7.2/10
1,613
20 user 23 critic

The Dawn Patrol (1930)

Passed | | Action, Drama, War | 20 August 1930 (USA)
World War I ace Dick Courtney derides the leadership of his superior officer, but Courtney is soon promoted to squadron commander and learns harsh lessons about sending subordinates to their deaths.

Director:

Howard Hawks

Writers:

John Monk Saunders (story "The Flight Commander"), Dan Totheroh (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Barthelmess ... Dick Courtney
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Douglas Scott
Neil Hamilton ... Major Brand
Frank McHugh ... Flaherty
Clyde Cook ... Bott
James Finlayson ... Field Sergeant
Gardner James ... Ralph Hollister
William Janney ... Gordon Scott
Edmund Breon ... Lieut. Phipps
Edit

Storyline

During the First World War, British combat pilot Dick Courtney mocks his commanding officer Major Brand for being too cautious, unaware that Brand is tormented by the requirement of his command that he send young men to their likely deaths in substandard aircraft and with insufficient training. When Brand is transferred, Courtney becomes the commanding officer and quickly realizes the burden Brand labored under. When Courtney's best friend, Douglas Scott, asks him to spare his newly arrived and inexperienced brother Gordon Scott from combat duty, Courtney cannot justify doing so. A rift grows between the friends as Courtney realizes the tragic demands of his job. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An epic of the boys on the Western Front who flew gloriously into the dawn seldom to return. (Print Ad- New York Evening Post, ((new York, NY)) 18 July 1930) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Baby boomers will recognize Neil Hamilton (Major Brand) from his iconic role as Commissioner Gordon 36 years later in Batman (1966). See more »

Goofs

When Courtney is signaling Scott before attacking the German base, you can see the plane in the background superimposed on all the foreground elements, including Courtney. See more »

Quotes

Major Brand: Officious overdressed brass hat! Orders, orders. Thinks the 59th can't do it, eh? Well, the 59th can do anything he can think up! It's a slaughterhouse, that's what it is, and I'm the executioner!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Men Who Made the Movies: Howard Hawks (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Poor Butterfly
(uncredited)
Written by Raymond Hubbell and John Golden
See more »

User Reviews

 
Air War
17 July 2006 | by deanofrppsSee all my reviews

Many on this board have compared this movie to TOP GUN which is a good movie but lacks Dawn Patrol's depth.

The early version of DAWN PATROL tells a complex tale of leadership and command best illustrated by the scene in which the commanding officer is promoted out of the unit and command falls into the hands of his highly critical, hot dog, second in command. I don't remember exactly was the CO said when he opened the orders relieving him. I believe the line goes, "Now see what you can do now that you can't do everything you want." The tension between the commander and his second is what find to be the most interesting part of the movie. Top Gun simply lacks that type of insight. Top Gun is more of an adventure story of a hot dog pilot.

Movies comparable to Dawn Patrol in the military war genre which attain the understanding of the conflict at the top.are Major Dundee, Twelve O'Clock High and surprisingly the John Wayne film Flying Leathernecks.

This film was remade in 1938 with Errol Flynn in the lead role. I'm told that it was so gripping that French spies on the Luxembourg border went to see it and missed the onset of the German invasion.


12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

20 August 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flight Commander See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$611,722 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone) (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed