The Lost Battalion (1919)

 |  Drama, War  |  2 July 1919 (USA)
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A battalion of the U.S. Army's 77th Division penetrates deep into the Argonne Forest of France during the First World War. The battalion becomes surrounded and holds out for six long days, ... See full summary »


(as Burton King)


(authorized adaptation by) (as Charles A. Logue)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Alexander ...
Himself (as Major General Robert Alexander)
George G. McMurtry ...
Himself (as Major George G. McMurtry)
Charles W. Whittlesey ...
Himself (as Lt. Col. Charles W. Whittlesey)
William J. Cullen ...
Himself (as Capt. William J. Cullen)
Arthur F. McKeogh ...
Himself - Adjutant to Lt. Col. Whittlesey (as Lieutenant Arthur F. McKeogh)
Augustus Kaiser ...
Himself (as Lieut. Augustus Kaiser)
Jack Hershkowitz ...
Himself (as Private Jack Hershkowitz)
Philip Cepaglia ...
Himself (as Corporal Philip Cepaglia)
Herman J. Bergasse ...
Himself (as Sergeant Herman J. Bergasse)
J.J. Munson ...
Himself (as Private J.J. Munson)
Abraham Krotoshinisky ...
Himself (as Private Abraham Krotoshinisky)
Jack McLean ...
Gaston Glass ...
Richard Merwin's Son
Marion Coakley ...
Nancy Brystal - Richard Merwin's Ward
Lieutenant Jordan ...
Himself - An Officer Friend


A battalion of the U.S. Army's 77th Division penetrates deep into the Argonne Forest of France during the First World War. The battalion becomes surrounded and holds out for six long days, awaiting reinforcement and rescue. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War





Release Date:

2 July 1919 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


As much as possible, the enactment of the events were made with the original people who survived. Actual maps and documents were used in the film, which was authorized by the U.S. Government. Some footage by the U.S. Signal Corps was also used in the film. See more »


Remade as The Lost Battalion (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Amerikan War Glory

During the last century, Deutschland lost many wars and a lot of battles, the biggest defeat being WWI. For that reason it is always a painful and complicated matter, even for a German count accustomed to losing many battles with his servants, to watch any silent film wherein the victors boast about their merits against the Germans.

But that doesn't matter a lot when the film is well done and directed as is the case with "The Lost Battalion", directed at the end of such a painful and mad war by Herr Burton L. King.

The film depicts the deeds of the Amerikan 77th Division in Europe and their advance through the enemy lines (obviously the Germans). It is focused mainly on a lost battalion of that Division that was cut off and surrounded by the enemy, (again the Germans) in a ravine that will be later known as "The Pocket" in Amerikan war glory lore.

The film recounts the participation of many Amerikan high ranking officers that battled against the Teutons and are portrayed in the picture, and these officers are presented with honours at the beginning and the end of the film with careful close-ups. However, for this German count the role of those military men in the film wouldn't matter ( you can't have everything and be a war hero AND a silent star… ) if they didn't have the help of the common people who also participated and suffered the consequences of that battle. They are the real heroes of that war (and any war,) and they belonged to different social classes, conditions and races and they were all united to battle against the enemy ( that is to say, the Germans).

Herr Burton depicts at the beginning of the film (remarkably) the particular life and social condition of those unknown soldiers before they enlist. Burton delivers an interesting and valuable portrait of the Amerikan life. These men, some ordinary, some exceptional, will find their lives drastically changed when they embark for Europe.

The battle scenes are also very well done, full of drama and very claustrophobic, especially during the ambush at "The Pocket". The direction is very modern for a 1919 film, but of course is full of patriotic elements that fortunately are not overstated or distracting from the artistic merits of the film. This remarkable artistic fact can be still appreciated 90 years later since the film avoided the Manichaeism that was part of many WWI film productions of that time wherein the Germans were excessively caricatured or parodied in an exaggerated way (This Herr Von knows very well what he is talking about when it comes to exaggerated matters…)

"The Lost Battalion" gives, as usual, the honor and the credit to the military high ranking men but it was the common soldiers whose devotion and valour and sufferings won the war and are the main characters of this film. The fallen soldiers they portray unfortunately couldn't be invited as guest stars.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must try to find a war he can win.

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien

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