The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  1926 (Austria)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 4,699 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 46 critic

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.


, (uncredited)


(story), (scenario), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Melisande (as Renee Adoree)
Hobart Bosworth ...
Robert Ober ...
Tom O'Brien ...
Rosita Marstini ...
French Mother


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The epic of the American doughboy! See more »


Drama | Romance | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Release Date:

1926 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Die Parade des Todes  »

Box Office


$245,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

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


(with tinted sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Danish title:"Den store Parade". See more »


The three future recruits live in New York City (one works construction on a skyscraper, another works a bar in the Bowery), but during the recruitment parade, there are shots of wide avenues lined with low buildings and palm trees - clearly shots of 1920s Los Angeles. See more »


James Apperson: [Melisande has just said something to him in French] I don't understand a word you say... but I know what you mean!
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 »


Referenced in The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Just magnificent silent film
12 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

The Big Parade is one of those films that left profound impact on me after single viewing. This focus on John Gilbert's character, Jim, whose experienced a major changes in his life, which has dire consquences and good results. It is easy why John Gilbert became superstar after this film because he's terrific actor, whose can commanded such a expression with his face. It is very seldom to see the actor like that one. Karl Dane did great job by providing comedy relief as Slim. Tom O'Brien did really fantastic job as Bull, a bartender, who keep in balance with John Gilbert.

I cannot think of single film that is perfect translated in 3 acts and The Big Parade is great example of that one. The 3 acts in The Big Parade represented significant changes in Gilbert's life. Some may disliked comedy relief but that was intend for making us caring more for the characters, which works for me.

Many films are lucky to have one great sequence. The Big Parade are being linked by series of magnificent sequences, which is rarity. Renee Adoree did great job by portraying Melisande, the French girl who had fell in love with Gilbert. Look for that moment between them when Gilbert had to leave for mission. Such a heartbreaking moment in cinema history. I was very sad at that moment.

Gilbert, had Academy Awards existed, would have probably won an Academy Award for best actor because it's one of the great performance I've ever seen. King Vidor did really great job directing this outstanding film. It is very seldom that silent cinema can move me as much as sounds does. I hope I can watch it again in future because it's truly fantastic film in its own rights.


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