Dawn Patrol (1938)
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Editor's NoteBasil Rathbone is the major who sends his brave boys to face certain death each morning in this dark, yet jubilant World War I drama. Errol Flynn and David Niven are the hard-drinking aces in the squad who wish they had a few more days to teach the new pilots a few basic moves before they're sent up to face the dreaded Baron Richter. It's tragedy and camaraderie as the boys bond in the face of their own mortality and sing sentiments like "Hurrah for the next who dies" while getting drunk at the local inn. A peculiar respect and admiration develops between the German fliers and these brave Brits, which lends this war film unusual poignancy. If this all sounds an awful lot like a Howard Hawks film, that's because it's essentially a remake of his 1930 version. Perhaps in making this film director Edmund Goulding wanted to get away from his reputation as a director of soapy women's melodramas. If so, he succeeded admirably: there's breathtaking aerial combat scenes, strong performances, clever dialogue, and not a single woman in the cast.
Cast & Crew
|John Hughes - Art Director|
|Tony Gaudio - Director of Photography|
|John Monk Saunders - Story|
|Seton I. Miller - Producer|
|Ralph Dawson - Editor|
|Edwin A. DuPar - Special Effects|
|Max Steiner - Composer|
|Dan Totheroh - Screenwriter|
|Edmund Goulding - Director|
Plot SummaryTHE DAWN PATROL is the harrowing tale of World War I British fighter pilots whose jobs are to keep the German planes behind enemy lines. The film is an engaging drama about the stresses and friendships of wartime, with fine performances by an all-star cast.