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Dawn Patrol, The (Warner Bros. 1938, David Niven, Errol Flynn)



The Dawn Patrol is the harrowing tale of WWI British fighter pilots whose jobs are to keep the German planes behind enemy lines. An engaging drama about the stresses and friendships of wartime, with fine performances by an all-star cast. Remake of Howard Hawks’s 1930 version.

The Dawn Patrol is an adaptation of the short story ‘The Flight Commander’ by John Monk Saunders, an author best remembered for writing the novel Wings, the basis for the 1927 film which won the first Oscar for Best Picture.

Graham Greene, who spent much of the 1930’s working as a film critic as well as best selling novelist, said of the movie ‘a great deal of self-pity and romanticism have gone into the making of this excellent ham sandwich.’

production details
USA | Warner Bros. | 103 minutes | 1938
Director: Edmund Goulding
Script: John Monk Saunders, Seton I. Miller, Dan Totheroh,

Carl Esmond as Von Mueller
David Niven as Lieutenant Scott
Sidney Bracey as Major Brand’s Orderly (as Sidney Bracy)
Donald Crisp as Phipps
Errol Flynn as Captain Courtney
Basil Rathbone as Major Brand
Melville Cooper as Sergeant Watkins
Barry Fitzgerald as Bott
Peter Willes as Hollister
Morton Lowry as Donnie Scott
James Burke as Flaherty – Motorcycle Driver
Stuart Hall as Bentham
Herbert Evans as Scott’s Mechanic
Leo Nomis as Aeronautic Supervisor
Michael Brooke as Captain Squires