GenreAction, Western Music directorMax Steiner CountryUnited States
Release dateDecember 25, 1951 (1951-12-25) (New York City)
December 29, 1951 (1951-12-29) (U.S.)
February 13, 1952 (1952-02-13) (France)
March 27, 1952 (1952-03-27) (Italy)
August 1, 1952 (1952-08-01) (Germany) WriterNiven Busch (screenplay), Martin Rackin (screenplay), Niven Busch (story) CastGary Cooper (Capt. Quincy Wyatt), Mari Aldon (Judy Beckett - a prisoner of the Seminoles), Richard Webb (Lt. Richard Tufts), Ray Teal (Pvt. Mohair), Arthur Hunnicutt (Monk), Robert Barrat (Gen. Zachary Taylor) Similar moviesRelated Raoul Walsh movies
TaglineLes aventures du capitaine Wyatt
Distant Drums is a 1951 "Florida Western" film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Gary Cooper. It is set during the Second Seminole War in the 1840s, with Cooper playing an Army captain who destroys a fort held by the Spanish gunrunners then retreats into the Everglades while under chase.
The actual location of the fort in the film was the historic Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida, where most of the filming took place.
The enduring legacy of this movie is the earliest known use of the Wilhelm scream sound effect, originally used to vocalize a character being torn to pieces by an alligator.
Distant drums gary cooper 1951 classic film
In 1840, U.S. Army General Zachary Taylor sends out naval Lieutenant Tufts and scout Monk to a remote Florida island home, where the reclusive Captain Quincy Wyatt lives with a 5-year-old son.
The soldiers' mission is to destroy an old Spanish fort used by gunrunners, and rescue men and women taken prisoner by Seminole warriors. One of them, Judy Beckett, develops a romantic attraction to Capt. Wyatt as they flee the Indians into the Everglades.
Most of the other Army troops are massacred after Wyatt and Tufts separate from them to construct canoes. Back at his home, Wyatt is distraught to find that his son is gone. He has an underwater fight to the death with Seminole chief Osceola, then is relieved to learn that his boy is safe.