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The Wet Parade (1932)

Passed  -  Drama | History | Romance  -  26 March 1932 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 203 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 9 critic

The evils of alcohol before and during prohibition become evident as we see its effects on the rich Chilcote family.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(adapted by), (from the novel by)
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Title: The Wet Parade (1932)

The Wet Parade (1932) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maggie May
Lewis Stone ...
Roger Chilcote
...
Roger Chilcote, Jr.
Emma Dunn ...
Mrs. Chilcote
Frederick Burton ...
Major Randolph
Reginald Barlow ...
Judge Brandon
John Larkin ...
Moses
Gertrude Howard ...
Angelina
...
Kip Tarleton
...
Pow Tarleton
...
Abe Shilling
Wallace Ford ...
Jerry Tyler
...
Eileen Pinchon
Joan Marsh ...
Evelyn Fessenden
John Miljan ...
Major Doleshal
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Storyline

Sprawling story of Prohibition set against two families and how they are affected by booze. The stories come together when two young people (Robert Young, Dorothy Jordan) join in a common fight against liquor because it has destroyed their families. Both pros and cons are presented, but the screenplay definitely sides with the abstainers. The fathers destroyed by demon rum are played by Walter Huston and Lewis Stone, and look for Jimmy Durante as a bearded federal agent! Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 March 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wet Parade  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The story begins in 1916, then moves to 1919, and the early 1920's, but Dorothy Jordan and Myrna Loy wear up to the minute 1932 fashions throughout. See more »

Quotes

Eileen Pinchon: So you are going to fix everything up by getting good and tight!
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Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Myrna Loy (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
(1843) (uncredited)
Written by David T. Shaw
Arranged by Thomas A. Beckett
Played during the opening credits
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User Reviews

 
Interesting history and VERY sappy melodramatics
7 April 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

THE WET PARADE is the sort of old fashioned film that looked old and out of date even when it came out in 1932. In so many ways, this film is a carryover from the early silent anti-drinking melodramas of the first decade of the twentieth century--complete with ridiculously one-dimensional characters and a very heavy-handed message. In fact, the message is so heavy-handed that I seriously doubt if the anti-alcohol message had much effect on audiences--other than to elicit laughter! This is all very sad because very few films have ever addressed the impact of alcohol on its many victims (most of which aren't even the drinkers themselves)--too bad this was handled so poorly.

Why do I say it was handled poorly? Well, many of the drunks portrayed in the film are totally one-dimensional and the actors overact so much as they portray them. This was pretty apparent with Lewis Stone's character, but compared to the ridiculous guy played by Walter Huston, he was downright subtle. As for Huston, he seemed more like a Tourette's sufferer than anything else, as he REPEATEDLY twirled his handlebar mustache and grunted (some actual symptoms of the disorder--seriously). However, most in the audience today may not recognize him, but this character acts almost exactly like those from melodramas of 30 years earlier--widely exaggerating EVERYTHING and chewing the scenery! In many ways, he seemed like a drunk version of Snidely Whiplash! Now when it comes to the impact on those around these ridiculous drunks, the film did a much better job. The co-dependent family members and enabling friends were excellent touches--but still weren't enough to make up for the awful characters played by Stone and Huston.

Other than these silly drunks, the film also chronicled the history of the prohibition movement--and this was mildly interesting from a historical point of view. What I learned from the movie is that what really helped this anti-liquor crusade was WWI and moves to stop the production of intoxicants in order to feed our troops and starving Europeans. An interesting tidbit amongst the "sledgehammer symbolism" throughout this entire film.

If anyone knows of a movie to SERIOUSLY address alcoholism from this era, let me know--as for THE WET PARADE, it's practically cartoon-like in its generalizations and bad characterizations. It's good for a laugh and maybe a brief history lesson buried within, but that's about all.

FYI--The director of this film, Victor Fleming, was himself an extremely heavy drinker according to several biographies I've read (including CLARA BOW: RUNNING WILD). And, ironically, if you read the biography for Huston on IMDb, he apparently was the master of ceremonies at a brewery party the night Prohibition expired!!


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