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.
The Big Parade
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Harry Behn, Laurence Stallings|