The Lost Battalion (2001)

TV Movie  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  2 December 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 4,969 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 10 critic

Fact-based war drama about an American battalion of over 500 men which gets trapped behind enemy lines in the Argonne Forest in October 1918 France during the closing weeks of World War I.



(as Jim Carabatsos)
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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Director: Burton L. King
Stars: Robert Alexander, George G. McMurtry, Charles W. Whittlesey


Cast overview, first billed only:
Maj. Charles White Whittlesey (as Rick Schroder)
Capt. George McMurtry
Lt. Leak
Capt. Nelson Holderman, Co. K 307 th
Pvt. Phillip Cepeglia
Pvt. Jacob Rosen
Pvt. Lipasti - Runner
Rhys Miles Thomas ...
Pvt. Bob Yoder (sharpshooter)
Arthur Kremer ...
Pvt. Abraham Krotoshinsky
Adam Kotz ...
Col. Johnson
Pvt. Omer Richards (carrier pigeons)
Pvt. Nat Henchman
George Calil ...
Pvt. Lowell R. Hollingshead
Wolf Kahler ...
Gen. von Sybel


In 1918 in World War I, in the Meuse-Argonne Sector in France, the former New York lawyer and Major Charles White Whittlesey is assigned by Gen. Robert Alexander to a massive suicidal attack against the German forces in the Argonne Forest with his five-hundred-man battalion. However, the forces supposed to be giving support through the flanks retreat and the communications with the headquarter of the 77th American Division are cut. Major Wittlesey holds his position with his men, mostly Irish, Polish, Italian and Jewish immigrants from New York, surrounded by the German army. Without food, water, ammunition and medical supplies, only two hundred men survive after five days of siege. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Caught between two lines of fire, the Germans gave them two options: surrender or die. They chose a third.


Action | Drama | War


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

2 December 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az elveszett zászlóalj  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The name "Mulcahy" is carved above the Major's office in the trench. The director of the film was Russell Mulcahy. See more »


A cameraman can be seen on the right of the screen for a second when four troops are about to destroy the German machine guns on the hill, about 20 minutes after the beginning of the movie. See more »


Capt. McMurtry: What's your name?
Lipasti: Private Lipasti, sir.
Capt. McMurtry: Where'd you learn to run like that?
Lipasti: I used to take a shortcut home through a Mick neighborhood, had to outrun a lotta your "Irish confetti", sir.
Capt. McMurtry: Well, I'm glad one of my cousins didn't bean you with a brick.
See more »


Featured in Cinemania: I anodos kai i ptosi tou Nazismou (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

This hasn't got anything to do with propaganda !!!!
9 March 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Just before I wanted to write a review on this movie, I saw the comment from another viewer that it has nothing to do with the reality of WW I and that this is pure propaganda for the US Army. Being European myself, I know that it is very popular in Europe to throw mud at everything that has something to do with the US army, especially since they started the second Gulf war. And to be honest, I agree with most of those protests, but that still doesn't mean that history should be rewritten, does it? I'm very sorry, but if it is your opinion that this movie is nothing more but some cheap propaganda, than I really doubt if you have understood anything about it.

It's a fact that it is thanks to the American involvement at the end of the war (they only entered the war in 1917), the allies won. If they hadn't come to help the French, the British and the Belgian (yes there were a lot less Belgian soldiers fighting in the war than French or British, but we are only a very small country - to give you an idea on how small Belgium is: there are about 10 million inhabitants today), we would probably have lost the war. It's true that the Germans were war-weary, but so where the other parties. The Russians had already signed a truce, allowing the Germans to withdraw a lot of their troops from the Eastern front and sending them to the Western front and the French and the British had lost too many good troops at Ypres (Belgium), Verdun (France) and the Somme region (France). In fact, if the Americans hadn't entered the war, it might not have ended at the 11th of November 1918, but might have continued for many months or perhaps even years.

So far for my history class, back to the movie now. In my opinion this is far from a propaganda movie: It clearly shows the futility and horror of the attacks that the ordinary infantry soldier had to go through. It doesn't leave out the fact that the generals only had few respect for people's lives and it also shows that many mistakes were made like bombing the own troops. It all happened in reality and it is all shown very well in this movie. And if that's propaganda for an army than I'm glad I don't have to fight for them!!!

Perhaps you are afraid that it all is a bit too soft or that the acting will not be good, because it is a TV movie. Well, than this might be the surprise of your life. The acting is very good, it's far from corny and it shows all the horrors and the brutality of the war in a very graphic way. In fact I believe it might be good to warn people with a soft stomach not to watch it, because seeing a man being blown to a million pieces by a direct shell hit, someone being stabbed to death with a bayonet, someone's leg who was torn off because of a blast,... isn't exactly for the faint of heart. Personally I can deal with it, but I'm sure many can't.

I'm a great amateur of realistic (anti-)war movies and I'm very glad that this one belongs to my collection. Of course you don't have to believe me if I say this is a good movie, but do know that it was produced by the History Channel. I guess you might see them as a good reference when it comes to accuracy and realism, don't you think? I give it an 8,5/10. Definitely a must see for everybody who's interested in WW I.

57 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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