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Dawn Patrol


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Product Details

  • Actors: Neil Hamilton, Richard Barthelmess, Douglas Fairbanks Jr
  • Directors: Howark Hawks
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2013
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00B7U2GCC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,291 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Director Howard Hawks makes his talkie debut with this antiwar classic, an action-packed WWI adventure powerfully told with “a characteristically Hawksian emphasis on professionalism, self-respect and loyalty” (Time Out Film Guide). Tormented over his sending eager young recruits to their deaths, Major Brand (Neil Hamilton) of the 59th British Squadron is heavily criticized by his ace pilots, Dick Courtney (Richard Barthelmess) and Douglas Scott (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.). But when the major is promoted and Courtney assumes command, he finds himself in the same situation as his predecessor when he dispatches Scott’s inexperienced brother on an ill-fated mission, a sacrifice of war for which he must soon make amends. Based on a story by John Monk Saunders (Wings), The Dawn Patrol won the 1930/31 (4th) Academy Award® for Writing (Original Story), and its dazzling aerial footage was reused by Warner Bros. for the 1938 remake starring Errol Flynn.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara J. Wertz on July 6, 2013
Format: DVD
Warner Bros. remade THE DAWN PATROL in 1938 and that version, directed by Edmund Goulding and starring Errol Flynn, David Niven and Basil Rathbone has become a great classic. However, this earlier version is a worthy film too, and it supplied most of the air combat footage that was reused in the 1938 version.

The 1930 version was directed by Howard Hawks and stars Richard Barthelmess, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Neil Hamilton. That such a film could be stashed in the Warner closet when the newer version was released can only be explained by one consideration: money. They didn't want the older film competing with the newer one with the newer stars. When Warner Home Video released the 1938 version on DVD I was really surprised that they didn't include the 1930 version. Now, at last, we have the 1930 version too on the Warner Archive label. I could wish for a full restoration, but I'm thankful to have it at all.

The films are so similar that they are often confused. The dialogue is almost line for line the same and, as I've already pointed out, much of the combat and location footage from the 1930 version was reused in the 1938 version. But they do have differences too, which makes a comparison interesting.

The story concerns young officers of the Royal Flying Corps (the RAF of the day) flying fragile planes into combat, frequently with very little training. The original title of the story was THE FLIGHT COMMANDER and it is very much about the emotional toll taken on the young commander (Hamilton) stuck in a desk job sending other young men into combat when he'd much rather be going with them.
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By LostinGermany on April 22, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This early actioner, telling the story of pilots in WW1, is well directed by Hawks (as always), but the script is too talky. The technique
wasn't ready at that time, to solve the problems in the air. Interesting anyway.
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There's more talking than flying in this great old film, but the brief air combat episodes are worth waiting for... wonderful scenes of pilots in their Nieuport 28s gunning and blipping the engines prior to takeoff at dawn, banking and zooming against DVIIs, and yawing and side slipping in to land. WWI and classic aero buffs will like this movie.
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