The Big Parade
Time Out saysTime has not dealt altogether kindly with Vidor's silent blockbuster which, like All Quiet on the Western Front five years later, made both art and box-office out of the disillusionments of WWI. Too much of it is plain embarrassing: the buddy humour which scriptwriter Laurence Stallings carries over from What Price Glory?; the snatches of all-American whimsy (French girl introduced to the mysteries of chewing gum; the sentimentality of the hero's return minus a leg but plus superimpositions showing his mother remembering him as a child falling and grazing his knee). Yet even if it romanticises the true horrors beyond all recognition, there is undeniable power in Vidor's vision of a doughboy's episodic odyssey through the vast landscape of war. One is never left in any doubt that he was, even then, a major talent.