THE BIG PARADE
Starring John Gilbert and Renee Adoree
War, not from the cushioned seat of a government job but the mud-splashed perspective of a cootie-bitten private, has been brought to the screen by King Vidor's masterly direction of "The Big Parade."
Bitter, grueling, muddy strife in all its tragedy and ironic humor has been superbly interwoven with rollicking comedy, captivating love episodes and tender romance. It is not make-believe. It is war as war actually is, with soldiers and women playing their parts bravely as plain human beings.
The story is simple - but the telling is great. A French maiden, an American doughboy and his two modern musketeers. But Vidor's vast sympathy with the subject, his utter lack of mock heroics and flag-waving and the genius he displays in sweeping his audience with him, even to the shell-pocked battleground, is unsurpassed in any war picture every filmed.
John Gilbert, as the wealthy private, gives a splendid interpretation
of the character's evolution from pampered youth to soul-shocked
veteran. Renee Adoree, as the charming Melisande, wins the hero
and the audience by her great performance of the French peasant
girl. The laughs and many of the tears go to Karl Dane as the
gangling member of the wartime trio, and Tom O'Brien garners his
share of glory as the third musketeer. Claire McDowell's mother
role is illuminated by the beauty of her sincerity, and Hobart
Bosworth, Claire Adams, Robert Ober and Rosa Marstini are excellent.
For more information, see "The Big Parade" as our "Feature of the Month"
Return to reviews page