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J. Farrell MacDonald
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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