IMDb > The Dawn Patrol (1938)
The Dawn Patrol
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The Dawn Patrol (1938) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   1,761 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Seton I. Miller (screen play) and
Dan Totheroh (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Dawn Patrol on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 December 1938 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
They roared through the dawn . . . with death on their wings ! See more »
Plot:
British flying aces in World War I contend with the harsh realities of war. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(13 articles)
Receiving a Phone Message from Kong Star Wray
 (From Alt Film Guide. 17 September 2012, 4:52 PM, PDT)

Errol Flynn: The Dawn Patrol / Santa Fe Trail
 (From Alt Film Guide. 19 June 2012, 11:38 PM, PDT)

Errol Flynn: The Dawn Patrol / Santa Fe Trail
 (From Alt Film Guide. 19 June 2012, 10:47 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Flynn in Excellent Drama of WWI Aviators... See more (30 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Errol Flynn ... Courtney

Basil Rathbone ... Major Brand

David Niven ... Scott

Donald Crisp ... Phipps
Melville Cooper ... Watkins

Barry Fitzgerald ... 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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hal Brazeale ... Gregory (uncredited)
Tyrone Brereton ... Orderly (uncredited)
Richard Deane ... 'B' Flight Replacement (uncredited)
Burnett Fergrison ... Henry Burt (uncredited)
Fred Graham ... Running Man on Airfield (uncredited)
Ivo Henderson ... Soldier (uncredited)
Tim Henning ... Orderly (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... Young Recruit (uncredited)
George Kirby ... Orderly Kirby (uncredited)
Anthony Marsh ... Rutherford (uncredited)
John Meredith ... 'B' Flight Replacement (uncredited)
Wally Rairden ... Cleaver (uncredited)
John J. Richardson ... Mechanic (uncredited)
John Rodion ... Lieutenant Russell (uncredited)
Speirs Ruskell ... 'B' Flight Replacement (uncredited)
Tom Seidel ... Jones (uncredited)
John Sutton ... Adjutant (uncredited)
F. Philip Sylvestre ... 'B' Flight Replacement (uncredited)
Gordon Thorpe ... Smythe (uncredited)
Charles Waldron Jr. ... Lieutenant Billings (uncredited)
Gordon Wallace ... 'B' Flight Replacement (uncredited)
Norman Willis ... Von Richter (uncredited)
Gilbert Wilson ... Moorehead (uncredited)

Directed by
Edmund Goulding 
 
Writing credits
Seton I. Miller (screen play) and
Dan Totheroh (screen play)

John Monk Saunders (from an original story by)

Howard Hawks  story (uncredited)

Produced by
Robert Lord .... associate producer (uncredited)
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer (uncredited)
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
Tony Gaudio (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ralph Dawson (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
John Hughes 
 
Makeup Department
Bill Phillips .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Robert Ross .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Oren Haglund .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Frank Heath .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
William Kissell .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
C.A. Riggs .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Edwin B. DuPar .... special effects (as Edwin A. DuPar)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Carl E. Guthrie .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Glen Harris .... grip (uncredited)
Vic Johnson .... gaffer (uncredited)
William Reinhold .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Bert Six .... still photographer (uncredited)
Claude Swanner .... best boy (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rene Wilson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Victor Kline Jr. .... assistant cutter (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Capt.L.G.S. Scott .... technical advisor
Jean McNaughton .... script clerk (uncredited)
Jacques Swaab .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.) (A Warner Bros. Picture)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
103 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | USA:Approved (PCA #4585) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)
Filming Locations:

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:
Anachronisms: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Fiona on Fire (1978)See more »
Soundtrack:
Plum and AppleSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
24 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
Flynn in Excellent Drama of WWI Aviators..., 3 September 2003
Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada

THE DAWN PATROL, Errol Flynn's final film of his busiest year as an actor (1938), is a fascinating counterpoint to his usual swashbuckling and light comic roles. A remake of Howard Hawks' 1930 classic, this is a tale of war-weary WWI aviators, called upon to risk their lives daily, in broken-down aircraft, on missions they consider impossible (a timeless war theme that would reappear in such WWII classics as COMMAND DECISION and TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH). Directed by WWI veteran Edmund Goulding, best known for his big-budget romances (GRAND HOTEL), the film counterpoints the gritty, harsh realities on the ground with the nearly surreal quality of early air battles, as bi-planes with open cockpits whirl and swoop like insects, and enemy airmen would occasionally drop out possessions of dead pilots over airfields, in a chivalrous gesture.

Fellow pilots Courtney and Scott (portrayed by real-life friends Flynn and David Niven, again showing the rapport they had demonstrated so effectively in 1936's THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE) are battle-tested veterans, hell-raising survivors of a squadron decimated by the war. Seeing a constant influx of 'green' kids replacing lost friends, and knowing too well that the rookies' inexperience will quickly cost them their lives, the pair vent their anger against their commander, the coldly 'by-the-book' Maj. Brand (in a remarkable performance by frequent Flynn nemesis, Basil Rathbone). Courtney constantly condemns and belittles Maj. Brand, accusing him of placing 'The Mission' over the lives of the men under his command, which makes Courtney a hero in the eyes of the fliers.

Finally, Brand cracks, and is approved for reassignment, and Courtney is chosen to replace him. In a powerful scene, Brand lets his cold 'facade' down, and reveals, bitterly, to the younger man that seeing his men sent on suicide missions, daily, had literally crushed him. Unknown to the squadron, Brand had constantly begged HQ to ease up, but had been 'shot down' each time, as the missions were essential. "Now it's YOUR turn," Brand sneers, "See how YOU enjoy it!"

Brand's words are prophetic, as Courtney quickly discovers himself in the same situation, as the despised scapegoat, with Scott assuming the role of spokesperson and savior to the squadron. And the most dangerous mission yet has just come down from HQ...

DAWN PATROL is a powerful film, with great performances from the entire cast, particularly Flynn, who had often begged the WB to give him roles beyond his 'swashbuckler' image. The critical praise it garnered proved Flynn's versatility as an actor (although public demand would keep him 'locked' into adventure films), and raised David Niven up to 'star' status.

It remains one of the BEST films about the 'Great War', and shouldn't be missed!

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