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The Lost Squadron

The Lost Squadron(1932)

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Writer Robert R. Presnell's name was misspelled in the onscreen credits as "Robert S. Presnell." Author Dick Grace was a well-known stunt pilot. It is unclear whether Grace and the other men listed as "fliers" in the cast actually played parts in the film, or were stunt doubles for the principals. Modern sources note that Grace staged several air crashes for the production. David O. Selznick received his first executive producer credit on this film. Freeman Lang, who appears in a scene shot at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, was a radio announcer who emceed broadcasts for movie premieres. RKO inter-department memos indicate that principal shooting on The Lost Squadron was halted so that a new ending could be written. RKO executives, including Selznick, decided that the action of the climax was unclear and unbelievable, and therefore needed to be re-shot. As a result of the new ending, Eric Linden, who had been borrowed from Warner Bros. to play a part, was edited out of the final film. Writer Humphrey Pearson is mentioned in inter-department memos as having received a salary for working with Wallace Smith on the rewrite in some capacity. Although Clem Portman is credited on the film as the sound recorder, all reviews and International Photographer list Hugh McDowell as the soundman, and the film is included in McDowell's, not Portman's, Film Daily Year Book filmography. It is possible that one or the other worked on the re-shoot but not on the original production. Modern sources state that footage from The Lost Squadron was re-used in a 1934 RKO release Lucky Devils (see below). In addition, modern sources note that the following airplanes were used in the production: Nieuport 28, S4C Thomas Morse Scout and biwing Travel Air.