The Dawn Patrol

Synopsis: In 1915 France, Major Brand commands the 39th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. The young airmen go up in bullet-riddled "crates" and the casualty rate is appalling, but Brand can't make the "brass hats" at headquarters see reason. Insubordinate air ace Captain Courtney is another thorn in Brand's side...but finds the smile wiped from his face when he rises to command the squadron himself. Everyone keeps a stiff upper lip.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Edmund Goulding
Production: Warner Bros.
103 min

I'd like to make a bonfire

of the whole blinking lot of them.

That's all they're good for.

Now, not even that.

They've been shot up so much they ain't

worth the blinking petrol to set them afire.

Hold on, my lad. That's the king's property

you're talking about.

- I know, sergeant, but look--

- I've looked. So has everybody else.

- What about it?

- Well, what about it?

Don't muck it.

Mend it and shut your mouth.

What about A Flight?

There's the major still stargazing.

That's what about it.

Headquarters, sir.

- Hello. 59th Squadron.

- Hello, Brand?

- Yes, this is Brand.

- What is the delay?

- Has A Flight returned yet?

- No, A Flight is not back yet.

They should be back before no w.

You send them out on a job

and expect them back in no time at all.

- What?

- Can you hear me?

- We have a bad connection.

- Yes, yes, yes. I can hear you.

Next time we'll get someone else.

We can't depend on you.

Oh, you'll get others to do it next time?

That'll be splendid.

- You do not seem to be giving cooperation.

- Yes, sir.

- After all, this is a war.

- We've done every job you dig up for us.

If our men can't do it, who can?

They're the finest in France--

If necessary, we'll transfer you

to a less important position.

Perhaps you can be taught

to obey orders as they are given.

- Right.

- Is that clear?

Right, sir.

- Here.

- Yes, sir.

- Officious, overdressed brass hat.

- He thinks the 59th can't do it, huh?

The 59th can do anything

he can think up.

You know what this place is?

It's a slaughterhouse and I'm the butcher.

No use calling your names, Brand.

- Duty is something you learn--

- Duty?

Do you realize how many men we've lost

this last fortnight? Do you?

- Yes.

- Sixteen.

- More than a man a day.

- Yes.

And here's A Flight

out on another rotten show.

Seven fine boys. Three of them

first time out, first time over the lines.

If half of them get back, we'll be lucky.

It is a rotten job, Brand,

but you mustn't let it get you.

They just got to say,

"Bombers after a bridge.

Go up and protect them."

You say, "Fine. Right. Cheerio."

You send up planes that have been shot

to pieces, stuck together with spit and glue.

Do our boys argue? Do they complain?

Never. They just say, "Right." And go up.

- And go up and do it.

- They do.

Here they are.

That's one.


Five out of seven.

That's it.

- Hello, sergeant.

- Sir, you've been in something this time.

- Shrapnel?

- Yes. Nearly blew the ship over.

Yeah, my word-- Look here, sir,

not 10 inches from your seat.

I needed that 10 inches, sergeant.

Oh, or every single ship--

- How'd you like it, Scott-o?

- All right. Are you intact?

- Yes, I think so.

- It was a hot one, wasn't it?

- Pretty warm.

- Who did we lose?

Blane and Machen.

Gonna lose Hollister, too,

by the look of it.

Don't take it to heart too much, sir.

We all gotta go some time, sir.

- Poor kid. Machen was his best friend.

- Yeah.

Let's go up.

I was telling him we all gotta go.

Sorry, but he went quickly.

He didn't feel any pain.

- Bobby Machen.

- Come on, Court.

Come on.

- A good stiff brandy, Bott.

- Yes, sir.

- Who was it, Blane?

- Blane, yes.

- Machen?

- And Machen. Blane and Machen.

- Here you are, captain.

- Thank you, Bott.

- Have you seen Tim?

- Here a moment ago, sir.

- Mr. Blane and Mr. Machen, sir?

- That's right, Bott.

Too bad, sir.

And the first time over the lines.

Hollister, have a drink, old man?

No, no, I-- I couldn't. Thank you.

What he needs is a cup of tea

and a nice lie down.

- A little headache powder--

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Seton I. Miller

Seton Ingersoll Miller (May 3, 1902 – March 29, 1974) was an American screenwriter and producer. During his career, he worked with many notable film directors such as Howard Hawks and Michael Curtiz. Miller received two Oscar nominations and won once for Best Screenplay for fantasy romantic comedy film Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) along with Sidney Buchman. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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