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The Big Parade

Time 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.

Release details

Duration: 12 mins

Cast and crew

Director: King Vidor
Screenwriter: Harry Behn, Laurence Stallings
Cast: John Gilbert
Renée Adorée
Hobart Bosworth
Claire McDowell
Claire Adams
Robert Ober
Tom O'Brien
Karl Dane
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