The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  1926 (Austria)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 4,697 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 46 critic

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


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(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




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?


The U.S. War Department - the predecessor of the Department of Defense - loaned the film's producers over 200 army trucks, approximately 4,000 soldiers and over 100 airplanes for use in the film. See more »


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 »


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 The Young and the Dead (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Highly praised WWI film a mix of comedy, romance and drama
11 September 2001 | by (Putney, VT) – See all my reviews

This is a curious film in that it mixes all three genres: comedy, romance and drama. For its first half (almost exactly) we see three war buddies from different walks of life (a rich boy, a bartender, a riveter) become friends as they leave the US and head for France, where the rich boy (John Gilbert) romances a local girl, Melisande, (Renee Adoree). This first half is filled with memorable vignettes: a gum chewing lesson, a french lesson, reading of letters from home, etc. Suddenly the men pull out and the famous farewell scene grips us, Gilbert and Adoree searching for each other, finding each other, holding on until the last moment, she allowing herself to be dragged by the truck he is in, finally collapsing in the road with other evacuees around her. The grim second half contains two long battle sequences: a forced march through a forest of snipers and a harrowing night battle in the trenches. The battle montages are superbly handled. Vidor's overall direction is excellent. The grim ending with his two friends dead and his leg gone pack a wallop.

This is a most effective film and a very popular one of its day. Along with THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE, WINGS and WHAT PRICE GLORY? it stands as one of the quartet of Hollywood's best WWI epics. If there had been Oscars in 1925 it would certainly have garnered noms for: Picture, Direction, Actor, Editing, Special Effects.

Quite memorable and very worth seeing.

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