I might be wrong, but I think that perhaps the new Drums Along the Mohawk HD master is now available for streaming for "free" if you have Amazon Prime. A year or so ago I tried to watch Drums on amazon, and the colors were so strange it was unwatchable to me. The new version is a huge improvement in terms of resolution and color accuracy, and I was able to watch it all the way through for the first time last night. It does seem amazing what they can do given that the three strip negative was apparently thrown out. As good as it is, however, the colors, resolution, and depth are not the quite the same to me as films where the 3 strip survives, such as The Wizard of Oz. Most of it is very good, but a few indoor scenes look slightly off to me. Of course, streaming in HD is not as good by a long shot as a blu-ray. Even after watching this, I am tempted to get the TT disc even at the high price.
Anyway Drums survives in very nice shape, and is an impressive John Ford epic. With the fort being one of the most important settings of the film, it seemed to me almost a prequel to Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. The young Henry Fonda is terrific in Drums, and has his understated charm and good acting really pull this through. The rest of Ford's players also provide charm, humor, and a lot of action. The "Indians" are portrayed in a way that sometimes feels uncomfortable today, but in fact in the Revolution War the British did get various Native American groups to fight again the Americans in often brutal ways. This film was a big hit in 1939, and I can see why. I could almost hear the strong audience response from that bygone day echoing down through the ages. Even with all its Technicolor glamour it seemed surprisingly gritty in a few places. If it counts as a Western, I would say its one of Ford's best.