6.2/10
495
19 user 16 critic

The Great Gabbo (1929)

An insanely, egocentric ventriloquist, even though he is possessed by his wooden dummy, is in love with a dancer who is in love with another. The dummy gives advice to the ventriloquist.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story "The Rival Dummy"), (continuity) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An Austrian officer sets out to seduce a neglected young wife.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Sam De Grasse, Francelia Billington, Erich von Stroheim
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young impoverished aristocrat falls in love with an inn-keepers daughter, but has to marry money.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Erich von Stroheim, Fay Wray, Zasu Pitts
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A prince must woo the now wealthy dancer he once abandoned in order to keep her money in the country in order to keep it from crashing economically.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Mae Murray, John Gilbert, Roy D'Arcy
The Cocoanuts (1929)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During the Florida land boom, the Marx brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves.

Directors: Robert Florey, Joseph Santley
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A skeptical college professor discovers that his wife has been practicing magic for years. Like the learned, rational fellow he is, he forces her to destroy all her magical charms and ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Peter Wyngarde, Janet Blair, Margaret Johnston
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When a proud noble refuses to kiss the hand of the despotic King James in 1690, he is cruelly executed and his son surgically disfigured.

Director: Paul Leni
Stars: Mary Philbin, Conrad Veidt, Julius Molnar
Asphalt (1929)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to ... See full summary »

Director: Joe May
Stars: Albert Steinrück, Else Heller, Gustav Fröhlich
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The rise of a showgirl, Gloria Hughes, culminating in a Ziegfeld extravaganza "Glorifying the American Girl".

Director: Millard Webb
Stars: Mary Eaton, Eddie Cantor, Helen Morgan
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Greed (1924)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Gibson Gowland, Zasu Pitts, Jean Hersholt
Night School (1981)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Who's been decapitating the innocent girls at a local night school? The police are baffled.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Leonard Mann, Rachel Ward, Drew Snyder
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Peggy and her friend Millie are strolling down Broadway while Jimmy and Mac are trolling Broadway, and the four get together. Jimmy and Peggy get together in many romantic ways and Peggy ... See full summary »

Directors: Alan Crosland, Erich von Stroheim, and 2 more credits »
Stars: James Dunn, Zasu Pitts, Boots Mallory
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Gabbo
...
Mary
...
Frank
Marjorie Kane ...
Babe (as Margie 'Babe' Kane)
Edit

Storyline

For the ventriloquist Gabbo his wooden dummy Otto is the only means of expression. When he starts relying more and more on Otto, he starts going mad. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 September 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der große Gabbo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

| (Multicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mary: Oh, I see a move. Look - eight on the nine, and then your King comes up, and that plays a Queen.
Gabbo: Will you leave these cards alone? You think you can show me something?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Mad City Chickens (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Every Now and Then
(uncredited)
Written by King Zany and Donald McNamee
Performed by Marjorie Kane and Donald Douglas
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I feel sorry for Gabbo- he is being left behind.
2 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In order to properly understand this film you have to take yourself back to 1928-1929. You had only 20% of the theater's ready for sound performance. The rest of the film viewing arenas were still 'silent only' films. So in late 28 and early 29 films were filmed in sound and also in silent. This film was written for silent but was transformed to sound as the technology progressed in the late 20's.

So they made a film that was written for the silent era but transformed into the sound era. No one had written the rules of sound performances which lead for many awkward moments.

So without an underline music score or the thought of continuing dialog, the film was made. It is a seam between silent and sound. It is a learning tool for the next progression step.

An aging ventriloquist is trying to put a stop to history. He commanded money and respect in his time but cannot see that times are passing him by like a train. He wants to hold on to the applause and the bright lights of his youth. He wants time to stand still- a time where he commanded respect. But we all know that it is impossible.

The obvious love story is a front for more active and sinister activity. The puppet is just a metaphor. The real story is that times are a changing and people are going to be left behind. So it is for the Great Gabbo.

Sound is coming and there are going to be actors that cannot cope with the new form of communication. Such as Gabbo when he finds out that people prefer sound (musical) instead of vaudeville. It is a change of the seasons.

This is what I get from this film. Times are changing and some are going to be left behind. The Great Gabbo, even in 1929, seems old. A sad ending to a good movie.


4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Gabbo Gabbo GABBO! julianrockz
Discuss The Great Gabbo (1929) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?