Drango is a 1957 American Western film produced by Jeff Chandler's production company Earlmar Productions, written and directed by Hall Bartlett, and released by United Artists. Starring Chandler in the title role, the film also features Ronald Howard, Joanne Dru, Julie London and Donald Crisp. Set in the town of Kennesaw, Georgia in the months immediately following the American Civil War, the story depicts the efforts of a resolute Union Army officer who had participated in the town's destruction during Sherman's March determined to make amends.
Union officers Major Drango and Captain Banning ride into a Georgia town ravaged by the Civil War and still bitter about the lives and property lost. Drango is the new military governor, but townspeople including Judge Allen and his son Clay make it clear that these Yankees are not welcome.
A local man seen as disloyal to the Confederacy is lynched. The man's daughter, Kate Calder, blames Drango for letting it happen.
Drango attempts to bring the men responsible to justice, but wealthy Shelby Ransom harbors the fugitives, including Clay, her lover. Union colonel Bracken finds fault with Drango for not being tough enough, so he confiscates the town's food supply and rations it. Clay's men stage a raid.
A doctor and newspaper editor offer Drango their support in restoring order. The newspaper office is set ablaze and the editor's young son is accidentally killed. Kate now sides with Drango, and an angered Shelby tries to order Clay from her home, but he slaps her and makes her lure Capt. Banning to an ambush.
Now even the judge is appalled by Clay's unlawful acts. He warns his son this must stop. Clay refuses to listen and shoots Drango, wounding him. He is about to kill Drango when a bullet from his father ends Clay's life, restoring law and order to the town.Jeff Chandler as Major Clint Drango
Joanne Dru as Kate Calder
Julie London as Shelby Ransom
Donald Crisp as Judge Allen
Ronald Howard as Clay Allen
John Lupton as Capt. Marc Banning
Walter Sande as Dr. Blair
Milburn Stone as Col. Bracken
Morris Ankrum as Henry Calder
Parley Baer as George Randolph, Daily Herold
Damian O'Flynn as Gareth Blackford
Barney Phillips as Rev. Giles Cameron
Charles Horvath as Ragan
Katherine Warren as Mrs. Scott
Chubby Johnson as Zeb
David Stollery as Jeb Bryant
Edith Evanson as Mrs. Blackford
Anthony Jochim as Stryker the School Teacher
Amzie Strickland as Mrs. George Randolph
Mimi Gibson as Ellen Bryant
Helen Wallace as Mrs. Allen
Paul Lukather as Burke
Bing Russell as Lieutenant with Supply Wagon
Chuck Webster as Boy with Chicken
David Saber as Tommy Randolph
Phil Chambers as Luke
James Murphy as Bartender
Rex Allen as Himself - Singer of Title Song (voice)
The film was made by Jeff Chandler's own production company, Earlmar, for United Artists. It was meant to be the first of a six-picture deal Earlmar had with United, with Chandler to star in three of them. The film was a co-production with the production company of Hal Bartlett, who wrote the script.
Chandler had risen to fame playing Cochise in Broken Arrow. "It's no Indian story," said Chandler, "let Cochise rest in peace."
Half the movie was shot on location in the south; filming started in St Francisville in June 1956.
Ronald Howard made his American debut in the film. Linda Darnell signed to play the female lead, with Donald Crisp and Julie London in support. Darnell had to pull out because of a virus and she was replaced with Joanne Dru.
The second film Chandler was meant to make for United Artists was Lincoln McKeever, based on a novel by Eliezar Lipsky about a frontiersman appointed to the Supreme Court.