The Mad Parade


1h 3m 1931

Film Details

Also Known As
Forgotten Women, Nine Girls and Hell
Release Date
Sep 18, 1931
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Liberty Productions Co.
Distribution Company
Paramount Publix Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

In 1917, after the United States has entered World War I, a group of nine American women are stationed at a canteen, housed in a former country estate near Toule, France, that is close to the Allied front line. Under the command of Betty Schuyler, the women are preparing for the arrival of soldiers that night. While snooping on Mrs. Schuyler, busy-body Prudence "Snoop" Graham learns that the carefree Monica Dale has gotten the unit in trouble with her reckless behavior. Prudence's outspoken manner makes life miserable for the others, especially the wise-cracking Lil Wheeler, who is constantly drinking wine out of her hot-water bottle. Learning that Monica has spent the night at a nearby inn with Tony Burke, a young aviator who is the lover of mild-mannered Janice Lee, Prudence blurts out the information to the spurned Janice, who calls her a liar. When Prudence threatens to tell Mrs. Schuyler about Monica's nocturnal adventure, Monica grabs Prudence and hits her to keep her in line. After Dorothy Quinlan breaks into tears when she is informed that her lover Jim has died of war-related causes, Monica and Lil comfort her. As the others begin to serve the soldiers, Mrs. Schuyler privately tells Monica that any recurrence of her behavior will mean her forced return to America. Janice, convinced that Monica did indeed sleep with Tony, confronts her, but an order to vacate the canteen for a field hospital interrupts their conversation. When the first two supply trucks are driven by the women onto the battlefield, they come under heavy artillery fire, and Prudence jumps from her truck moments before it suffers a direct hit. As the others pull the wounded Dorothy from her burning cab, Lil braves the barrage and finds Prudence in a deserted American dugout. Eventually most of the women are reunited in the bunker. While the others are asleep, Monica confides her relationship with Tony to Lil, and when Janice awakens, she resumes her challenge to Monica for the right to Tony's affection. Prudence, anxious to inform on Monica, threatens her with a bayonet. Later when Prudence is frightened by a large rat in her dugout, Janice picks up a grenade that was found by one of the women and hurls it at the rodent, mistakenly killing Prudence. As the others are awakened by the explosion, Dorothy, succumbing to her injuries, also dies. Mrs. Schuyler and twins Bluebell and Rosemary Jones arrive in their truck and find Fanny Smithers, who had fled the dugout after viewing Prudence's corpse, being comforted by Lil. Back in the dugout, Janice--to Monica's amazement--tells Mrs. Schuyler that Prudence was accidentally killed by a bomb. Having learned that the dugout was only recently evacuated and that the artillery fire is from allied forces, they decide to draw lots to determine which of them will try to carry a message to the allied troops nearby. As Janice tries to leave, Monica prevents her departure and reveals to everyone that she killed Prudence and that Tony really belongs with Janice. Monica then takes the message and rushes out of the dugout toward the allied line. After being hit by shrapnel, she drags herself to an allied bunker and lapses into unconsciousness. When her message is retrieved, the bombardment stops. As the other women realize they are saved, Monica dies of her wounds.

Film Details

Also Known As
Forgotten Women, Nine Girls and Hell
Release Date
Sep 18, 1931
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Liberty Productions Co.
Distribution Company
Paramount Publix Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The following foreword appeared on the viewed print: "From time immemorial, the ideal concept of a woman's place was in the home. Out of the maelstrom of life, however, between the lines of written history, have risen women who have gone forth from their home to take their place beside the men in times of stress and need...With no thought of self-aggrandizement they have driven themselves forward in the fields of science, sociology and research...ever striving to ease the pain and sufferings we mortals fall heir to either in PEACE or WAR...ever with the thought always to make this Earth of ours just a little better place for man to live...To those self-sacrificing Molly Pitchers, Joan of Arc, and Edith Cavells of modern times this picture is sincerely dedicated." Paramount took over this film's production in the spring of 1931 from M. H. Hoffman and H. M. Gumbin, president and treasurer, respectively, of Liberty Productions. The film was re-released on May 15, 1936 by Imperial as Forgotten Women. This film was widely publicized as the first all-women cast picture, although off-stage male voices are heard and parts of their bodies are shown in the picture. Actress Louise Fazenda was Mrs. Hal Wallis. Helen and Elizabeth Keating were twins. One of the viewed prints bore the re-issue title Nine Girls and Hell and a statement that the film was adapted from "War Angels." The print also included the statement, "A Screencraft Picture." It is unclear when the film was reissued and to what "War Angels" alludes, but Screencraft Pictures was organized in 1940.