7.8/10
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20 user 20 critic

The Dawn Patrol (1930)

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 »

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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
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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:

Young Eagles-boy aces of Flanders' days-riding the heavens at dawn- See more »

Genres:

War | Drama | Action

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

20 August 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flight Commander See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature-film debut of Frank McHugh. See more »

Goofs

William Janney's character name is credited as "Gordon" on screen, but he is called "Donny" throughout. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Dawn Patrol (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Virtuoso Film-making
17 June 2007 | by barnesgeneSee all my reviews

This is what film-making is all about! The Vitaphone audio recording process challenges itself almost continuously in this early talkie. You aurally count the number of planes coming in (off-camera) while watching the reaction of the principals inside the office. You even get the correct fidelity of the wind-up gramophone as characters talk over it. Meanwhile, you watch aerial dogfights that switch seamlessly from soundstage re-creations to actual footage made by a camera mounted at the front of an aeroplane, without any jarring sense of displacement. The melodrama remains palpable with very little over-acting. I'm taking one point off for that occasional over-acting, and for the really dumb use of Southern California semi-desert topography in which the planes take off and land. It wouldn't have been that hard to find a location with a few more trees and more grass. Oh, well. The movie still must have knocked the original audiences' socks off.


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