The Drum


(out of 5)

Passable adventure whose colour cinematography delights while its narrative is only mildly amusing.  ‘s natural charms are put to good use as the son of a murdered ruler who goes into hiding as a peasant while his evil usurping uncle ( in brownface) takes over the throne.  Sabu befriends a Scottish drummer boy in the British regiment, wins the favour of an amiable officer () and incurs the delight of the officer’s kindly wife ().  When Massey’s nefarious plans to massacre British officers begins to gain ground, Sabu joins the morally upright colonials in their effort to destroy his evil and put the rightful heir back on the throne.  I won’t even begin to explore the sinister messages of a plot that equates Indian rebellion with terrorist evil, but I will say that it is not as fun a film as Elephant Boy was or Jungle Book would later be.

London Film Productions

United Kingdom, 1938

Directed by

Scenario by , , , adaptation by , based on the story by

Cinematography by

Produced by Alexander Korda

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

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