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Directed byHall Bartlett
Jules Bricken
Produced byHall Bartlett
Jules Bricken
Meyer Mishkin
Jeff Chandler
Written byHall Bartlett
StarringJeff Chandler
Joanne Dru
Julie London
Donald Crisp
Ronald Howard
Milburn Stone
Music byElmer Bernstein
CinematographyJames Wong Howe
Edited byLeon Selditz
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
January 1957
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1 million[1]

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.



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.[2] The film was a co-production with the production company of Hal Bartlett, who wrote the script.[3]

Chandler had risen to fame playing Cochise in Broken Arrow. "It's no Indian story," said Chandler, "let Cochise rest in peace."[4]

Half the movie was shot on location in the south; filming started in St Francisville in June 1956.[2]

Ronald Howard made his American debut in the film.[5] Linda Darnell signed to play the female lead, with Donald Crisp and Julie London in support.[6] Darnell had to pull out because of a virus and she was replaced with Joanne Dru.[7]

Follow Up[edit]

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.[2][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tuesday Proclaimed as L.A. Free Enterprise Day Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 26 Apr 1956: 23.
  2. ^ a b c R.K.O. TO MAKE SPACE-TEST FILM: Feature to Depict Efforts of U.S. Scientists to Launch an Earth Satellite By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 23 Apr 1956: 23
  3. ^ Films Treat Civil Liberties: Hollywood Letter By Richard Dyer MacCann. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file) [Boston, Mass] 15 Jan 1957: 5.
  4. ^ Louella Parsons: Linda Darnell Signs With Jeff Chandler The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959) [Washington, D.C] 16 May 1956: 37.
  5. ^ CARNERA CHARGES STUDIO WITH FOUL: Ex-Boxer Sues Columbia for $1,500,000 Damages Over 'The Harder They Fall' Milland Signed for 'Stockade' Of Local Origin By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 01 May 1956: 37.
  6. ^ FILMING DELAYED BY CLIFT'S MISHAP: M-G-M Halts Production of 'Raintree County' Pending Leading Actor's Recovery Malden in 'Piersall Story' By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 15 May 1956: 26.
  7. ^ Virus Forces Darnell Out of Film 'Drango' Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 01 June 1956: B6.
  8. ^ 'McKeever' Ready Soon for Jeff Chandler; New Drug Feature Planned Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 02 Feb 1957: B3.

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