Having flown together during WWI friends Gibson (Richard Dix), Woody (Robert Armstrong) and Red (Joel McCrea) along with their engineer Fritz (Hugh Herbert) reunite afterwards when they discover that life isn't so great for them. When Gibson, Red and Fritz struggle to find work they hobo it to the city as Woody has got himself a gig as a stunt flier in the movies and he offers to give them work on the next movie. That provides a problem for Gibson as his ex Follette (Mary Astor) is married to director Von Furst (Erich von Stroheim) and not only is Von Furst a little dictator on set but he is jealous of Follette's affection for the handsome flier leading to some nefarious and deadly acts from Von Furst.
"The Lost Squadron" is a bit of a curious movie as whilst it starts at the end of WWI with almost a comedy scene as the pilots in one final dog fight keep going right up until 11 o'clock at which point they salute the enemy who salute back and war is over, it is technically not a war movie. Oh we see that how for some service men there return to civilian life was not easy, from things changing whilst they were gone to being unable to get work but that isn't the focus of the movie. In fact "The Lost Squadron" really doesn't have a central storyline as when they start work on a movie we get 3 elements; Von Furst's jealousy, the semi romance featuring Woody's sister "Pest" and the friendship of these fliers. It is entertaining enough but it sort of ambles through these various ideas till eventually it finds some drama when Von Furst tampers with a plane.
That really brings me to the two reasons to watch "The Lost Squadron" starting with the flying with some stunning stunt work. This isn't the greatest flying movie you will ever see but the couple of scenes which feature a plane spinning out of control are impressive. And then there is Erich von Stroheim evil performance as Von Furst and it is the only performance worth mentioning because Von Furst does come across as an evil, jealous little dictator.
What this all boils down to is that "The Lost Squadron" is not a great movie but one despite not having a great deal going for it is still surprisingly entertaining especially for fans of the early talkies.