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Rickitycrate

FLIGHT COMMANDER

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Old movie alert! For us Yanks with TCM, Turner Classic Movies, there is a rather rare opportunity to watch the original Dawn Patrol movie. Released in 1930 and later renamed Flight Commander directed by Howard Hawks, starring: Richard Barthelmess, Douglas Fairbanks JR.. I've not seen it yet myself but I understand the Errol Flynn pic used some of the flying sequences from this version. The show begins 9:00 central.

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I really enjoyed this movie when I first saw it a few months back. Thanks for the heads up Rickity. :good:

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Lucky Gits! :grin:

 

UKW,

 

I agree with your sentiments there - but on having a quick look at play.com, a region 1 copy of the 1938 Errol Flynn version is available for £9.55, and ebay has other copies available as well including a region 2 version for £15,95.

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I've never seen the film..and as Luck would have it..I have an Amazon Voucher sitting in my Inbox!...thank you

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Well, I watched the movie last night and shall give some brief opinions. Good show, seems the script was based on the Dawn Patrol (Flight Commander) novel written by John Monk Saunders for both this movie (1930) and the 1938 Dawn Patrol and therefore very similar indeed. They may have infact followed the same script. As to be expected the acting was similar to most films of this early period. A bit hammy and not very nuanced. One thing we OFFers care about so much are the flight scenes and the aircraft. The flight scenes were well done and I was reminded on occasion of some of my OFF flight time experience. The bit of a bugger for me was the in-flight aircraft were later crates say from the late 1920's. That's to be expected. But the planes would be shown returning from a sortie and landing. Then cut to the next scene and all of a sudden the crates are now Nieport 28's I believe. They had a topwing mounted Lewis and 2 MG's in front of the pilot. Not mounted to the left side fuselage but rather on the top. The in-flight planes reminded me of Brisfits so imagine that if you will. I'm just saying... not trying to be critical.

 

Some of the bits I enjoyed the most were the scenes filmed at the aerodrome. The mechanics/crew running the Nieups out from the hangers in the early morning light. The sound of the engines being started and warmed-up and then the take-off. One gets a good look at the aircratft while they are on the ground and that is nice.

 

As for the flight scenes also being used in the remake version I'm not so sure. It seemed different although It may be that the dogfights were all shot during the same time 1929-1930. I can say the finale raid into german territory was the same footage in both films.

 

It was good fun. If you have seen the Errol Flynn, David Niven and Basil Rathbone pic then you have essentially seen this one as well. I recommend both to all good OFFers.

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Ironically last night I was stuck somewhere (though with a TV) and stumbled across this showing quite by accident.

 

Having seem the Errol Flynn version about 50 times - of course I own it - this was the first time I have seen this original version though I was aware of it.

 

As Rickitycrate says...the script and dialogue is almost identical to the Flynn (1938) version and I was amazed how much of the footage was used in both flicks.

 

That being said I find the Errol Flynn/David Niven/Basil Rathbone show to be the far superior version.

 

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. eh? I didn't recognize him...he was playing "Scotto" I presume?

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Scotto he was. I luv any film with airplanes. However, Like Rickitycrate The in flight a/c were not N 28 s. what were they ? Hope its not a lost to history as the Charles Nussenger film was lost because it was made of nitrates . On the German side, some on the ground looked like Fokker, Jenny s and albatros Maybe even a stretched JN 4 Jenny verison :grin:

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"Aircraft

 

Howard Hawks assembled a variety of planes in a film squadron to shoot the flying scenes for the original version of The Dawn Patrol. Hawks used rebuilt Nieuport 28s as the primary airplane for the British squadron, and Travel Air 4000s (reconfigured for films and popularly known as "Wichita Fokkers")[21][22] for German fighters, but other aircraft in his small fleet included Standard J-1s for shots of entire squadrons, some of which were blown up in explosions, and Waterman-Boeing C biplanes for German aircraft destroyed in crashes. The scene in which Scott takes off with Courtney clinging to the wing switches to a shot of a Travel Air 4U Speedwing fitted with a round cowl over its Comet engine to resemble the Nieuports. Stunt pilots included Leo Nomis, Rupert Symes Macalister, Frank Tomick, and Roy Wilson.[23]

 

1938 director Goulding used much of this footage in the remake to save production costs.[2] For new closeups of airplanes with his own actors, he acquired three Nieuport 28 replicas from Garland Lincoln, a Van Nuys, California, stunt pilot who also recreated World War I aircraft for Hollywood films. Built by Claude Flagg, these "LF-1"s were constructed from Nieuport plans and had many characteristics of the actual aircraft, including upper wing fabric that ripped in dives. In Goulding's production these aircraft also appear in a few scenes of Nieuports taking off, landing, and taxiing. Additional Nieuport 28s were simulated by Thomas-Morse S-4C Scouts, and two were used in the flying scene in which Courtney and Scott attack the German airdrome. 59th Squadron's airplanes were marked in standard RFC camouflage and national insignia, had the marking "NIEU 24" painted on their tail fins,[24] and displayed a cartoon Hornet painted on each side of the fuselage just behind the cockpit.[23]

 

For scenes at the German airdrome in which aircraft were moved or had engines turning, Goulding used Wichita Fokkers painted black with German markings. His "Pfalzes" had their wings painted in a large and striking red and white checkerboard pattern. Goulding also acquired two genuine Pfalz D.XII fighters for static closeup shots of parked fighters, with at least one re-painted white in a later scene to "expand" their numbers. Actual Nieuport 28s and Pfalz D.XIIs were used much later in the war than the 1915 setting of The Dawn Patrol, and the model 28 Nieuport was not used by the RFC at all, but their familiarity of appearance to American audiences gave a verisimilitude to both films.[23]"

 

Shamelessly stolen from from another site.

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