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The Lost Squadron (1932)

Passed | | Drama, History, War | 12 March 1932 (USA)
In hard times just after World War I, three ex-fighter pilots manage to land jobs as Hollywood stunt fliers working for dictatorial director Von Furst.

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(from the story by), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Gibson
...
Follette
...
Woody
...
The Pest
...
Red
...
Von Furst (as Erich Von Stroheim)
...
Fritz
...
Jettick
Marjorie Peterson ...
Stenographer
...
Joe
...
Lelewer (as William Davidson)
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Storyline

In hard times just after World War I, three ex-fighter pilots manage to land jobs as Hollywood stunt fliers working for dictatorial director Von Furst.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 March 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die letzten Vier  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.19 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original ending was deemed unclear and unbelievable, so a new ending was shot. As a result, 'Eric Linden', who was borrowed from Warner Bros. for a small part, was edited out of the film. See more »

Goofs

Date visible on boxcar:6-31. See more »


Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Sung a cappella by the soldiers at war's end
Reprised a cappella by Richard Dix, Robert Armstrong and Joel McCrea
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User Reviews

Strange Doesn't Even Cover It
25 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

Lost Squadron, The (1932)

*** (out of 4)

When WW1 comes to an end, three pilots (Richard Dix, Robert Armstrong, Joel McCrea) find themselves on hard times but they wind up in Hollywood where they work as stunt fliers for a sadistic director (Erich von Stroheim). Problems come up when the director learns that his wife (Mary Astor) had a flame with Dix. When people think of weird movies from 1932 it's usually FREAKS that pops up in the mind but that Browning film has absolutely nothing on this movie. I don't want to react too strongly and call this the weirdest movie I've ever seen but it's certainly one of the most shocking. This movie starts out as a rather light-hearted comedy but quickly it changes pace as murder, suicide and abuse comes into play and in the end we're left with an incredibly dark tragedy. I'm really not sure what the screenwriters or producer David O. Selznick were thinking but they've left a rather bizarre final product for film buffs to enjoy. No matter what half is your favorite I think the film manages to remain very entertaining thanks in large part to the terrific cast. Dix is certainly strong enough as the lead and he manages to turn in a good performance. Armstrong is probably the weakest as the screenplay pretty much makes him play a drunk, which is something he did way too many times. His comic timing as the drunk is alright but at times it feels out of place. McCrea has the smallest of the three pilot roles but he manages to be entertaining as is Astor who is a major part of the film but then her character disappears during the finale for some reason. The stuff with von Stroheim is rather interesting because people obviously know about the sadistic director aspect of his reputation and that's on full display here. As an actor he turns in a very good performance and it's fun to see him "going mad" as you can't help but wonder if that's how he really directed his own pictures. The screenplay throws a couple rather mean spirited gags at him including a minor subplot about him being called away from the set due to his wife being injured, which is something that happened to him in real life. The aerial flights are all rather amazing to watch as the stunt work is quite effective but at the same time the twist in the story is a little disturbing as there were many, many stunt pilots who were killed during this era so seeing that plot in the film was a tad bit hard to take as entertainment. Again, I'm not sure why the film took such a dark and twisted turn but it certainly made for an interesting film. This certainly isn't a classic but the film has such a great cast and bizarre story that most will find themselves entertained.


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