AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Lost Battalion
Director: Burton King (Dir)
Release Date:   8 Sep 1919
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Cast: Major-General Robert Alexander  (Himself)
  Lt. Col. Charles W. Whittlesey  (Himself)
  Major George McMurtry  (Himself)
 

Summary: The men in the 308th Regiment's 77th Division, have been drafted from diverse ethnic, economic, and social groups in New York. Two men are fighting Chinatown tongs, one is a burglar, another is a wealthy merchant's son in love with his father's stenographer, who dreams of becoming the greatest movie actress, another is a private in love with the merchant's ward, and finally there is "the Kicker," who finds fault with everything. After training in Yaphank and in France, the 463 men advance under the command of Lt. Col. Charles W. Whittlesey into the "Pocket" of the Argonne Forest, to help break down the supposedly impregnable German defense. Cut off from Allied troops and supplies, and surrounded by the enemy, the Division, nicknamed "The Lost Battalion," withstands six days without food or water. When the German commander asks for their surrender, Whittlesey replies, "Tell them to go to hell!" The Chinese rivals fight bravely side-by-side, while the burglar dies heroically. After their rescue, the survivors are given a parade in New York, and are reunited with their families and sweethearts. 

Distribution Company: W. H. Productions Co.
State Rights
Production Company: MacManus Corp.
Director: Burton King (Dir)
  Leander De Cordova (Asst dir)
  John Coleman (Asst dir)
  Frederick F. McGuirk (Asst dir)
Producer: Edward A. MacManus (Supv)
  Edward A. MacManus (Prod)
Writer: Charles A. Logue (Scen)

Subject Major: American Expeditionary Force
  Argonne, Battle of the, 1918
  Combat
  France
  The Lost Battalion
  Military service, Compulsory
  Officers (Military)
  War heroes
  War victims
  World War I
 
Subject Minor: Burglars
  Chinese Americans
  Germany. Army
  New York City
  Parades
  Tongs (Secret societies)

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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