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The Big Parade

4.5 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Big Parade, The (DVD)

The highest-grossing silent film of all time, as well as the first realistic war drama, tells the harrowing story of a young man's (John Gilbert) front-line experiences in World War I. Year: 1927 Director: King Vidor Starring: John Gilbert, Renee Adoree, Claire Adams, Hobart Bosworth, Karl Dane

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Gilbert, Renee Adoree, Claire Adams, Hobart Bosworth, Karl Dane
  • Directors: King Vidor
  • Writers: Lawrence Stallings
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 1, 2013
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00D9BNONW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,064 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
King Vidor's 1925 WWI epic, THE BIG PARADE was one of the most important Hollywood productions from the entire silent era. It put MGM on the map as a prestigious studio, catapulted John Gilbert to major stardom, and set the quality standard for war films in years to come. Made a scant 7 years after the armistice, THE BIG PARADE contains an inherent, honest authenticity that demands respect and admiration from anyone watching it today, 88 years after its release. Who would dare question or criticize the film's depiction of The Great War - either in an historic or dramatic context? Indeed, it's practically like we're watching a documentary from that time, whether it be the spot-on, chillingly realistic battle vignettes or the sincere, sensitive romantic scenes between John Gilbert and his French sweetheart played by the charming Renee Adoree.

Warner Home Video's Blu-ray Book Edition of THE BIG PARADE has been fully restored from the original camera negative, and the result will take your breath away. There's nary a speck to be seen in the immaculate 4k scanned, 1080p resolution transfer, which includes all the original tints. The outstanding full orchestra score is by Carl Davis, and integrates popular WWI tunes like "Over There" and "You're in the Army Now" with ominous crescendos underscoring the action sequences.

The special features are a collector's delight: a handsomely illustrated 64 page book with notes by historian Kevin Brownlow, an audio commentary by historian Jeffrey Vance with excerpts from King Vidor, a half hour short from 1925 called "Studio Tour", and the original theatrical trailer.

This cinematic landmark definitely ranks as one of the major vintage home video releases in recent years, and belongs on the shelf of any self-respecting classic film buff, right next to the Blu-rays of WINGS (1927) and ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930).

My highest recommendation.
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Format: VHS Tape
The Big Parade is a lengthy film but, for the most part, it is lively and fast-paced. At the beginning, I thought the film was the classic tale of a naive, spoiled rich kid (played by the great John Gilbert) drawn to the battle field by the parades and glamorization of the war. It is so much more than that. The main character, Jim Apperson, acually adjusts to soldier life very well. He quickly acquires two close buddies (played by Tom O'Brien and Karl Dane), demonstrates impressive innovation and ambition (creating a shower out of a barrel) and--of course--gets a French girlfriend, Melisande (played by Renee Adoree).
The first half of the film is a bit slow at times, although the antics of O'Brien and Dane provide comedy relief that is often hilarious (especially Dane's character). It is definitely worth the wait when Jim's unit goes off to battle. Melisande desperately clings to Jimmy not to leave (symbolism that foreshadows Jim's ultimate fate). Once on the battlefield, the fighting scenes are as well-done as any I've seen on the First World War. The troops slowly move through the devastated landscape, preparing for the next sniper attack. The three buddies end up in a trench together and spit in a target to decide who will go over the top and take out a German machine gunner (the WINNER goes over the top), Jim goes after a German he has wounded in order to finish him off and then finds he is unable to when he sees that his enemy is just a young kid. When Jim realizes the horror of war, only one thing really matters: the French girl he left behind. He must find her again! The film is one of the funniest, suspense-filled, and touching films I've seen (yes, it's all those things and more). Give it a try!
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Format: DVD
The Big Parade(released Nov/25)finally makes its way onto DVD and it's a pip.The film stars,among others,John Gilbert as Jim Apperson,Renée Adorée as Melisande,Karl Dane as Slim and Tom O'Brien as Bull.While not a perfect film,this is one of King Vidor's better known works that still stands the test of time.
The story introduces us to three different characters:one a construction worker(Dane),a bartender(O'Brien)and a spoiled rich kid(Gilbert).WW1 comes to America and everyone seems to be in the spirit to fight or do something to help the war effort,that is except Gilbert.Out the first day of the announcement,he runs into a recruiting parade.A few friends drive by in the parade and persuade Gilbert to enlist...and off he goes.The next day at home his father has a heart to heart with his recalcitrant son,telling him in no uncertain terms its either help or get out.It is then Gilbert's girlfriend comes running in saying how great it is about Gilbert enlisting.Gilbert has been trying to figure out how to tell them....ooops! With that he has an instantly proud father and brother,but a broken hearted mother.
Gilbert soon ships out and first day at camp finds him united with who are to become his two best buddies,Dane and O'Brien.They are three totally different people coming together for one glorious adventure/cause.In France the regiment they are in is billeted in a farmhouse in Champillon.Alot of funny moments ensue as the three get used to life,as they await their turn to go to the front.Amongst it all Gilbert falls in love with farm girl Adoree'.When the call finally comes to go"up front",Gilbert has just received a letter from his sweetheart back home.Adoree' has found out about it and Gilbert is torn.
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