The Dawn Patrol

The Dawn Patrol with Errol Flynn, David Niven, and Basil Rathbone.  This is a WWI British aviator movie.  It is a remake of a 1930 Howard Hawks movie of the same name.  Basil Rathbone is the commander of a flying unit who is forced to send his men on horribly dangerous missions.  On each mission 30% or more of his men do not return.  He is sent a steady stream of replacements with little flying experience and no combat experience.  Most of these men do not survive their first combat flight.  Errol Flynn and David Niven are two of his best pilots.  During the movie Flynn is promoted to replace Rathbone and then Niven is promoted to replace Flynn.  The same scenario is played out again and again with the new replacements ever younger and more inexperienced.  One of these is Niven's younger brother.

This is a dark but very interesting movie.  It is supposedly very true to the 1930 original but probably has a better cast.  Apparently to save money the aerial scenes were all borrowed from footage shot for the 1930 movie.


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