IMDb > The Dawn Patrol (1930)
The Dawn Patrol
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The Dawn Patrol (1930) More at IMDbPro »


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John Monk Saunders (story)
Dan Totheroh (adaptation) ...
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Release Date:
20 August 1930 (USA) See more »
Young Eagles-boy aces of Flanders' days-riding the heavens at dawn- See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Won Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Great WW1 drama See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Richard Barthelmess ... Dick Courtney

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Douglas Scott

Neil Hamilton ... Major Brand

Frank McHugh ... Flaherty
Clyde Cook ... Bott
James Finlayson ... Field Sergeant
Gardner James ... Ralph Hollister
William Janney ... Gordon Scott
Edmund Breon ... Lieut. Phipps
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Ackroyd ... Ackroyd - Mechanic (uncredited)
Harry Allen ... Allen - Mechanic (uncredited)
Morey Eastman ... (uncredited)

Howard Hawks ... German Pilot (uncredited)

Dave O'Brien ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Directed by
Howard Hawks 
Writing credits
John Monk Saunders (story "The Flight Commander")

Dan Totheroh (adaptation & dialogue) &
Howard Hawks (adaptation & dialogue) &
Seton I. Miller (adaptation & dialogue)

Ewart Adamson  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Robert North .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Rex Dunn (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Ernest Haller (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Ray Curtiss (edited by)
Art Direction by
Jack Okey 
Set Decoration by
Ray Moyer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Fred Jackman .... special technical effects
Harry Redmond Sr. .... special effects (uncredited)
Sterling Campbell .... aerial stunts supervisor (uncredited)
Leo Nomis .... double: Richard Barthlemess (uncredited)
Earl H. Robinson .... double: William Janney (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Elmer Dyer .... aerial photography
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Richard Walling .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Edward Stevenson .... wardrobe designer (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
Erno Rapee .... general music supervisor
Other crew
Leo Nomis .... aeronautic supervisor
Joe Barry .... location manager (uncredited)
Joseph Steele .... publicist (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Flight Commander" - USA (TV title)
See more »
108 min | USA:106 min (copyright length)
Black and White (YouTube)
Sound Mix:
Vitaphone (Western Electric Sound System)

Did You Know?

Debut of Frank McHugh.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): William Janney's character name is credited as "Gordon" on screen, but he is called "Donny" throughout.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Marathon Family (1982)See more »
Stand to Your Glasses! (Hurrah for the Next Man to Die)See more »


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Great WW1 drama, 26 April 2014
Author: grantss from Sydney, Australia

Great WW1 flying drama. A very gritty and accurate look at life, and death, in a Royal Flying Corps (RFC) fighter squadron. Details fairly well the burden of command, of sending pilots to almost certain death.

Incredibly good flying action scenes, especially for 1930. Great cinematography, for the time. The non-action scenes are good too, filled with drama and the realities of living with a Sword of Damocles over one's head.

Reasonably good performances all round. No real stand-outs. Pity that American actors had to be used for some parts, as it ruins the authenticity somewhat.

For some reason the movie was remade 8 years later, also as The Dawn Patrol, and with Errol Flynn in the lead role. Copied the plot to the letter and didn't add much, so not sure why it was made. Was still a good movie though.

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