Drums Across the River (1954)

77-78 mins | Western | June 1954

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HISTORY

According to Universal press materials, some scenes were shot on location in the Angeles National Forest, Chatsworth, the Mojave Desert and Kernville, CA. The Ute territory in Colorado, which had recently been damaged in a forest fire, was recreated for the ... More Less

According to Universal press materials, some scenes were shot on location in the Angeles National Forest, Chatsworth, the Mojave Desert and Kernville, CA. The Ute territory in Colorado, which had recently been damaged in a forest fire, was recreated for the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 May 1954.
---
Daily Variety
10 May 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
2 Jun 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 53
p. 7, 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Oct 53
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 53
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 54
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 May 54
pp. 1-2.
Variety
19 May 54
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
DETAILS
Release Date:
June 1954
Production Date:
began 8 October 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co.
Copyright Date:
11 May 1954
Copyright Number:
LP3684
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
77-78
Length(in feet):
7,033
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16863
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Crown City, Colorado, once a busy gold mining town, is now miles away from the nearest gold vein, which lies across the San Juan River, in Ute Indian country. Many of the townspeople have been driven to desperation by hard times, including Gary Brannon, who, with his father Sam, operates a freight company. Gary falls in with a group of men, led by Frank Walker, who are planning to seize gold-rich land located in territory assigned to the Ute Indians as part of a peace treaty. On the night of their planned river crossing, Sam tries unsuccessfully to dissuade Gary from joining the men. While Sam has maintained a delicate friendship with the Ute chief, Ouray, Gary harbors deep resentment for the Utes, who killed his mother. Sam is determined to stop Walker and his men from using Gary and Nathan Marlowe, the first settler of Crown City, to start a war with the Indians, and follows their wagons. Sam catches up with the raiding party just in time to prevent his son from killing the chief's son, Red Knife, and urges him instead to use the Indian as a hostage. During a gun battle between a Ute hunting party and Walker's men, Sam manages to bring about a temporary cease-fire by telling the Utes that they have Red Knife, and that they will turn him over only when the Utes release their hostage, Marlowe. The next day, as Sam prepares the hostage exchange, Walker signals his men to fire at the Indians, and the temporary truce is broken. When Sam is wounded in the gun battle, Gary realizes that his father is ... +


Crown City, Colorado, once a busy gold mining town, is now miles away from the nearest gold vein, which lies across the San Juan River, in Ute Indian country. Many of the townspeople have been driven to desperation by hard times, including Gary Brannon, who, with his father Sam, operates a freight company. Gary falls in with a group of men, led by Frank Walker, who are planning to seize gold-rich land located in territory assigned to the Ute Indians as part of a peace treaty. On the night of their planned river crossing, Sam tries unsuccessfully to dissuade Gary from joining the men. While Sam has maintained a delicate friendship with the Ute chief, Ouray, Gary harbors deep resentment for the Utes, who killed his mother. Sam is determined to stop Walker and his men from using Gary and Nathan Marlowe, the first settler of Crown City, to start a war with the Indians, and follows their wagons. Sam catches up with the raiding party just in time to prevent his son from killing the chief's son, Red Knife, and urges him instead to use the Indian as a hostage. During a gun battle between a Ute hunting party and Walker's men, Sam manages to bring about a temporary cease-fire by telling the Utes that they have Red Knife, and that they will turn him over only when the Utes release their hostage, Marlowe. The next day, as Sam prepares the hostage exchange, Walker signals his men to fire at the Indians, and the temporary truce is broken. When Sam is wounded in the gun battle, Gary realizes that his father is right, and decides to sever his ties with Walker. Gary later tells the Ute chief that only a small band of instigators are responsible for the recent fighting. The dying Ouray does not believe the white man's promises of peace, but instructs his son Taos to deliver Gary safely home. Gary arrives in Crown City just in time to prevent Walker and his men from marching on the Ute village. Walker, however, quickly devises a new plan to get his men across the San Juan River again: He takes Sam hostage and coerces Gary into robbing a gold-filled stagecoach, killing its driver and guard, and planting evidence implicating the Utes. After he has been convicted of the crime and preparations are made for his hanging, Gary sends a message to Walker, offering, in exchange for his freedom, to tell him where he hid the gold shipment. The ploy works, and Sam is sent to break his son out of prison and deliver him to Walker. Instead of leading Walker and his men to the gold shipment, though, Gary takes them to the sacred Ute burial ground, knowing that the Indians will engage the men in a bloody battle there. After the Indians massacre Walker's gang, Gary proudly observes the signing of a new treaty with the Indians, and looks forward to starting a new life with his sweetheart Jennie. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.