Set during World War I, The Dawn Patrol is a study of the pressures and pitfalls of authority. A British Royal Flying Corp squadron commander (Neil Hamilton) is compelled by the higher-ups to send his boys out in dangerous, rickety aircraft.
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In 1930, it's clear Howard Hawks hadn't quite figured out sound and the proper rhythm of dialogue that marks his later classics. But this is still the original buddy-action-war movie, with a growing awareness of complexity and action sequences that still work.