The Big Parade

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The Big Parade
Directed byKing Vidor
Produced byIrving Thalberg (uncredited)
Written byHarry Behn
Laurence Stallings (novel Plumes)
StarringJohn Gilbert
Renée Adorée
Hobart Bosworth
Claire McDowell
Music byWilliam Axt
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • November 5, 1925 (1925-11-05)
Running time
141 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent movie
English intertitles
Box office$18–22 million (theatrical rental)

The Big Parade is a 1925 silent movie.[1][2][3] It was directed by King Vidor. It stars John Gilbert as James Apperson and Renée Adorée as Melisande. It was adapted by Harry Behn and King Vidor from the play by Joseph Farnham and the autobiographical novel Plumes by Laurence Stallings.

It tells the story of an idle rich boy who joins the US Army's Rainbow Division and is sent to France to fight in World War I. He becomes friends with two working class men, experiences the horrors of trench warfare, and finds love with a French girl.

In 1992 The Big Parade was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

The Big Parade was one of the greatest hits of the 1920s earning gross rentals of $4,990,000 in North America and $1,141,000 overseas on a budget of $382,000 during its initial release,[4] The film ultimately grossed $18–$22 million in worldwide rentals and is sometimes proclaimed as the most successful film of the silent era.[5][6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Variety film review; October 11, 1925, page 36.
  2. Variety film review; December 2, 1925, page 40.
  3. Harrison's Reports film review; December 5, 1925, page 195.
  4. Hall, Sheldon; Neale, Stephen (2010). Epics, spectacles, and blockbusters: a Hollywood history. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8143-3008-1. Even then, at a time when the budget for a feature averaged at around $300,000, no more than $382,000 was spent on production...According to the Eddie Mannix Ledger at MGM, it grossed $4,990,000 domestically and $1,141,000 abroad.
  5. May, Richard P. (Fall 2005), "Restoring The Big Parade", The Moving Image, 5 (2): 140–146, doi:10.1353/mov.2005.0033, ISSN 1532-3978, ...earning somewhere between $18 and $22 million, depending on the figures consulted |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  6. Robertson, Patrick (1991). Guinness Book of Movie Facts and Feats (4 ed.). Abbeville Publishing Group. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-55859-236-0. The top grossing silent film was King Vidor's The Big Parade (US 25), with worldwide rentals of $22 million.

Other websites[change | change source]