The Ghost Patrol

The Ghost Patrol is a 1923 American silent romantic melodrama[6] film directed by Nat Ross from a short story by Sinclair Lewis, produced and distributed by Universal Pictures.[1] It starred Ralph Graves and Bessie Love and is now considered lost.[7]

The Ghost Patrol
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Directed byNat Ross[1][2]
Produced byCarl Laemmle
Written byRaymond L. Schrock (scenario)
Based onThe Ghost Patrol
by Sinclair Lewis[2][3]
StarringRalph Graves
Bessie Love
CinematographyBen F. Reynolds[1]
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[1]
Release date
  • January 21, 1923 (1923-01-21)[4]
Running time
5 reels; 4,228 feet[1][5]
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The film is a member of the Universal-produced and Carl Laemmle-selected "The Laemmle Nine", which also includes A Dangerous Game, The Flaming Hour, Kindled Courage, The Scarlet Car, The Power of a Lie, The First Degree, The Love Letter, and The Gentleman from America.[8]


In the neighborhood of "Little Hell", Terry Rafferty (Graves), a reformed thief, has fallen in love with Effie Kugler (Love) and is seeking her hand in marriage. Effie's father (Williams) refuses, which prompts Terry to get drunk and assault a politician. Terry is sent to prison.

Don Dorgan's (Nichols) 30-year career as a police officer ends when the new commissioner (MacDowell) decides that he is too old. Don realizes that the neighborhood still needs him, and wears his old uniform, becoming "The Ghost Patrol".

After serving his sentence, Terry is released from prison, and Don brings him to Effie, reuniting the couple. When the commissioner learns of the good that Don has been bringing to the neighborhood, he rehires him and promotes him.[1][2][4][5]



Edith Roberts had originally been cast as the female lead.[11]

Release and reception

The film had its Los Angeles premiere at the Million Dollar Theater.[12] Some theaters showed it with the short Dad's Boy,[13] while others showed it the Baby Peggy short Sweetie.[14]

Overall, the film received positive reviews.[15][16] Bessie Love's performance was well-received,[2] while Ralph Graves was deemed as miscast.[2]


  1. Pardy, George T., ed. (1923). "Illustrated Screen Reports". Exhibitors Trade Review. Vol. 13 no. 10. p. 524.
  2. "Pleasing Romance in Picture That Offers Good Entertainment". The Film Daily. Vol. 23 no. 20. January 21, 1923. p. 14.
  3. "Film Rights for 'Drifting', Stage Success, Bought by Universal for Priscilla Dean". Universal Weekly. Vol. 16 no. 5. September 16, 1922. p. 29.
  4. Motion Picture News Booking Guide. New York: Motion Picture News. April 1923. p. 53.
  5. "Special Cast in The Ghost Patrol". Exhibitors Herald. Vol. 16 no. 5. January 27, 1923. p. 57.
  6. Sherwood, Robert E., ed. (1923). The Best Moving Pictures of 1922–1923, Also Who's Who in the Movies and the Yearbook of the American Screen. Small, Maynard & Company. p. 167.
  7. "Progressive Silent Film List: The Ghost Patrol". Silent Era.
  8. "New Group Called The Laemmle Nine". Universal Weekly. Vol. 16 no. 16. December 2, 1922. p. 14.
  9. "The Ghost Patrol". Screen Opinions. Vol. 11 no. 14. February 15, 1913. p. 218.
  10. "The Laemmle Nine in Detail". Universal Weekly. Vol. 16 no. 16. December 2, 1922. p. 15.
  11. "Shadows From the Silver Sheet". Close-Up. Vol. 8 no. 6. October 5, 1922. p. 8.
  12. "Grauman's". Motion Picture News. April 28, 1923. p. 2046.
  13. Shilling, Donovan A. (September 1, 2013). Rochester's Movie Mania. Pancoast Publishing. p. 87.
  14. "What the Picture Did for Me". Exhibitors Herald. Vol. 57 no. 17. October 20, 1923. p. 76.
  15. Positive reviews:
    • Larson, H.A. (March 10, 1923). "The Ghost Patrol". Exhibitors Herald. p. 68. Very pleasing picture program.
    • Navary, R (March 17, 1923). "The Ghost Patrol". Exhibitors Herald. p. 82. Clean, and the kind that pleases 100%. You cannot go wrong by showing this one.
    • Martin, Hugh G. (April 7, 1923). "The Ghost Patrol". Exhibitors Herald. p. 70. Good picture.
    • Anderson; Weatherby (April 28, 1923). "The Ghost Patrol". Exhibitors Herald. p. 81. Fine picture that pleased and we had a large number of good comments.
    • Reynolds, Olen (May 5, 1923). "The Ghost Patrol". Exhibitors Herald. p. 72. This is a very good program from Universal.
    • Kohn, Adolph (May 19, 1923). "The Ghost Patrol". Exhibitors Herald. p. 69. A good program picture that pleased.
    • Feldman, L.V. (June 2, 1923). "The Ghost Patrol". Exhibitors Herald. p. 68. A nice little picture which went over in good shape.
    • Riva, C.A. (June 9, 1923). "The Ghost Patrol". Exhibitors Herald. p. 60. Another fine program offering from Universal which drew full house and pleased.
  16. Negative review:
    • Rosenfield, Hopp, & Co. (March 3, 1923). "The Ghost Patrol". Exhibitors Herald. p. 81. A good program picture, but nothing entitling same to be touted as a special. People didn't like it and business on same poor.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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