King Vidor's PICTURIZATION of LAURENCE STALLINGS' GREAT STORY
A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.
141 min, USA:130 min (re-release), 126 min (TCM print)
1.33 : 1
Drama, Romance, War
Silent Film, Two Strip Technicolor, Lost Technicolor Scene, Wwi, Based On Play
Black and White
Anti-War Film, War Drama
Home From the War, Innocence Lost
Confrontational, Forceful, Cathartic, Melancholy
High on Emotion
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3
Country Of Origin
Has Detailed Data (New)
The Big Parade is a 1925 American silent film directed by King Vidor and starring John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, and Claire McDowell. Adapted by Harry Behn from the play by Joseph Farnham and the autobiographical novel Plumes by Laurence Stallings, the film is about an idle rich boy who joins the US Army's Rainbow Division and is sent to France to fight in World War I, becomes a friend of two working class men, experiences the horrors of trench warfare, and finds love with a French girl.
Youtube Video Code
140 min (original: 24 fps), USA:130 min (re-release: 24.4 fps), UK:128 min (1988 TCM print), 151 min (TCM print)
France, World War One, Box Office Hit, 1910s, Climbing A Tree
Wiki Bio Text
The Big Parade (1925)
Directed by King Vidor
Genres - Drama, War | Sub-Genres - Anti-War Film, War Drama | Run Time - 141 min. | Countries - USA |
Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Big Parade was designed as a modest programmer concerning one young man's disillusionment in the face of war. When the MGM executives took a look at the projection-room rushes, they gave director King Vidor the go-ahead to film an all-out "spectacular", which ended up running 13 reels and costing a then-astronomical $382,000. Shorn of his matinee-idol mustache, John Gilbert is perfect as an all-American-boy who signs up for World War I service, dreaming of adventure and glory. The first half of the film is taken up with the jocular byplay between Gilbert and his army buddies Tom O'Brien and Karl Dane. These scenes seem to take forever, especially to those awaiting the big battle sequences that the MGM advertising copy had promised. But Vidor's slow buildup had its purpose; by lulling the audience into complacency, the director was able to shock the viewers with the horrors of war as suddenly and effectively as the doughboys had been shocked back in 1918. Gilbert survives the war, but returns home minus one leg (the film's script was written by Laurence Stallings, himself a war vet and amputee). MGM head Louis Mayer was terrified that the scenes of a crippled Gilbert would offend his fans, so he ordered that "protection" footage be shot with Gilbert being merely wounded, but with both legs intact. So powerful were the climactic scenes between Gilbert and his parents, however, that not one preview audience ever demanded that the alternate ending be shown. The film's many highlights includes the cute scene in which Gilbert teaches French girl Renee Adoree how to chew gum; the famous shot of Adoree desperately clinging to Gilbert as he and his fellow soldiers march to the front; the chilling Belleau wood sequence, in which the soldiers, walking stealthily amidst the tall trees, are picked off one by one by snipers; and the heart-rending reunion sequence, in which Gilbert's mother (Claire McDowell) embraces her amputee son as she flashes back to the time that he took his first steps. The only concession to MGM formula was in having Gilbert depicted as a wealthy young man, living in a mansion the size of Rhode Island. Though its original impact has been blunted by years of imitations, The Big Parade remains an unforgettable movie experience.
Couple Profile Source
Disillusionment, Handicap, Homecoming, Soldier, War, High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance, A Good Cry, Home From the War, Innocence Lost, Mother Son Relationship, Military Police, Machine Gun, Infantry, Gas Mask, Flashback, Chewing Tobacco, Battlefield, Two Strip Technicolor, Lost Technicolor Scene, Based On Play, Translation Problems, Chewing Gum, Wine Cellar, Tank, Sniper, Parade
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