IMDb > The Dawn Patrol (1938)
The Dawn Patrol
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Dawn Patrol (1938) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 7 | slideshow) Videos
The Dawn Patrol -- Errol Flynn, David Niven, and Nigel Rathbone star in this gripping WWI drama about a flight commander in France who almost cracks under the pressure of sending men to their deaths.


User Rating:
7.7/10   1,890 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Seton I. Miller (screen play) and
Dan Totheroh (screen play) ...
View company contact information for The Dawn Patrol on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 December 1938 (USA) See more »
They roared through the dawn . . . with death on their wings ! See more »
British flying aces in World War I contend with the harsh realities of war. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
surprisingly engaging..... See more (32 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Errol Flynn ... Courtney

Basil Rathbone ... Major Brand

David Niven ... Scott

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

Barry Fitzgerald ... Bott
Carl Esmond ... Hauptmann Von Mueller
Peter Willes ... Hollister
Morton Lowry ... Donnie Scott
Michael Brooke ... Capt. 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 ... Kirby--Orderly (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:
103 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | USA:Not Rated (DVD Rating) | USA:Approved (PCA #4585) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)
Filming Locations:

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 »
Continuity: In the beginning the planes shown landing and the planes that taxi up to the hangers are different.See more »
Phipps:[Opens package dropped by enemy plane] It's his helmet and goggles. It means a very gallant gentleman died this afternoon. And for what? What have all these deaths accomplished? So many fine chaps have died in this war and are going to die in future wars.
Phipps:That's all, gentlemen.
See more »
Plum and AppleSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
surprisingly engaging....., 14 May 2002
Author: tripper0 from Canada

I don't have a lot to say about this movie. Errol Flynn is excellent as Captain Courtney, and the rest of the cast is excellent in their roles. That didn't surprise me. What surprised me was two things. First, how the British flying aces in World War I contend with the harsh realities of war, specifically the deaths of their friends and the decisions that had to be made to send more men to their deaths (excellently portrayed by Basil Rathbone as Major Brand). Whats most impressive, however, is how engaging the air sequences were. They were ahead of their time and they hold up rather well today. I just saw Pearl Harbour, and I would say the Dawn Patrol is more exciting. It holds up well today, and if you get a chance, give it a watch. 8 out of 10.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (32 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Dawn Patrol (1938)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Something that bugged me.... SusanJL
von Richter, the Red Baron Rheli
Rathbone's medals verdun2
actual fact possibly jbevilac
any help with the name of a film? hotspur95
Pfalz D.XII greydragn
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Dawn Patrol Pearl Harbor Gone with the Wind Battle of Britain The Lighthorsemen
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb War section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.