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The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  1926 (Austria)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 4,655 users  
Reviews: 42 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 ...
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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


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Drama | Romance | War


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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?


Is the highest grossing silent film of all time, making $22 million during its worldwide release See more »


Early in the movie, we see James Apperson announce that he has enlisted. His father, who had been sternly lecturing him moments before, comes up and congratulates him. Suddenly, the father now has a lit cigar in his mouth, with a long ash, indicating he's been smoking it for at least a while. But all the time prior, we saw no sign that the father had a lit cigar anywhere on him or near him. 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 »


Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.24 (1956) 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.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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