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 <email@example.com>
Roaring into each blood-red dawn . . . fighting for women they had never seen . . . for love they might never know ! !
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Did You Know?
Maj. Brand, played by Basil Rathbone
, is seen wearing the ribbon for the Military Cross. Rathbone himself was awarded this medal for bravery during the First World War as a second lieutenant. Capt. Courtney (Errol Flynn
) and later Lt. Scott (David Niven
) are also seen with ribbons, but Flynn and Niven were too young to serve in the war. Niven attended Sandhurst Military Academy and then served for two years on Malta. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he returned to England and re-joined the army. Flynn's weak heart got him a 4-F deferment and he never served during the war, a fact he always said he regretted. See more
The opening shot identifies the time as 1915. From the first, the song played over and over on the phonograph is "Poor Butterfly." Sources seem to agree that this song was not published until 1916, and not recorded until later still. See more
[Brand approaches a sulking Courtney
[Courtney initially shows resentment but smiles when he realizes what he's drinking to
I'll drink to that. To Scott-O! Sleep tight.
Stand to Your Glasses! (Hurrah for the Next Man to Die)
(ca 1850) (uncredited)
Music by Alfred Domett
, adapted from a Beethoven dirge
Lyrics adapted from the poem "The Revel" by Bartholomew Dowling
Sung a cappella by the airmen in the club See more