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The Wet Parade (1932)

Passed | | Drama, History, Romance | 26 March 1932 (USA)
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) (as John L. Mahin), (from the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Roger Chilcote
...
Roger Chilcote, Jr.
...
Mrs. Chilcote
Frederick Burton ...
Major Randolph
Reginald Barlow ...
Judge Brandon
John Larkin ...
Moses
Gertrude Howard ...
Angelina
...
Kip Tarleton
...
Pow Tarleton
...
Abe Shilling
...
Jerry Tyler
...
Eileen Pinchon
...
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:

Alcohol prohibido  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

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

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Played in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Good History Lesson
6 April 2007 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Victor Fleming's "The Wet Parade" (1932) would be an appropriate double feature companion to "Reefer Madness". But while it shares that film's exaggerated (insert hysteria here) style, it is a much higher budget production and ultimately delivers a balanced and well- reasoned message.

It also has an all-star cast, although many of them are very early in their careers. The story centers around an old southern family, the Chilcotes; Lewis Stone, Dorothy Jordan, and Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon on television's "Batman" series). Other name actors included Walter Huston, Robert Young, and Myrna Loy, Wallace Ford, and Jimmy Durante.

The film is almost an epic as it covers a 15-year span from 1916 to 1931. During WWI Congress expands federal regulation with a wartime measure called the Food Control Act (regulating grain among other things). This leads to the ill-advised Volsted Act and the 18th Amendment outlawing liquor (insert nationwide "Prohibition"). But prohibition curtails only legal drinking, and gives criminal elements a huge base of potential customers. Although much of the demand is met by smuggling (especially from Canada) and domestic distillation, there is quick money to be made with bogus product. Criminals simply take bulk denaturated (meaning unfit to drink) cleaning fluid ( a mix of ethyl alcohol and methanol) and package it as a name brand product. The film shows an excellent sequence of this process.

The film also shows the consequences of consuming this product; blindness or death.

The intention of the film is not to promote drinking but to illustrate a bigger evil, the unintended consequences of the government's ill-advised attempt to prohibit the activity. "The Wet Parade" was a rare example of mainstream Hollywood's willingness to openly take a side in a political issue. In doing so they risked alienating a huge potential audience (the President had vetoed the original legislation and it took legions of pietistic voters to pass the 18th Amendment). The effectiveness of the "The Wet Parade" message no doubt contributed to the passage of the 21st Amendment the following year (1933), which repealed nationwide prohibition. Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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