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The Dawn Patrol (1938)

 -  War | Drama  -  24 December 1938 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,752 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 14 critic

British flying aces in World War I contend with the harsh realities of war.

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Courtney
...
Major Brand
...
Scott
...
Phipps
Melville Cooper ...
Watkins
...
Bott
Carl Esmond ...
Von Mueller
Peter Willes ...
Hollister
Morton Lowry ...
Donnie
Michael Brooke ...
Squires
James Burke ...
Flaherty
Stuart Hall ...
Bentham
Herbert Evans ...
Mechanic
Sidney Bracey ...
Major Brand's Orderly (as Sidney Bracy)
Leo Nomis ...
Aeronautic Supervisor
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Storyline

In 1915 France, Major Brand commands the 39th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. The young airmen go up in bullet-riddled "crates" and the casualty rate is appalling, but Brand can't make the "brass hats" at headquarters see reason. Insubordinate air ace Captain Courtney is another thorn in Brand's side...but finds the smile wiped from his face when he rises to command the squadron himself. Everyone keeps a stiff upper lip. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Roaring into each blood-red dawn . . . fighting for women they had never seen . . . for love they might never know ! ! See more »

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 December 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Patrulha da Alvorada  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filmmakers needed several shots of the planes taking off and landing. They assembled a squadron of 17 vintage WW1 aircraft, most of them Nieuports. Flying them proved just as hazardous as in WW1. By the time filming ended, stunt flyers had crashed 15 of them. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) Phipps is writing a letter of condolence to the mother of a recruit who has been killed in action. As he stops writing to talk with Major Brand, he switches his pen from his right hand to his left hand and removes his glasses with his right hand. In the next shot, his pen is back in his right hand and his glasses are in his left hand. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Courtney: Hooh, I did't understand a word, did you?
Lt. 'Scotty' Scott: No, I took German in school but...
Capt. Courtney: So did I, but I can't understand the way these foreigners speak it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Adventures of Errol Flynn (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile!
(1915) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Powell
Lyrics by George Asaf
Sung by the airmen in the club
Reprised by arriving replacement airmen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brave young pilots who defended their country in WW1
1 September 2001 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

A very action-packed drama about First World War British flyers and the risky aerial fighting they undertook. So many young pilots rose to the challenge but flew off in matchstick planes to face a deadly enemy in the sky. We share with them the revelries and tragedies met daily by this small group of flyers, most of whom didn't come back.

It's wonderful to see so many superb actors in a modern day setting for a change, playing in modern wartime roles -- a nice change from the usual pirate pics and westerns we've known them for.

Aviation during WW1 was a time of raw courage, luck, and a devil-may-care outlook on life. Errol Flynn, as Captain Courtney, reflects aloud in some pensive moments about the futility of waging war but it's a brutal reality and must be dealt with, which he does so bravely.

David Niven, as Scotty, turns in a good supportive performance and in the end of the story learns to take on a commander's responsibilities. Actually, in real life Niven also rejoined the army in WW2 and acquired honors along the way, still retaining his popularity in movies during and after the war.

"How many fine chaps will die in this war and in future wars?" -- lines spoken by Phipps (Donald Crisp) seem to warn of the oncoming Second World War.

Now in our new century let's hope we never see those clouds of war on such an enormous scale hanging over England and Europe ever again. An excellent film on heroism in wartime.


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