Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)


“O Almighty God, hear us, we beseech Thee, and bring succor and guidance to those we are about to bring to Your divine notice. First we are thinking of Mary Walaber. She is only 16 years old, but she is keeping company with a soldier from Fort Dayton. He’s a Massachusetts man, and Thou knowest no good can come of that.”- Reverend Rosencrantz

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 Jun 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A young newlywed couple leaves their comfortable urban life in order to live on a farm in the Mohawk Valley as the outbreak of war feels imminent.

My Take on it – As a fan of Henry Fonda and his work, I heard about this film a few years back but never had the chance to see what it was all about.

Since it features an Oscar nominated performance, I recently came across it again during my journey to watch all films with this distinction and decided to finally give it a try.

This is quite an interesting story that is able to give us a very unique and distinct perspective on the hardships of families, young and old, who chose to live in Frontier settlements in the years leading up to the American Revolution.

Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert are both excellent here in the lead roles and truly make us believe their love for one another along with their convictions to live in such a potentially dangerous part of the country.

The members of the community are quite diverse and it adds a nice flavor to things.

These people all have unique personalities and quirks yet all form a common bond in their wish to be free of their British rule.

John Ford does a wonderful job allowing us to experience the kind of plights that those living on the Frontier needed to endure while making it quite clear as to why they still chose to live there despite the dangers and risks.

Edna May Oliver was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as a crusty widow who’s disposition and personality is changed over the course of the film.

Bottom Line – Interesting story that is able to give us a unique perspective on the trials and tribulations of the men and women living on the frontier in the days leading up to the American Revolution. Fonda and Colbert are great together and make us believe their convictions. The cast of characters that help form their little community also add much flavor to things by the diversity of these men and women both in their unique personalities and their common yearning for freedom from the British.  Ford does a great job here showing us the plight of those living in Frontier settlements and allows us to get a clear picture of what they went through. Oliver was nominated for an Oscar for her role as a bitter widow who’s personality changes over the course of the film. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Henry Fonda is a direct descendant of the Fondas that settled in the Mohawk Valley in the mid 17th Century. Henry’s 5th Great Great Grandfather, Douw Jellis Fonda, who was too old to fight in the Revolutionary War, was killed and scalped in 1780 by an Indian that supported General Sir John Johnson and the Tories. At the same time, Henry’s 4th Great Grand Father Adam Douw Fonda and his brother John Fonda were taken as prisoners and held in Canada for two years. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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One thought on “Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1939 | MovieRob

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