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The Lost Patrol (1934)

Passed | | Adventure, War | 16 February 1934 (USA)
A dozen British soldiers, lost in a Mesopotamian desert during world war I, are menaced by unseen Arab enemies.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Lost Patrol (1929)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In Mesopotamia, a lost cavalry patrol is gradually killed off by Arabs.

Director: Walter Summers
Stars: Cyril McLaglen, Sam Wilkinson, Terence Collier
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Morelli
...
Brown
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Quincannon
...
Hale
...
Cook
Brandon Hurst ...
Bell
...
Pearson
...
Abelson
Howard Wilson ...
Aviator
Paul Hanson ...
MacKay
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Storyline

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 <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

desert | sergeant | sniper | cavalry | arab | See All (28) »

Taglines:

BLISTERING SUN...BLAZING BULLETS! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Adventure | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 February 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Patrulha Perdida  »

Box Office

Budget:

$254,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original release) | (1954 reissue length)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Victor McLaglen actually served with the Irish Fusiliers in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) during World War I at the same time this story takes place. He eventually rose to be Provost Marshal--equivalent of Police Chief--of Baghdad. See more »

Goofs

As the plane is circling the encampment, you can see tire marks in the sand. See more »

Quotes

Sanders: Brown, you're a gentleman! You've got breeding! You must have faith!
Brown: Why?
Sanders: Why? Why in Heaven's name, man, what do you believe in?
Brown: Would it really interest you? Oh, a lot of things. A good horse, steak and kidney pudding, a fellow named George Brown, the asinine futility of this war, being frightened, being drunk enough to be brave and brave enough to be drunk, the feel of the sea when you swim, the taste and strength of wine, the loveliness of women, the splendid, unspeakable joy of killing ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Lost Patrol (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Long Way to Tipperary
(1912) (uncredited)
Written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams
A few bars played in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dunes
23 July 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

This is a rip-roaring adventure film set in the Mesopotamian desert during the First World War. It concerns a detachment of British soldiers holed up in a desert camp, where they are picked off one at a time by Arab snipers. Victor McLaglen's the star of the show, and very believable, as he had in fact played this sort of role in real-life, as a soldier, and always looked good in a uniform. The supporting cast, which includes Wallace Ford, Boris Karloff, Reginald Denny and Alan Hale, are all fine. John Ford directed the picture brilliantly, and this is in many ways a transitional film for him. His career had been in second gear for some time, and this one showed that he still had the old fire, and was a big box-office winner, which in turn led the studio to allow him to film his pet project, The Informer, the following year. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Those who regard Ford as a quaint and sentimental pictorialist will be dazzled by this one. There isn't a wasted frame of film here, and the picture moves at a lightning pace. All of Ford's strengths and none of his weaknesses are on display in this one. Much of the action is synchronized to Max Steiner's score, as film music was still in its relative infancy at this time. Somehow this works in the movie's favor, as when McLaglen lurches at another character and the music accompanies his movement in such a way as to evoke King King, which Steiner had scored the previous year. The effect is sometimes frightening and quite powerful.

Ford's sadistic humor comes out in odd and surprisingly frank ways. Karloff's religious fanatic is so over the top that he might have thrown the film off, yet Ford, rather than diminishing the character, decides to give him more screen time. There are moments when the character himself seems to be undermining the film. When he is tied up by the men, having proved himself to be nothing but an utter nuisance, he grins and wails in his captivity like a demented baboon. Karloff's quite funny here, giving the movie a respite from its own seriousness, which is very much needed. The film is, after all, about how men face death, and who's to say which way is the proper one?


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