7.8/10
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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:
...
Dick Courtney
...
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:

Young Eagles-boy aces of Flanders' days-riding the heavens at dawn- 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

When the WB library was sold to Associated Artists in 1956 for television broadcast, the title was changed to 'Flight Commander' , which is the name of the book from which it was adapted, in order to avoid confusion with the similarly titled 1938 re-make The Dawn Patrol (1938). Perhaps for that same purpose, it still retains its new title in the Turner Classic Films Library, and in most cable and other off screen guides and information sources. See more »

Goofs

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

 
Air War
17 July 2006 | by (The Society NY) – See all my reviews

Many on this board have compared this movie to TOP GUN which is a good movie but lacks Dawn Patrol's depth.

The early version of DAWN PATROL tells a complex tale of leadership and command best illustrated by the scene in which the commanding officer is promoted out of the unit and command falls into the hands of his highly critical, hot dog, second in command. I don't remember exactly was the CO said when he opened the orders relieving him. I believe the line goes, "Now see what you can do now that you can't do everything you want." The tension between the commander and his second is what find to be the most interesting part of the movie. Top Gun simply lacks that type of insight. Top Gun is more of an adventure story of a hot dog pilot.

Movies comparable to Dawn Patrol in the military war genre which attain the understanding of the conflict at the top.are Major Dundee, Twelve O'Clock High and surprisingly the John Wayne film Flying Leathernecks.

This film was remade in 1938 with Errol Flynn in the lead role. I'm told that it was so gripping that French spies on the Luxembourg border went to see it and missed the onset of the German invasion.


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