The Lost Patrol

  • Film
  • War films
At first glance, a fairly commonplace war-in-the-desert picture (with Yuma standing in for Mesopotamia), about a British patrol stranded during World War I falling prey to Arab snipers. Three main things distinguish it: Ford's adroit avoidance of 'Foreign Legion' clich├ęs in the characterisation and plotting; Max Steiner's excellent score, which won an Oscar; and Karloff's extraordinary 'expressionist' performance as a soldier convinced that doom is at hand. The latter, in particular, represents an aspect of Ford's work that is often forgotten: a bold use of visual and dramatic stylisation, often associated with religious themes and characters. (From a novel by Philip MacDonald.

Release details

Duration: 74 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Ford
Screenwriter: Dudley Nichols, Garrett Fort
Cast: Victor McLaglen
Boris Karloff
Wallace Ford
Reginald Denny
Alan Hale
JM Kerrigan
Billy Bevan
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