Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Lost Patrol - Authentic Region 1 DVD from Warner Brothers starring Victor McLaglen Boris Karloff Wallace Ford Reginald Denny Directed by JOHN FORD|
Director: John Ford
Release Date: June 6th, 2006
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Steven Hellerstedt | 09/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a fan of John Ford his 1934 remake of THE LOST PATROL will fascinate. The time is 1918, World War I rages somewhere over there, an isolated British patrol in the Mesopotamian desert is headed somewhere when their commander is shot and killed by an unseen sniper. Unfortunately for his men, good for an action drama, the patrol's mission dies with the commander. As Sergeant Victor McLaglen remarks shortly after assuming command, the survivors `don't know where we're at, what we're here for, or where we're going.' And it's blisteringly hot, and the water is running out, and those unseen snipers are damn good shots.
McLaglen, as always, is good in the lead role, if a little less of an airtight hero than Ford would later concentrate on. The outstanding actor in this troupe, though, is the gaunt and haunted-eyed Boris Karloff. He plays a devoutly religious trooper who identifies an oasis the embattled men stumble upon as the site of the original Garden of Eden, and seems to believe it, too, before a crawling madness leads him to christen it a hell on earth. Karloff's character's arc is steep and abrupt, and it's a pleasure to report that even in a non-horror role he's able to evoke sympathy while creeping you out.
I assumed this was a young, callow yet precocious director's early film, but a post-viewing `net search taught me different. Ford was 40-years-old when this movie was released, and he already had an imposing 80 movies to his credit. He'd direct another 50-odd more movies before his death in 1973. THE LOST PATROL is something different, though, to us weaned on Ford's movies about the US calvary. It has men on horses, men isolated in a harsh, dangerous environment with a relentless foe pressing them from all sides. That's the familiar stuff. But there are no distracting John Agar/Shirley Temple love story sub-plots, there's precious little comic relief (usually supplied by Victor McLaglen in the later films), and, most glaringingly of all, there's no obvious hero who surmounts the dangers to lead the men to safety. Sergeant McLaglen comes closest, but in the end not nearly as close as John Wayne would in the coming decades. Despite all that, despite the period and dated acting, editing and camera work, too, THE LOST PATROL is somehow one of Ford's most modern and universal films. It holds up well. In place of the comic foils and young lovebirds, who often seem to gum up Ford's later classics, this story is stark and elemental, as lean as a cheetah and, clocking in at just over an hour, almost as fast.
THE LOST PATROL-EARLY FORD SOUND CLASSIC!
Kenneth Kapel | Chicago,Il, USA | 07/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This early John Ford (sound) Production features some of Ford's favorite actors victor McLaglen(as the Sergeant),Wallace Ford(as Morelli and no relation to the director),J.M.Kerrigan(as Quinncannon,a favorite Ford character's name-McLaglen used it twice)and Billy Bevan.
A british Army Patrol is lost in the Mesopatomian desert in 1917,the leader killed by snipers,and he has't left any written orders as to the mission or location of the mounted soldiers,or has he passed them down orally to the next in command,McLaglen.The most touching scene is where McLaglen is talking to new young(19) naive recruit,Pearson,played by Douglas Walton.Pearson is keeping night guard while the Patrol is resting at an Oasis,the Sergeant and Pearson are talking about the young soldier's single mother,back in England, and HER reaction to her(only child) sons' joining the army. Young Pearson is a big Rudyard Kipling fan and has a rather romantized view of war and the militiary!
Boris Karloff(Sanders),as a relegious zealot,Reginald Denny("Brown"),Brandon Hurst,and Alan Hale are included in the cast."The Lost Patrol" has an excellent Max Steiner score.On its own it is an excellent anti-war and(mildly) anti-imperialist motion picture."The Lost Patrol" is one of five Ford films in the recently released "John Ford Collection",which also features "The Informer","Mary of Scotland","Sergeant Rutledge",and his last Western "Cheyenne Autumn"."Bataan",starring Robert Taylor,Lloyd Nolan,George Murphy,and Robert Walker,is a WW2 remake,set in the Pacific.It is good but NOT up to the orginal!With it being WW2,Bataan's message was win the War and kill the enemy!"
Pioneering Action Effort by John Ford
David Baldwin | Philadelphia,PA USA | 06/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wouldn't say that "The Lost Patrol" is a dated effort but is limited by the early sound technology. That said, director John Ford maximizes the resources at his disposal by ratcheting up a tense action adventure. What Ford intuitively knew is the adversary we don't know is more terrifying than the one we do know. Victor McLaglen is terrific as the stolid sergeant whose job it is to maintain morale among his besieged troops. The only debit here is probably Boris Karloff's religious fanatic who may be a wee a bit over-the-top. I wholeheartedly recommend this film to anybody interested in the genesis of a master filmmaker."
A RICH CINEMATIC SEAM WAITING TO BE MINED
Mr. John K. Bishton | Chesterfield, U.K. | 09/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What led me to this movie was Boris Karloff's involvement, and I have to admit that I really had no idea about its place in John Ford's cinematic canon nor what to expect from it. Karloff, of course, was a hot property with his recent triumvirate of terror - Frankenstein's creature, the butler in "The Old Dark House" and The Mummy - and had just been over to England to film "The Ghoul". With well over 80 films behind him, I guess he was keen to avoid being type-cast in horror movies alone (something he signally failed to do). Director Ford also had 80 films on his CV by this time, most of them quickie westerns so he, too, probably leaped at the chance to film this adaptaion of a Philip MacDonald story.
In some ways "The Lost Patrol" is still like a Western but a very unconventional one. The Californian desert easily passes for Mesopotamia, and the viewer is quickly drawn into this almost surreal story of the patrol members being picked off, one by one, by their invisible enemy. This allows for much more of a focus on the individual characters, their strengths and weaknesses, rather than on the action of which there is surprisingly little. Yet the film never loses its tension and dramatic thrust. The all-male cast is exceptionally strong, even Wallace Ford who tended to play goofy characters in later Universal horror films. Karloff is supremely good as the ultra-pious religious fanatic, but the film finally belongs to Victor MacLaglen who gives a career-defining performance as the Patrol's beleaguered leader.
This is the sort of movie that film-discussion groups could spend weeks analysing for its meanings, subtexts, cinematic compositions and so on, but, put simply, it is just a very exciting and disturbing yarn which lingers in the mind long after the final credits. Highly recommended not just to Ford-fans or Karloff-completists, but to anyone who appreciates the art of Western cinema at its finest."