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The Wet Parade (1932)

Passed  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  26 March 1932 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 242 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 9 critic

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




(adapted by) (as John L. Mahin) , (from the novel by)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Chilcote
Roger Chilcote, Jr.
Emma Dunn ...
Mrs. Chilcote
Frederick Burton ...
Major Randolph
Reginald Barlow ...
Judge Brandon
John Larkin ...
Gertrude Howard ...
Kip Tarleton
Pow Tarleton
Abe Shilling
Jerry Tyler
Eileen Pinchon
Evelyn Fessenden
John Miljan ...
Major Doleshal


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


Drama | History | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 March 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alcohol prohibido  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Myrna Loy's character was based on Texas Guinan, she even utters Guinan's catchphrase "Give the little lady a big hand!" See more »


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 »


Angelina: [looking at a flaming dish in the kitchen] Ain't that purdy. I never get tired lookin' at them blue flames.
Moses: You best not get tired lookin' at them, sister. You gonna be seeing a lot more of them when you passes on!
See more »


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


Alexander's Ragtime Band
(1911) (uncredited)
Music by Irving Berlin
Played in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

Prohibition: The Epic
17 December 2011 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

This Hollywood production takes a staunch (if peculiar) anti-alcohol, pro-Prohibition stance. It condemns the exaggeratedly tragic effects of alcohol consumption, as lives are torn apart by the mere existence of the Demon Drink. The film was released while Prohibition was still law, and it preached its Dry message directly at the 1932 audience.

In a sense, THE WET PARADE (1932) does for alcohol what TELL YOUR CHILDREN (1936) does for marijuana. What sets this film apart is its compelling story and excellent cast.

The film chronicles the rise of Prohibition out of World War I and the effects of its enforcement. It's an interesting take on the subject, showing the political and moral motivations behind the Dry movement, the last-minute hoarding of booze before the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect, the rise of speakeasies and bootlegging, and the government crackdown on liquor. The government men are portrayed like secret agents in enemy territory, infiltrating speakeasies undercover and gathering evidence before a raid. Saving the public from themselves.

The movie even touches upon some of the negative consequences of Prohibition (poisonous bootleg liquor, organized crime, etc.), placing the blame not on the law, but the insatiable appetite for alcohol among deviant Americans.

The cast assembled for this Prohibition epic is impressive. The leads are second-rate (Robert Young and Dorothy Jordan), but they are joined by some A-list supporting actors like Lewis Stone, Walter Huston, Wallace Ford, Jimmy Durante, John Miljan, Neil Hamilton, and even Myrna Loy.

In hindsight, decades after the repeal of Prohibition in the U.S., it seems the filmmakers may have been a bit misguided in their didacticism, although, to be fair, the movie is based on a book. And the film was only discouraging activities which were illegal at the time.

Still, the movie's crusading stance goes a little over-the-top. There's one scene near the end where John Miljan speaks right into the camera, directing his anti-booze rant at the viewers in the theatre. A noble gesture by MGM, supporting law and order, but it's a bit silly nowadays.

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