The Lost Patrol (1934)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
In this film, sergeant Victor McLaglen is in charge of a WWI-era British cavalry regiment, stranded somewhere in the Mesopotamian desert. McLaglen hasn't asked for the responsibility: the commanding officer has been killed by an Arab sniper, leaving McLaglen to take over.
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as The Sergeant
as Herbert Hale
as Lt. Hawkins
as Jock Mackay
as Lt. Hawkins
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Critic Reviews for The Lost Patrol
Visionary look at a group of doomed soldiers, grippingly told and styled, with an experimental feel.
Audience Reviews for The Lost Patrol
"the lost patrol" is one of the classic war flick on the theme of agoraphobia and survivalist trauma, directed by classic john ford who also takes the directional wheel of "the wrath of grapes" as well as a bunch of john wayne classics.
"the lost patrol" is about the wwi army lurks over the mesopotomian desert for temporal ease of oasis then besieged by the clandestine aribian assassinators, then gradually soldiers die one by one that corners and alienates its remained survivors until merely the sergent himself is kept alive to defeat the arabian crooks. in a nutshell, "the lost patrol" is a dirge upon the trainsient lives of war soldiers as well as their reluctant solace and unbearable sorrows, an anti-war nihilism on the futility of war or the glorification on the solemn sacrifice of millions of soldiers??
it might appear dry to some since it's mainly about dialogues of the characters' psychological interactions which delineates their mental states and also some primitive action scenes within the sequence of guerillas. two engrossing characters would be boris karloff's religious frantic who holds a giant cross of woodsticks to march torward the battlefield to make himself a myrtyr and victor mclaglen's sergeant who is a shattered widower living on the spared gleam of hopes for his son. the untimely rescue eventually feels like a preposterous mirage to deepen the sergeant's despair on the loss of numerous lives that contrarily thickens the simmering irony of war's fickleness.
"the lost patrol" is a humanistic depiction upon the cruelty of war and its costy price on human blood.
This movie is a remake of an older movie but was directed by John Ford. The story is set in Iraq during the First World War. Iraq was part of the Ottoman Empire at the time and an ally of Germany. England invaded Iraq in order to draw Ottoman troops away from Europe. In the movie a small English cavalry squad is patrolling the western desert of Iraq when their Lieutenant is shot by an Arab sniper. The Lieutenant was the only one in the patrol that knows where they are supposed to be going. The patrol is lost and running out of water. The Sergeant tries to lead them back to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. They eventually find an oasis with a small building. They take shelter at the oasis but during the night the Arabs steal their horses. The rest of the story is how the individual members of the patrol deal with being surrounded by an enemy they can't see. The Arab snipers pick them off one by one. An airplane sees them and lands and the pilot is shot after he lands. In the end the Sergeant is the only survivor. He lures the Arabs to expose themselves by playing dead. He wipes them out with the machine gun from the airplane. A relief column arrives about that time and rescues the Sergeant. This is an old movie but it's interesting now because 74 to 93 years after World War I the United States and England were fighting wars in Iraq again. The movie doesn't mention the politics of the First World War but today's problems in the Middle East have their roots in World War I.
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