The Lost Patrol (1934)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

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.
NR (violence)
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Media Home Entertainment


Victor McLaglen
as The Sergeant
Boris Karloff
as Sanders
Wallace Ford
as Morelli
J.M. Kerrigan
as Quincannon
Billy Bevan
as Herbert Hale
Alan Hale
as Cook
Douglas Walton
as Pearson
Sammy Stein
as Abelson
Howard Wilson
as Aviator
Neville Clark
as Lt. Hawkins
Paul Hanson
as Jock Mackay
Neville Clarke
as Lt. Hawkins
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Lost Patrol

All Critics (6)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 27, 2008
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Visionary look at a group of doomed soldiers, grippingly told and styled, with an experimental feel.

Full Review… | August 22, 2014
Classic Film and Television

Ford and his longtime screenwriter Dudley Nichols center on character interaction and keep the action mainly off-camera for a startlingly tense film.

Full Review… | March 28, 2013
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for The Lost Patrol

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.

Donald White
Donald White

I believe in being drunk enough to be brave and brave enough to be drunk A dozen British soldiers are traveling across the desert during World War 1 when they get pinned down by an Arabian assassin. The longer the troops are trapped in the desert, the more desperate they get... making the job of the assassin easier. How can the British overcome their unseen adversary? "Do you remember the time I drank 57 bottles of beer on a bet?" "57?" "Well, I may have miscounted by a few; I just remember it was 10 below my record." John Ford, director of Grapes of Wrath, Stagecoach, The Man who Shot Liberty Valance, The Searchers, Rio Grande, Pinky, Fort Apache, and The Fugitive, delivers The Lost Patrol. The storyline for this picture is okay but the acting is very good. The script was alright but nothing amazing. The cast includes Boris Karloff, Victor McLaglen, Reginald Denny, Billy Bevan, and Alan Hale. "Why don't you make your peace with god?" "Because I don't want to." I came across The Lost Patrol on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and decided to DVR it since it starred one of my favorites, Boris Karloff. Karloff is more of a supporting character in this film, and his lines are delivered better than they are written, and his abstract character is very interesting, but the overall movie is just okay. I found it entertaining but not great. "Where are we going to bury him?" Doesn't make much difference, does it?" Grade: B

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

Pretty great John Ford war film which deals with a small group of soldiers who become lost when their commander is killed by Arabs in the desert. They spend most of the rest of the film trying to survive their attacks in an oasis. The cast is great and it's great to see Karloff not playing a monster or a gangster. Ford sets a dim mood and keeps it up throughout. We start to care about the characters and many of the deaths have an impact because of that. Very good survivalist war film!

Jason Hartman
Jason Hartman

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