12/18/2014  
Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray Director's Cut Dec 16Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16Moveable Feast With Fine Cooking - Season 1 on DVD Dec 30Elsa & Fred on Blu-ray & DVD Dec 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray ...
A Salute to 'The Colbert Report' ...
Ex-Anonymous hacker questions North Korea's role in Son...
Quandary for Sony in Terror Threats Over 'The Interview...
Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RR Rich Rosell

DOWN AND DIRTY WITH JIM NORTON...
WE FEED THE WORLD...
THE BUCKET LIST...
CRUDE IMPACT...
DEXTER: THE SECOND SEASON (BLU-RAY)...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

20th Century Fox presents
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

"We still have the land." 
- Lana (Claudette Colbert)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: June 30, 2005

Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda
Other Stars: Edna May Oliver, Eddie Collins, John Carradine, Dorris Bowdoin, Jessie Ralph, Arthur Shields, Robert Lowery, Roger Imhof
Director: John Ford

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:43m:54s
Release Date: May 24, 2005
UPC: 024543172833
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+A-B- C+

DVD Review

As a director, John Ford was many things, but revisionist wasn't one of them; his films, for better or worse, embody the values of manifest destiny, and that couldn't be more clear here. (It's no accident that his leading man of choice was John Wayne, and this movie was made the same year as his first collaboration with Wayne, Stagecoach.) In John Ford's America the white man's burden is a moral obligation—good Christian people are on the side of right, and it's their job to conquer the bloodthirsty natives, no matter how much carnage it takes. Drums Along the Mohawk is just the sort of picture against which a movie like Dances With Wolves rebels; its politics may seem old-fashioned at best and offensive at worst, but it's still an entertaining tale.

We meet our heroes, Gil and Lana Martin, on their wedding day, in the auspicious year of 1776—they leave the comforts of civilized Albany for the wilds of Ohio, and Lana is plucked rudely from her family's bourgeois home to a log cabin built by her husband, with no amenities, and natives, even the friendly ones, rudely barging in and scaring the wits out of her. (Native Americans is now the term of choice, but it probably won't come as a shock that this movie refers to them only and always as Indians.) Can this rich upstate New York girl transform herself into a frontier woman, especially in this time of revolution?

The plot of Drums Along the Mohawk is curiously ambling, and the movie is motored ahead principally by its stars. Though she's listed second on the front of the DVD case, Claudette Colbert, as Lana, gets top billing; she keeps her character from being a spoiled little rich girl, and demonstrates a fearsome colonial mettle. Henry Fonda's Gil is a classically upright American performance from him; he had just played the title role in Young Mr. Lincoln, and the following year he and Ford would team up again for the actor's finest hour, as Tom Joad. Ford never had much of a touch for comedy, and this movie is no exception; the principal bad guy doesn't get much screen time, but his eye patch and his Tory politics are a dead giveaway, and when he, Caldwell (John Carradine), teams up with the crazed Senecas to attack the settlers, it's no surprise. Especially memorable, too, is Edna May Oliver, as a flinty frontier widow with the proverbial heart of gold; she takes a shine to the Martins, though her one remaining goal in life now is to die in the house that her late husband built.

All of the able-bodied men in the Mohawk Valley are packed off to General Washington's army, though Ford never gives us any glorious battle scenes—all we get is the aftermath and the carnage, which is considerable. The director gives such humanity to the white people that his portrait of the natives becomes that much harder to take—with a couple of exceptions, they're liquor-swilling, crazed pyromaniacs, routinely referred to by epithets like "filthy painted heathens." (The few other natives, all of whom have been Christianized, are made the butt of jokes because of their uneasy grasp of English.) So if you're reflexively unable to watch something that's so obviously politically incorrect, you'll want to steer clear; but taken warts and all, it's a pretty kinetic if structurally ungainly piece of filmmaking.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: One of Ford's first color pictures, this one was given a very thorough going-over for its transfer to DVD, as an accompanying restoration comparison demonstrates. Still, the palette in these early color movies wasn't quite worked out yet, and the blues and reds look far more rich and full than the browns and yellows.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, French, Spanishyes
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The technical limits of '30s filmmaking are more evident here, as both the mono and stereo tracks are pocked with static and buzz.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The aforementioned restoration comparison is very informative—it offers side-by-side clips of a transfer from 1985 with the 2004 restoration, and then compares the latter with the final digital video restoration done for DVD. Though the feature is in color, the original trailer is in black and white; the disc also opens with a thumping, overcut anti-piracy ad, liable to induce headaches in the Fonda and Colbert fan bases.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

For good and for bad, a vintage John Ford picture, with two strong lead performances, and a fascinating glimpse at the early capacity of Technicolor.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

horror, television, comedy channel, stephen t. colbert, colbert report, final show, movie, the interview, united states, north korea, soney, hector monsegur, china, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, drama, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, documentary, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald, world aids day, bono, bruce springsteen, chris martin, espn, monday night football, star wars 7, john boyega, stormtrooper, samuel l. jackson, billy dee williams, james earl jones

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store