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A World War I British Army patrol is crossing the Mesopotomian desert when their commanding officer, the only one who knows their destination is killed by the bullet of unseen bandits. The patrol's sergeant keeps them heading north on the assumption that they will hit their brigade. They stop for the night at an oasis and awake the next morning to find their horses stolen, their sentry dead, the oasis surrounded and survival difficult. Written by
Erik Gregersen <email@example.com>
The release of the almost complete version on DVD allows viewers to compare it with the edited 1949 re-release. Eliminated in the shorter version is an early shot of Karloff with a book of poetry about the desert, Hanson's reminiscing about Kerrigan's and Hale's earlier days in the service, and McLaglen and Ford sharing cigarettes and recalling their wives and sweethearts. Apparently, a boxing match between Hale and Stein immediately following the death of Bevan, before they all draw lots, is still missing. See more »
As the plane is circling the encampment, you can see tire marks in the sand. See more »
What's the use of chewin' the rag about something we might of done?
Right you are, Sarge!
Yeah, I know what you're thinkin'. Perhaps I've done everything wrong! Perhaps this and perhaps that! But what I've done I've done, and what I haven't, I haven't!
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Exciting desert warfare film, compelling today, 60 years later. A fine Max Steiner soundtrack with excellent performances by Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Reginald Denny and rest of cast. Unlike Gunga Din (1939) where the British were armed with U.S. Springfield '03 rifles and Colt revolvers of the early 1900's the weapons in Lost Patrol are authentically British WWI -- Lee Enfield rifles, the Lewis Gun from the airplane and it seems the officer's revolver is an Enfield of the period and attached to a lanyard in one scene. I see an underlying theme here that seems to have been overlooked. It is strongly anti-Christian throughout. Karloff as the religious fanatic soon to go mad brings on much of this, but not all. A couple of instances: Karloff reading the religious service over the body of the lieutenant is cut short by McLaglen, "Amen". Karloff confronts Reginald Denny telling of his pleasures of the flesh: "You must have faith!" Denny: "Why?" Karloff cannot answer. When Pvt. Pearson is buried, one suggests building a wooden cross for the grave. McLaglen: "Put his sword there. I think he would like that." Strange direction for John Ford, I would say! I have not read the novel "Patrol" that this film was based on. It would be interesting to learn if this theme is apparent. By the way, Lost Patrol was remade as "Sahara"(1943) with Humphrey Bogart. It is not nearly as good, but at the time it was a good wartime morale booster.
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