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The Lost Patrol

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

The Lost Patrol

Tagline – Blistering Sun… Blazing Bullets!

Starring – Victor McLaglen (The Sergeant), Boris Karloff (Sanders), Wallace Ford (Morelli), Reginald Denny (Brown).

Released – February, 1934

Directed By – John Ford

Produced By – RKO Radio Pictures

Distributed By – RKO Radio Pictures

Description – World War I is raging and here in the Mesopotamian desert the commanding officer of a small British patrol has just been killed by an Arab sniper. The command of the patrol is now in the hands of the Sergeant who was never informed as to what their mission was.

In an effort to rejoin their brigade, the Sergeant leads his men north where he hopes they will meet. This is a longshot as the Sergeant is unsure of his own position, or for that matter where the brigade may actually be located.

The eleven men reach an oasis where they decide to spend the night. However, that evening one of the sentries is killed and another seriously wounded. Their horses have also been stolen stranding them in the oasis that is now surrounded by the enemy.

One by one, the remaining men are being picked off by the unseen enemy.

NOTABLE: The Lost Patrol received an Oscar nomination for Best Music, Score.

The Lost Patrol is a remake of a 1929 British silent film that starred Victor McLaglen’s brother Cyril McLaglen.

Actor Victor McLaglen actually served with the Irish Fusiliers in Mesopotamia during World War I.


All Quiet on the Western Front

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

All Quiet on the Western Front: Universal 100th Anniversary Collector’s [Blu-ray]

Tagline – At last…. the motion picture!

Starring – Richard Alexander (Westhus), Ben Alexander (Franz Kemmerich), Lew Ayres (Paul Baumer) Louis Wolheim (Stanislaus Katczinsky).

Released – August, 1930

Directed By – Lewis Milestone

Produced By – Universal Pictures

Distributed By – Universal Pictures

Description – A realistic and harrowing account of World War I depicting a young soldiers profound disillusionment of war. Talked into enlisting at the beginning of WWI, a group of German schoolboys witness death and mutilation all around them.

All preconceptions of who is ‘right or wrong,’ and who is ‘the enemy’ disappear as the experiences of the young German recruits highlight the tragedy of war.

NOTABLE: All Quiet on the Western Front was the winner of two Oscar’s – one for Best Picture and also for Best Director (Lewis Milestone). It also received two other nominations; Best Writing, and Best Cinematography.

In 1990, All Quiet on the Western Front was selected and preserved by the United States Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

During the films release in Germany, the Nazis (not yet in full power) interrupted showings of the film by shouting martial slogans and releasing rats and stink bombs into the movie theaters.

The film was deliberately made without music so as to not detract from its seriousness.

All Quiet on the Western Front was banned in Italy until 1956.

Personal Comment: This is probably one of, if not the greatest anti-war movie every made. It’s look may be a little dated (though the blu-ray restored version is much better), but the vivid and moving presentation of mans inhumanity to man is unforgettable. A great film.