- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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A Very Mixed "Parade"
- David H.
I decided to try again to watch "The Big Parade." I had tried to watch this film previously, but the endless scenes of the doughboys having fun and frolicking in France before they go into combat got to be boring and I quit watching. I don't think the movie gets going until John Gilbert's French girl friend realizes there's a girl back home and he has to go into combat. The battlefield scenes are well done and the forest sequence is especially chilling while John Gilbert and Renee Adoree both give terrific performances. This is a good picture, but not a great one because it is too overburdened with vignettes and is too long with a rushed contrived ending. I still believe that "All Quiet On The Western Front" is the best film about horrors of World War I.
One Of The All Time Great American Films
- Michael O'Farrell
Most of the comments here have eloquently stated what a fine motion picture The Big Parade is. I'll just add my two cents worth and simply join in the praise for this epic war film. Beautifully acted, brilliantly directed , edited and scored (thanks to composer Carl Davis who composed his own score for the film more than a half a century later, incorporating songs from the WW1 era and his own original dramatic score, one of the finest soundtracks I have ever hear in a film be it silent or sound!). Director King Vidor cemented his great reputation as a consummate filmmaker with this spectacular production. The greatest film directors in the years since this movie premiered have been inspired by Vidor's masterpiece (William Wellman, David Lean, Stanley Kubrick, to name just a few). This is a landmark movie, justly picked to be selected for The National Film Registry.
The Big Parade
A moving WWI silent gem. Gilbert gives a fine performance as a rich soldier who tries to return to a French farm girl after fighting, played by a stunning Adoree. Director Vidor perfectly mixes comedy and now-aged action scenes, and uses the war to show the means in which Gilbert discovers the life he really wants. A great film that should rank as one of the ten best War films ever made. I give it a 4.5/5.
Big Parade is a Big Hit
Many comments relate to the movie being dated. If this film is dated, so are Shakespeare, Homer, Mark Twain. It IS a silent movie with an audience less cynical than post 9-11. Nevertheless, it remains a telling romance. The sequence of the troops leaving the French town is on paper feels contrived but the artistry of the cinematography and directing reflects too many partings of lovers in war, reflecting the artistry of Shakespeare's silliest plot, ROMEO AND JULIET. The creation of the appropriately named Rainbow Division (a unit made of soldies from all across the US) and unification as a unit remains a constant. The film moves beyond the literal to the literary. The climatic combat sequence is rivaled, in the silent era, only by the battle sequences in BIRTH OF A NATION and WINGS. It holds its own to the Talkies like PATTON and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN as well. 9Toes, Sgt. (out), B Co, 1-16, 1st Inf. Div., Vietnam 1968-1970
A Counter Release to WINGS is Needed and Vital!
All I can say is that back in late 2004 when we were promised a DVD release of this magnificent film some time in 2005, I never thought that here we would be in 2012 and still no sign of anything? The film was fully restored between 2002 and 2004. Allot of time, effort and money went into the project. Where are the results? Will we ever get to see them? 8 years is along time to wait. With Paramount just having released the fully restored WINGS on both DVD and Blu-ray disc from out of nowhere last week, selling briskly, and getting massive reviews, the film that made WINGS possible remains nowhere to be found on home video? So when is that film finally going to be given it's just due? I never thought that Warner's would be upstaged by Paramount, on the release of a major Silent film, but it has clearly happened. While I like WINGS very much, THE BIG PARADE is quite frankly the far superior picture. If Warner's does not release it now that WINGS has been released by Paramount, they are doing serious damage to the films reputation. Because WINGS status is bound to escalate significantly while THE BIG PARADE, the film that made WINGS possible in the first place continues to fade into obscurity. That must not be allowed to happen, and there is no way that it should have to happen either. Most of the work was done the better part of a decade ago, any additional costs it seems to me would be rather minimal/ yet the restored print remains elusive. It hasn't even been on TCM yet. I find that completely inexplicable. Such a great, important, and prolific film, the highest grossing move of the entire decade of the 1920's deserves much better. Please address this issue. Thank you. Sincerely,Jeffrey
The Big Parade
- Mark Sutch
The Big Parade
I notice many of the reviewers tend to rave about this movie. It would have been a big hit for the time period but really doesn't hold up well today. I just don't get John Gilbert? He isn't particularly handsome or even good looking and his love-making style is almost a cartoon. Karl Dane steals the picture with his portrayal of Slim. You cannot stop watching him and if you know about his tragic life later the movie role he plays is especially poignant. The scene where they are walking in the woods toward German machine gunners and the soldiers continue to walk forward is laughable. My grandfather was in WW 1 and he told me you never stuck your head out of the trench. A great movie for it's time, but today it is just a history lesson in cinema...
The Big Parade
This silent anti-war film is excellent and worth watching for many reasons, including the historical context, costumes, the love story, but most relatable to today, the mixed feelings and different reasons why young men go into the military and how the experience of warfare changes their lives forever. My mother's oldest brother was a WWI veteran and he also fought in France. I recall he had an aura of melancholy at times, and wonder if this is why he never married, although he had long term relationships after he returned. Many are not aware of John Gilbert's acting career, and seeing this film is an excellent place to start getting acquainted.
Introduction to John Gilbert films.
Forty years ago, I had the pleasure of discovering a movie unlike any other I had ever seen. I was fifteen years old, changing the channels on the television, waiting for a Friday late show to begin. On one of my many spins around the dial, I came across our PBS station and stopped. It was showing a silent movie. Now I had seen silent movies before, Charley Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton. They were always very funny. But this was different. This was engrossing. The movie I had intended to watch came and went while I was lost in The Great War with a young American soldier and his French sweetheart. The impression that movie made on me that night has never been matched. I've seen a lot of movies in my life, but never have I felt the way I did about The Big Parade.
The Greatest all time movie ever!
- Ronna Langley
Waiting for years now to be released on DVD - I cannot say enough about the greatness of this film. The first time I saw it, it was only the 3thrd silent film I had seen (many since), and none can compare. I rate this movie as my top 5 favorites of all time. Will continue to wait for that very much anticipated DVD. Hurry before I get old!
One of greatest films about WWI
- Denise Montgomery
This is one of the greatest films ever made about American participation in WWI, and one of the most romantic films of a wartime relationship ever made, The clip of Renee Adoree running behind the truck saying farewell to John Gilbert as he is carried off to the front, and he is frantically tossing whatever he can to her is poignant, and funny at the same time, since he almost knocks her over with one of his thrown boots, with she clutches passionately! The scene of the troops walking through the woods, in time to the metronome, has an eerie sense of the impending danger awaiting them shortly that I have never seen captured so well in any other war film. With the centennial of America's entry into the war less than a decade away, why is this not available? It was one of the biggest hits of the 20s-and this was before they had the Oscars!
- Ed Turnbull
I've probably seen fewer than 200 classic silent movies in my life..with Ramon Navaro, Gloria Swanson, Louise Brooks, Von Stroheim, Valentino, Garbo, Chaplin, etc.,this is the best of them all. John Gilbert is magnificent.
A great buddy and love movie.
- lawrence wittie
Both hawks and doves shouldsee this film.It has loyalty,love,and the horrors of war.great acting from a great cast.I would love a copy on d.v.d.It is a must see and must own.