actress (Edna May Oliver) and Best Cinematography (Ray Rennahan and Bert Glennon).

References

External links

Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message