6.9/10
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44 user 35 critic

The Lost Patrol (1934)

Passed | | Adventure, War | 16 February 1934 (USA)
A dozen British soldiers, lost in a Mesopotamian desert during World War I, are menaced by unseen Arab enemies.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Dudley Nichols (screen play), Garrett Fort (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Victor McLaglen ... The Sergeant
Boris Karloff ... Sanders
Wallace Ford ... Morelli
Reginald Denny ... Brown
J.M. Kerrigan ... Quincannon
Billy Bevan ... Hale
Alan Hale ... Cook
Brandon Hurst ... Bell
Douglas Walton ... Pearson
Sammy Stein ... Abelson
Howard Wilson Howard Wilson ... Aviator
Paul Hanson Paul Hanson ... MacKay
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Storyline

A World War I British Army patrol is crossing the Mesopotomian desert when their commanding officer, the only one who knows their destination is killed by the bullet of unseen bandits. The patrol's sergeant keeps them heading north on the assumption that they will hit their brigade. They stop for the night at an oasis and awake the next morning to find their horses stolen, their sentry dead, the oasis surrounded and survival difficult. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

desert | sergeant | sniper | cavalry | arab | See All (28) »

Taglines:

BLISTERING SUN...BLAZING BULLETS! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Adventure | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Patrulha Perdida See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$254,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (1954 reissue length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer Max Steiner re-used the main title music he wrote for this film for the main title music for Casablanca (1942), albeit with a slightly different tempo and instrumentation. See more »

Goofs

As the plane is circling the encampment, you can see tire marks in the sand. See more »

Quotes

Brown: I can't say much for the women though, but, oh, the girls! All Malayan females should be poisoned at 21. Before that, they're... Mmmmmm!
Jock MacKay: But a bit on the dark side, hunh, Brown?
Brown: Oh, yes, they're dark, but the longer you're there, the whiter they get, or that's the way it seems. That didn't bother me, Jock. I'll never forget the first time I saw... We sailed into a little harbor about sundown. The girls all came swimming out, flowere in their long hair, singing and laughing up at us from the ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is a short version of the film, with a running time of 66 minutes, prepared for a 1949 reissue. See more »

Connections

Version of Bad Lands (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile
(1915) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Powell
Played on harmonica by Wallace Ford
Played also in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Lost Patrol (1934) ***1/2
14 April 2005 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

The second film version of an archetypal adventure story is arguably the best despite some dated elements; John Ford deftly handles the proceedings and Max Steiner's stirring score - which at times foreshadows his later one for CASABLANCA (1942) - is a major asset. The solid cast of character actors is highlighted by Boris Karloff's remarkable turn as a religious fanatic who is slowly driven crazy by the amorality of his comrades and the futility of their struggle against unseen Arab attackers. The film can not only be seen to form part of the "British Empire" sub-genre of adventure films - with THE LIVES OF A BENGAL LANCER (1935), THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (1936), THE FOUR FEATHERS (1939) and GUNGA DIN (1939) being its most notable contemporary examples - but, if one were to stretch it a bit, also paves the way for more modern stuff like John Carpenter's ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (1976). It's unfortunate that nowadays, only the 66-minute reissue version seems to be available rather than the original, full-length 74 minute version. Over 20 years ago, I missed my one opportunity to watch this one on Italian TV and have been on the lookout for it ever since; however, I did manage to catch two similarly-themed wartime actioners, BATAAN (1943; with Robert Taylor) and SAHARA (1943; with Humphrey Bogart) over the years which were quite good in their own right. Curiously enough, Cyril McLaglen had played the same part played here by his brother Victor in the earlier 1929 British film version.


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