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Hollywood Goes to War: The Dawn Patrol

  • Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (map)

Hollywood Goes to War: World War I on the Big Screen

The Dawn Patrol

Directed by Howard Hawks, starring Richard Barthelmess and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

The Dawn Patrol defined all the classic elements of the aviation film genre.  Its influence can be seen in virtually every military aviation movie made since it premiered in 1930.  The story revolves around a timeless theme of war films: the stress and psychological effects on commanders who have to make the life and death decisions to send young people into battle.  With its dramatic aerial combat scenes, heroic and tragic pilot figures, and an Academy Award-winning original story, The Dawn Patrol is the father of all military aviation films.

About the Film Series:

Movies have always shaped our cultural memory of historical events, and World War I has been a rich subject for filmmakers. Hollywood Goes to War: World War I on the Big Screen, a year-long film series, presents the most visually striking and engaging dramas set during the First World War ever made. Once a month, the National Air and Space Museum will screen Hollywood’s finest feature films on World War I and explore how the war and its far-reaching effects have been represented and interpreted on the big screen.

Event Details

  • Date: March 17, 2017

  • When: 7:00 PM

  • Where: LOCKHEED MARTIN IMAX THEATER, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum