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The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  1926 (Austria)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 4,473 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 44 critic

The idle son of a rich businessman joins the army when the U.S.A. enters World War One. He is sent to France, where he becomes friends with two working-class soldiers. He also falls in love... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (scenario), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Melisande (as Renee Adoree)
Hobart Bosworth ...
...
...
Robert Ober ...
Tom O'Brien ...
...
Rosita Marstini ...
French Mother
Edit

Storyline

The idle son of a rich businessman joins the army when the U.S.A. enters World War One. He is sent to France, where he becomes friends with two working-class soldiers. He also falls in love with a Frenchwoman, but has to leave her to move to the frontline. Written by Philip Apps <apps@math.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

King Vidor's PICTURIZATION of LAURENCE STALLINGS' GREAT STORY See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

1926 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Die Parade des Todes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$245,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (1988 TCM print) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

| (music and sound effects) (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(with tinted sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Four years after making this film, King Vidor re-staged one of its most famous scenes--Jimmy going off to battle and leaving Melisande behind--in Show People (1928), a comedy starring Marion Davies as an actress trying to become a Hollywood star. In "Show People" Davies and William Haines played the parts originally played in "The Big Parade" by Renée Adorée and John Gilbert. See more »

Goofs

When Jim is getting dressed in the hayloft for his date, Slim jokingly refers to him as "Mr. Hemingway". When the film was being made in 1924-25 Ernest Hemingway was becoming famous, but in the movie's time frame of 1917, he was still unknown. See more »

Quotes

James Apperson: Orders! Orders! Who the hell is fighting this war - men or orders?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gratefully acknowledges the splendid co-operation of the Second Division, United States Army and Air Service Units, Kelly Field. See more »

Connections

Edited into I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Blockbuster Classic from the Silent Era
10 June 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

King Vidor's "The Big Parade" is the biggest blockbuster from the silent era, and, I am told, the movie gold standard to which all others were compared well into the 1930s. ("The Big Parade" was released in 1925).

The story focuses on three American doughboys, fighting in Europe during WWI. Two are working class; a tobacco spitting riveter, Slim, a barkeep, Bull, and a ne'er-do-well son of wealth, Jim, who was shamed into enlisting by his family. These three go through the hardships of military training together, bond, and become fast friends. Their friendships deepen after they are shipped to France where Jim falls in love with a French farm girl. This comprises the first half of the 2 ½ hour movie. The second half of the movie is the gritty reality of trench warfare.

Some say that this is one of the first big-budget anti-war movies. I don't quite agree. The movie shows the human cost of war without condemning it outright. Remember that WWI was 'the war to end all wars', and in 1925 this was still a possibility. But "The Big Parade" does take an unflinching look at the affect of war on both combatants and non-combatants.

The performances and direction are excellent and silent or not, this is a movie well worth seeing.


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