7.8/10
1,312
17 user 20 critic

The Dawn Patrol (1930)

Not Rated | | War, Drama, Action | 20 August 1930 (USA)
World War I ace Dick Courtney derides the leadership of his superior officer, but Courtney is soon promoted to squadron commander and learns harsh lessons about sending subordinates to their deaths.

Director:

Writers:

(story "The Flight Commander"), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Douglas Scott
...
Major Brand
...
Flaherty
...
Bott
...
Field Sergeant
...
Ralph Hollister
...
Gordon Scott
...
Lieut. Phipps
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Storyline

During the First World War, British combat pilot Dick Courtney mocks his commanding officer Major Brand for being too cautious, unaware that Brand is tormented by the requirement of his command that he send young men to their likely deaths in substandard aircraft and with insufficient training. When Brand is transferred, Courtney becomes the commanding officer and quickly realizes the burden Brand labored under. When Courtney's best friend, Douglas Scott, asks him to spare his newly arrived and inexperienced brother Gordon Scott from combat duty, Courtney cannot justify doing so. A rift grows between the friends as Courtney realizes the tragic demands of his job. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Greatest Air Epic Ever! See more »

Genres:

War | Drama | Action

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 August 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flight Commander  »

Box Office

Budget:

$611,722 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone) (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In September 1928, Warner Bros. Pictures purchased a majority interest in First National Pictures and from that point on, all "First National" productions were actually made under Warner Bros. control, even though the two companies continued to retain separate identities until the mid-1930's, after which time "A Warner Bros.-First National Picture" was often used. See more »

Goofs

William Janney's character name is credited as "Gordon" on screen, but he is called "Donny" throughout. See more »

Connections

Edited into I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Plum and Apple
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Sung a cappella by Frank McHugh, Richard Barthelmess and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
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User Reviews

 
Barthelmess and Fairbanks Are Superb
2 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Terrific war film starring Richard Barthelmess as a veteran British pilot in France whose job is to make raids behind enemy lines in what are basically suicide runs. He complains to his commander (Neil Hamilton) about the green kids he gets, but of course war is hell and there's nothing anyone can do. It seems like every day they send out 5 or 6 planes and 2 or 3 come back. The guys drink heavily to hide their anguish. Barthelmess and Hamilton fight constantly until Hamilton is promoted and Barthelmess gets his desk job.

Now it's his job to send out the fliers. His best friend (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) becomes the squad leader as the green kids keep showing up for duty. Then Fairbanks' kid brother arrives. What follows breaks up the friendship between Barthelmess and Fairbanks, but the war drones on.

Excellent cinematography of aerial fights and bombing raids. The ending is simply superb, one full of heroism and irony.

Barthelmess and Fairbanks are excellent, and Hamilton is also good. Supporting cast includes Frank McHugh, William Janney, James Finlayson, Clyde Cook, and Gardner James.


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