The Lost Patrol (1934 film)
|The Lost Patrol|
Original theatrical poster
|Directed by||John Ford|
|Produced by||Merian C. Cooper
|Written by||Garrett Fort
|Editing by||Paul Weatherwax|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Release date(s)||February 16, 1934|
|Running time||73 minutes|
The Lost Patrol is a 1934 war film made by RKO. It was directed and produced by John Ford, with Merian C. Cooper as executive producer and Cliff Reid as associate producer. The screenplay was by Dudley Nichols, adapted by Garrett Fort from the novel Patrol by Philip MacDonald. The music score was by Max Steiner and the cinematography by Harold Wenstrom. The film is a remake of a 1929 British silent film, directed and written by Walter Summers and based on the same novel, which coincidentally starred Victor McLaglen's younger brother Cyril McLaglen in the lead role.
The film starred Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Wallace Ford, Reginald Denny, J.M. Kerrigan, and Alan Hale. Max Steiner received a nomination for the Academy Award for Original Music Score. It was filmed in the Algodones Dunes of California.
During World War I, the commanding officer of a small British patrol in the Mesopotamian desert is shot and killed by an unseen Arab sniper, leaving the Sergeant (Victor McLaglen) at a loss, since he had not been told what their mission is. He decides to try to rejoin the brigade, though he does not know where they are or where he is.
Eventually, the eleven men reach an oasis. During the night, one of the sentries is killed, the other seriously wounded, and all their horses are stolen, leaving them stranded. One by one, the remaining men are picked off by the unseen enemy. In desperation, the Sergeant sends two men chosen by lot on foot for help, but they are caught and tortured to death, before their bodies are sent back. The pilot of a British biplane spots the survivors, but nonchalantly lands nearby and is killed before he can be warned. The men take the machine gun from the airplane and set the plane on fire in a desperate bid to signal British troops. Sanders (Boris Karloff), a religious fanatic, goes mad.
In the end, only the Sergeant is left. When the Arabs finally show themselves, he manages to kill them all with the machine gun. Moments later, another British patrol arrives, attracted by the smoke from the burning plane.
- Victor McLaglen – The Sergeant
- Boris Karloff – Sanders
- Wallace Ford – Morelli
- Reginald Denny – George Brown
- J. M. Kerrigan – Quincannon
- Billy Bevan – Herbert Hale
- Alan Hale – Matlow Cook
- Brandon Hurst – Cpl. Bell
- Douglas Walton – Pearson
- Sammy Stein – Abelson
- Howard Wilson – Aviator
- Paul Hanson – Jock MacKay
- Francis Ford (uncredited) – Arab
The film made a profit of $84,000.
See also 
- Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p56
- James Pallot, James Monaco The movie guide, Berkeley Pub. Group, 1995, p.499
- The Lost Patrol at the Internet Movie Database
- The Lost Patrol at the TCM Movie Database
- The Lost Patrol at AllRovi