The Lost Squadron (1932)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Action Comedy, Satire  |   Release Date - Mar 12, 1932 (USA)  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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The Lost Squadron is an early classic from producer David O. Selznick, who had the insight to put former director Erich von Stroheim in front of the camera, even as he put the prolific, lackluster George Archainbaud behind it. The film is one of several from the late 1920s and early 1930s to ask the question, "what do soldiers do after the war?" Squadron's former flying aces are noble in combat but lack a peacetime outlet for their close-knit adventurousness. The story is played for comedy, which plays well against its more obvious pathos. Von Stroheim's performance stands the test of time, as does the film's behind-the-scenes look at silent movie production. The film recalls 1927's Oscar-winning Wings, as well as 1928's The Last Command. Similar post-war themes would be explored by George Roy Hill in his more polished 1975 effort, The Great Waldo Pepper.