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The Lost Battalion (2001)

Ricky Schroder , Phil McKee , Russell Mulcahy  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ricky Schroder, Phil McKee, Jamie Harris, Jay Rodan, Adam James
  • Directors: Russell Mulcahy
  • Writers: James Carabatsos
  • Producers: Avi Levy, David Craig, David Gerber, Michael Weisbarth, Romain Schroeder
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2002
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005U8F4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,258 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Lost Battalion" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus program from The History Channel: Dear Home: Letters from World War I
  • Rick Schroder biography and filmography

Editorial Reviews

October 5, 1918. The Germans gave them two options. Surrender. Or die. They choseia third.

It began on October 2nd, 1918, when the men of the U.S. Army's 77th Division, 308th Battalion were surrounded by German troops in the Argonne Forest. Without food, water or reserve ammunition, cut off from supply and communication lines, and subjected to constant assaults and bombardments, they managed to hold off the enemy until they were finally rescued after five days of desperate action.

This A&E Original Movie brings their harrowing ordeal to life. Directed by Russell Mulcahy (Ricochet, Highlander), The Lost Battalion stars Rick Schroeder (NYPD Blue, Crimson Tide) as Major Charles Whittlesey, the civilian-turned soldier who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for keeping his outnumbered troops alive and fighting in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
155 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film!!! December 6, 2001
Format:DVD
This is a true story about a relatively unknown event during World War I.
The film was done in the same style as Saving Private Ryan. When action was happening, the cameras were right there. Plenty of detail added to the authenticity. It is especially interesting for anyone that is familiar to the ways in which warfare was fought toward the end of WWI.
Bayonets! Man, I'd hate to have been a soldier at this time.... Some of the scenes are not for the squeamish. The film holds nothing back...
I have seen the film twice in the last three nights. I am still picking up information. In my opinion, the cast did an excellent job of bringing this film to life. Even from the German point of view, this must be a good film. The details in the trenches as well as the "no man's land"... The weapons used... It all makes for a good film.
It is a definite must for any collector of war films.
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153 of 159 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! February 8, 2004
Format:DVD
In late 1918 WW1 was about to come to an end. The US, now fully involved in the war, participated in an offensive alongside the french in the Argonne forest. In typical first world war fashion, the modest gains of the offensive were ultimately lost as the allied forces simply withdrew back to their trenches. One battalion, however, comprised mostly of New Yorkers of the US 77th division, did not withdraw. Instead they advanced, held, and fought to the bitter end. This is the story of the lost battalion; the 308th.

AE really got this one right. Wonderfully scripted and with lots of attention to historical detail and accuracy, this film really comes off as more than just an AE original, but something worthy of a trip to the theater had it been there. The movie opens with new recruits coming in before the offensive. The fresh troops are indoctrinated quickly into the frightening world of trench warfare. Rick Shroder does an amazing Job as the Major in command of the 308th. Having been a lawyer back in NYC, he has no real taste for battle, and struggles with his supperiors over the danger posed to his men by the over-ambitious objectives given to them.

Once they are in the Argonne forest, and fail to retreat like thier comrads, they become unknowingly surrounded by the Germans. The commanders, amazed that the 308th is sitting right smack in the German center, decides to lie and tell them that the french are still on thier flank, and to hold at all costs. Thus begins a desperate fight for survival, as ammunition and food runs out, and as wave after wave of german counter attacks are repelled.

As the bodies pile up we are given glimpses into the personalities of these brave men.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We are not going backward May 14, 2005
Format:DVD
Why does it seem that all the interesting stuff is coming from cable television nowadays? Russell Mulcahy's THE LOST BATTALION is a 2001 A&E production that tells the based-on-fact story of an American battalion - about 600 men - that became `lost' during an offensive operation in the Meuse-Argonne sector of France in 1918.

Rick Schroder plays Maj. Charles Whittlesey, a New York lawyer before the war broke out. Soft spoken and hidden behind a pair of wire framed glasses Schroder nails the part, conveying the character's strength with whispered stubbornness. By the end of the film, when one of the characters tell the Major his men would follow him anywhere (okay, there's a cliché or two in this one), we believe him. With its jittery camera amidst the men and relative absence of establishing shots LOST BATTALION is emotionally gripping, if at times a tad confusing and dizzying. In any event, the movie successfully renders the muck and grim of trench warfare, and delivers an exciting and grisly view of a war cursed with primitive communications yet possessed of highly developed means of mass slaughter.

The dvd also contains a 45-minute History Channel special, `Dear Home: Letters from WWI.' Employing archive footage, period photographs, voice actors and a great number of letters to and from the soldiers it's a nice, sometimes touching, introduction to US involvement in WWI. Both movie and special are highly recommended.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Movie December 1, 2003
Format:DVD
This is easily one of the best war movies ever made. It does not go into detail on the meaning of the war, why we were in it or any other social commentary. I does however cover a very small and dramatic piece of World War I.
The Lost Battalion is about a battalion that is trapped and surrounded and instead of surrendering, chooses to fight (actually there were 2 battalions although the movie concentrates on 1 of them). There is not a lot of character development and the story line sticks pretty much to the task at hand. This was much like Blackhawk Down where you are only given enough information to get you into the battle.

As far as those critics who blast this movie as hype or over the top American propaganda, think of this. In the actual battle, 5 Medals of Honor were earned. The movie only mentions 3 of them and they were the ground commanders. Two were also awarded posthumously to a pilot and his observer who helped to find the lost battalion in the thick forest. The pilot was shown briefly in the movie but is not later mentioned as a MOH winner. Name another battle where only 700 men fought for 5 days and earned 5 Medals of Honor. There is no need for hype here.
The bottom line is this, if you like war movies for what they are and not for social commentary, then this is a movie for you.
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