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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yanks in WW1
Yes the Americans were late for both World wars but they didn't half make an impact. Some have said that this is one of the few American films about WW 1 and I feel this type of film really ought to be encouraged. In actual fact the Americans have been making excellent WW1 films since Hollywood began including 'All Quiet on the Western Front' (3 versions), 'Sergeant York'...
Published on 30 Dec 2010 by Tommy Dooley

versus
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Standard ideology from across the pond
There are two versions of the United States' role in World War I. The first is that America introduced a new group of personnel with their own style of combat, tipping the balance in the favour of a side formerly dominated by the Triple Entente powers (Great Britain, France, and Russia), and effectively winning the war for them. The second is that in 1917 the war was...
Published on 3 Feb 2008 by Daniel Mckay


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yanks in WW1, 30 Dec 2010
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lost Battalion [DVD] [Import] (DVD)
Yes the Americans were late for both World wars but they didn't half make an impact. Some have said that this is one of the few American films about WW 1 and I feel this type of film really ought to be encouraged. In actual fact the Americans have been making excellent WW1 films since Hollywood began including 'All Quiet on the Western Front' (3 versions), 'Sergeant York' the awful 'Fly Boys (that's the one with the lion and is like a dumbed up 'Pearl Harbor)and many more. The difference is this is new and is firmly set in the retelling of the horrors of war. And the Americans fired more shells on their first day in action than during the entire Civil War, so their commitment should never be underestimated.

The plot is one which happened many times in the 'Great War' and that is a battalion goes forward believing it is supported on both flanks, alas they are not and due to a breakdown in communication they stay put and decide to battle it out despite facing a hopeless situation. It is based on actual events and it is lovely to see carrier pigeons being shown in action as they were vital, the French almost exclusively relied upon them at one point.

The acting is all excellent and the plot unfolds in real time in that there are no flash backs which are often used to build empathy with the characters and the audience (i.e. they are not just soldiers but husbands, sons etc. That could lead to the charge of non character development, but the film does not suffer from this as the humanity is clear from the start. At 92 minutes long it flew by and for followers of war films and more explicitly WW 1 this is highly recommended and almost as good as the excellent 'Beneath Hill 60'Beneath Hill 60 [DVD] [2010] in terms of accuracy and compelling story line.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realism, 19 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Lost Battalion [DVD] [Import] (DVD)
It has taken some time to track this film down. It portrays, with gut-wrenching realism, the brutality that was the first world war. The lack of big name stars adds to the effect, with men of varying ethnic and cultural background fighting a war thousands of miles from home, being led by generals who haven't got a clue and won't admit to their mistakes! Just move a pin on a map and you have achieved your objective. The fact than the story is true, combined with the brutal action makes this a must see film for any action enthusiast.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 23 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. Pj Williams (cardiff uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lost Battalion [DVD] [Import] (DVD)
for a low budget compared to most its well shot, well thought out, and well acted. a brilliant film and a worthy achievement in honour of some very brave men.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Standard ideology from across the pond, 3 Feb 2008
By 
Daniel Mckay - See all my reviews
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There are two versions of the United States' role in World War I. The first is that America introduced a new group of personnel with their own style of combat, tipping the balance in the favour of a side formerly dominated by the Triple Entente powers (Great Britain, France, and Russia), and effectively winning the war for them. The second is that in 1917 the war was drawing to a close with or without the United States on board, and America just happened to enter at the right time, benefiting tremendously from the work others had done long before.

Regarding the film, if you want some entertainment which sits solidly within the first version of history, you won't be disappointed. Like a lot of historical dramas cum war films it has invested heavily in set design, costumes, and articles. A beautifully put together piece of work. But examine the messages this film is putting across and you're basically left with hero worship, ethnic-cultural exceptionalism, and self-aggrandizement. Par for the course. I enjoyed the film, but watch it with your eyes open regarding the above.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Battalion, 22 Oct 2008
This review is from: The Lost Battalion [DVD] [Import] (DVD)
It is unusual for an american film to catch the grim detail and horror of world war 1(usually the french or the english are the only good ones) .Maybe thats why there are very few American made films on the subject.They tend to like loud soundtracks and a happy ending, all of which do not fit with the story matter.
I am sure that this is also partially due to the fact that they were only there for the end of it (not including the Canadians and the Aussies who were outstanding).
However this film takes a good stab at what it was like and I would recommend it to fellow ww1 collectors.
Also It sure as hell beats the amateurish rubbish that was the trench.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars best ww 1 film i have ever seen, 4 Oct 2010
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This review is from: The Lost Battalion [DVD] [Import] (DVD)
Ok this is to me a saving private ryan in ww1 but on a restricted budget.Non the less it is one of my favorite war films ever.I love the battle scenes and i think you should buy this now.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Battalion, 29 Jun 2010
By 
R. Bruce-green "Alienboy37" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lost Battalion [DVD] [Import] (DVD)
The title say's it all, a Battalion of some 500 American troops fight to the death during WW1, cut off from reinforcements, running very low on ammo and food, this film portrays the hardship they went through. The battalion was made up of some of the toughest street kids, hustlers, thieves and gangsters around, with nothing for them back home, all they knew was how to fight, and fight they did. Rick Schroder is the only recogniseable actor, but the other actors did a good enough job to make this a good ww1 film. The Germans gave them two options - surrender or die. They chose a third. TO FIGHT!
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The almost forgotten story of the "Lost Battalion" of WWI, 26 May 2005
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
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"The Lost Battalion" is the true story of the 77th "Liberty" Division from New York during World War I. On October 2nd, 1918, five weeks before the end of the war, they advanced into the heavily wooded terrain of the Argonne Forest in France. Although their advanced was supposed to be supported by French and other American troops, the 77th was the only Allied unit to achieve its objective. As a result, the "Lost Battalion" was surrounded by the German army and constantly attacked for six days. However, the group failed to surrender, despite being low on ammunition, food, and other supplies. Before the battle the 77th had around 600 men, but only 200 would walk out from the Argonne Forest.
There was a silent movie made about "The Lost Battalion" in 1919, in which director Burton L. King used the soldiers themselves to film the story, which was more of a documentary re-enactment than a theatrical film. It was not until 2001 that such a film telling the story of the 77th was finally produced. Rick Schroder plays Maj. Charles White Whittlesey, the battalion commander and a New York City lawyer who thinks his group's assignment is a suicide mission. Of course his concerns are dismissed, because if there is one iconic image of World War I infantry it is that of climbing out of trenches to be mowed down by enemy machine guns (e.g., "Gallipoli"). Whittlesey's battalion is ordered to advance into the Argonne, and to take and hold their position at all cost. With their lines of communication cut except for a handful of carrier pigeons and a few desperate efforts by American airplanes to locate and contact the surrounded unit, the men of the 77th do not really understand how desperate their plight is or that their efforts would be the key to breaking the German lines and leading to Armistice Day.
The unit is made up of mostly young men from New York City, who look at their fellow soldiers who hail from places like Montana as if they were from another planet. There is an element in the story of how combat forges a melting plot here, and there is a telling scene where one soldier explains that while he came from Poland he is now an American because he took the test and nobody gets to say that he is not. It is left to Lt. Leak (Jay Rodan) to explain to a German intelligence officer: "What you're up against Major, is a bunch of Mick, Pollack, Dago, and Jew boy gangsters from New York City. They'll never surrender. Never." The German generals are used to the methodical approach of the French army and do not know what to make of the rash Americans, whose actions are deemed unpredictable if not evidence of outright madness. These are officers and troops who complain about going on the mission in the first place, but who rise up in righteous indignation and anger when the Germans show up with flamethrowers.
For once the use of hand-held cameras works to the advantage of the story when the technique is used to film the attacks across No Man's Land and in the Argonne Forest (although as a general rule the use of the technique combined with constant cutting from shot to shot in action movies is quickly driving me to distraction). One of the strengths of the production is that most of the faces of the actors are unfamiliar (Phil McKee from "Band of Brothers" might is the obvious exception to prove the rule), so you have no problem thinking of them as the actual soldiers they are portraying. The biggest weakness of the film is that the foreshadowing with regards to Whittlesey is a big heavy handed, as is the growing respect the Germans have for the American detachment they cannot obliterate. The script overplays both of those understandably necessary elements.
The DVD also includes a History Channel documentary on "Dear Home: Letters from World War I," which combined archival film footage from the period and actual letters written by the Doughboys and nurses who fought in the war. This is a nice complimentary piece to the movie, especially given how little most Americans know about what actually happened in the War to End All Wars. If most Americans can name "Sgt. York" as a WWI movie they have seen that might be par, especially given how many other movies about the period are from the German perspective (e.g., "All Quiet on the Western Front," "The Blue Max"). The obvious reference point for most Americans will the story of the besieged 101st Airborne as Bastonge during World War II's Battle of the Bulge. There are so few films about World War I that it is not surprising that when we actually have one like "The Lost Battalion" they tend to stand out.
That is also why so many fault the limited information provided at the end of this film telling us what happened to Whittlesey and some of the other key members of the 77th. You do not have to do much research on this true story to learn that Whittlesey committed suicide a few years later, which lends a definite pathos to Schroeder's performance and his character's anguish over the idea of "acceptable losses" Gen. Robert Alexander (Michael Brandon) keeps harping. But you can see how "The Lost Battalion" combines the heroism associated with American soldiers in World War II movies with the lack of faith in American commanders that is a key theme in movies about the Vietnam War. A nice documentary exploring the history of the 77th and how this helped end the war would have been a helpful addition, certainly much more than the biography and filmography of Rick Schroeder.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I found them., 9 Mar 2004
I ordered this DVD from Miami, not knowing anything about the film, except seeing a quick trailer for it somewhere.
Watching the film was very enjoyable, not from the fact that these men were dying for their Country but how well it was put together.
In itself the film was very well made but knowing it was based on fact made it even more interesting to watch. The extras also complete an enjoyable DVD to go with anyone's war film collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost Battalion [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC], 8 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. David Hopwood (West Yorkshire, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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An excellent film that is well worth watching. I cannot understand why it never got the acclaim it really deserved.
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