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The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 1926 (Austria)
A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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On TV

Airs Mon. May. 30, 3:30 AM on TCM

3 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Laurence Stallings' great motion picture story following his stage success with "What Price Glory" See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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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

The army unit portrayed is the 42nd Infantry Division (Rainbow Division), as determined by the three-color (red-yellow-blue) rainbow patch (long version) worn on the upper left sleeve of the uniform. Casualties were so high that after the war the patch was cut in half and worn on the forward half of the sleeve instead of centered because "we left half our rainbow in France." During the transport scene the tailgates of the trucks are all painted with "42" and then the truck number. The credits thank the 2nd Division (Indianhead), so painting the "4" prior to the pre-existing "2" may have facilitated that. The 42nd Division was later a New York Army National Guard unit and you could find units in Syracuse, Geneva, etc. 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

Intertitle card: [War has been declared. America is going to enter WWI, which sets off a wave of patriotic fervor] What a thing is patriotism! We go for years not knowing we have it. Suddenly - Martial music!... Native flags!... Friends cheer!... and it becomes life's greatest emotion!
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

Referenced in Show People (1928) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great, up to a point
1 June 2009 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

King Vidor's World War I drama, from a story by WWI vet and distinguished playwright Laurence Stallings, was made for only $250,000 and looks like a zillion, with huge battle sequences, an enormous cast, and expressive art direction. The extended battle is great, capturing the terrifying immediacy of war nearly as well as "All Quiet on the Western Front" (but the latter must be counted as the greater achievement, what with hauling all that primitive sound equipment around the set). John Gilbert is quite good here, with expressive but not overemoting eyes, and Renee Adoree is a spirited, pretty love interest. But Stallings--who wrote another terrific WWI story, "What Price Glory"--makes some simple mistakes that wouldn't have been difficult to repair. When we first meet Gilbert, he's a spoiled rich boy, uninterested in defending his country ("I already have enough of a war on my hands with Dad," goes a title card). He enlists solely to impress his uninteresting girlfriend. Then, in France, he forgets her instantly and falls in love with Adoree, despite his lack of French and her lack of English. I'm always annoyed at simple lust being passed off as The Real Thing in movies. Then, having created a love triangle, Stallings introduces a third-act resolution I won't spoil here, but is a mighty contrived way of clearing the path so that Gilbert can have his true love at fadeout. His two war buddies, The Regular Guy (Tom O'Brien) and The Lovable Gap-Toothed Idiot (Karl Dane), are so straitjacketed by their simple personas that they quickly wear out their welcome, and the comedy among these three brothers in battle (oddly, they practically never seem to interact with anyone else in their unit) is feeble. This was the most successful silent film to come out of Hollywood, and plenty of it is impressive, but it's encumbered by elementary screen writing mistakes.


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