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 »
A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
After director King Vidor complained to MGM production chief Irving Thalberg that he was tired of shooting pictures that played in theaters for just one week, he told Thalberg about a new kind of realistic war movie he had envisioned. Thalberg was enthusiastic about Vidor's vision, and tried to buy the rights to the hit Broadway play "What Price Glory?" co-written by Maxwell Anderson and World War I Marine veteran Laurence Stallings. Since the rights to the popular anti-war play had already been acquired, Thalberg hired Stallings to come to Hollywood and write a screenplay for the new, realistic war picture that Vidor had dreamed about making. Stallings came up with "The Big Parade", an anti-war story that dispensed with traditional concepts of heroism, focusing instead on a love story between a Yank soldier and a French girl. After Vidor completed principal photography (at a cost of $200,000, approximately $2.1 million in 2003 dollars), Thalberg took the rough cut and previewed it before live audiences in Colorado. The audiences responded favorably, and Thalberg decided to expand the scope of the picture, as Vidor had created a war picture without many scenes of war. He had Vidor restage the famous marching army column sequence with 3000 extras, 200 trucks and 100 airplanes. After Vidor moved on to another project, Thalberg had other battle scenes shot by director George W. Hill. The result was a major hit that proved to be MGM's most profitable silent picture. 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 »
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.
25 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?