6.2/10
615
23 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:

James Cruze, Erich von Stroheim (uncredited)

Writers:

Ben Hecht (adapted from the story by), Hugh Herbert (dialogue)
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
Queen Kelly (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A convent girl is abducted and seduced by a prince before being sent off to a brothel in East Africa.

Directors: Erich von Stroheim, Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron, Seena Owen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
Foolish Wives (1922)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A con artist masquerades a Russian nobility and attempts to seduce the wife of an American diplomat.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Rudolph Christians, Miss DuPont, Maude George
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 Honeymoon (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

"The Wedding March" ended with the marriage between Nikki and the crippled Cecilia takes place. Eberle swears to kills the prince unless Mitzi will agree to marry him. She relents, but at ... See full summary »

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Zasu Pitts, Erich von Stroheim, Fay Wray
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A nobleman, posing as a necktie salesman, falls in love with the daughter of a circus puppeteer, even though he is already married to the daughter of his country's war minister.

Directors: Rupert Julian, Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Norman Kerry, Mary Philbin, Cesare Gravina
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.

Director: Paul Leni
Stars: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

The wife of an American playwright in Paris becomes ensnared in the seductive wiles of an American Army officer, but her devotion to her husband convinces the officer to try to extricate ... See full summary »

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Sam De Grasse, Una Trevelyn, Clyde Fillmore
Applause (1929)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A burlesque star seeks to keep her convent-raised daughter away from her low-down life and abusive lover/stage manager.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Helen Morgan, Joan Peers, Fuller Mellish Jr.
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Erich von Stroheim ... Gabbo (as Eric Von Stroheim)
Betty Compson ... Mary
Donald Douglas ... Frank
Marjorie Kane 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

Taglines:

Hated by all-his real soul spoke through the lips of a lifeless dummy (Print Ad- New York Evening Post, ((New York, NY)) 12 September 1929) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

12 September 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der große Gabbo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Multicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Gaga Bird" production number is presumed lost. Please check your attic. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Most, perhaps all, VHS and DVD releases of the film have the color sequences in black and white. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: Krusty Gets Kancelled (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

That New Step
(uncredited)
Written by Lynn Cowan and Paul Titsworth
Performed by Marjorie Kane and chorus
Also performed as part of the finale
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Fine Performances Bad Music
12 September 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Great Gabbo, The (1929)

** (out of 4)

Early talkie has Erich von Stroheim playing Gabbo, a ventriloquist who breaks free from his assistant and then finds huge success on his own with his dummy Otto. After his success he runs into his assistant again who by this time is also famous and Gabbo thinks he can control her like he did when they first started. This here is a pretty confusing movie because it's not quite sure what it wants to do. The stuff with the dummy controlling Gabbo might make you expect a horror movie but these elements are very few. We have the personal drama of the assistant and her new husband. We have some plot about Gabbo being crazy. Then, for some unknown reason, the final thirty-minutes pretty much gets away from the Gabbo story and we get some incredibly long music numbers but more on them in a bit. There's not too much plot here but what little there is seems to come and go as the movie goes along as we switch gears so many times that it's pretty hard to follow what the filmmakers are trying to do. The best thing about the movie and the only real reason to watch it is for the performance of von Stroheim who is perfectly wicked in the role. He gives an incredibly strong performance here and you can't help but feel the hatred of his character as it seems to be really coming out of the actor. I'm sure this period in his life wasn't the greatest so this role gave him a chance to really let out some steam. Betty Compson, who appeared in THE DOCKS OF NEW YORK, is pretty good in her role as well but the screenplay gives her a lot less to do and doesn't have nearly as flashy of a role. I'm really not sure where the music numbers come from but I'm going to guess they were added after talkies became popular and Musicals started bringing people in. The film is pretty much doing its own thing when out of no where these dance sequences come up and they'll all incredibly bad, poorly staged and most of the time the voices are so high-pitched that you'll be wishing you were watching a silent. There's one incredibly strange one where the dancers are flies stuck in a spider web that's so bizarre it's pretty much a must-see. The sound quality here is certainly among the best I've heard from this era and considering how small the budget was I'm curious how they managed to do this.


3 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed