Sunday, June 12, 2011

29. The Big Parade

The Big Parade

Finally!  I am back! I apologize about the hiatus but this film took eons to get to my house.  I have often found that I lack foresight and this is no exception.  I ordered the movie after watching the last one (instead of looking ahead and ordering it earlier) and since I am kind of weird about lists, I couldn't move on until I saw this.  As for my book blog, every summer I reread my favorite series and so I took a break from that as well.  I have been updating the albums and art one fairly regularly but Brie has been out of town, so there haven't been a lot of posts lately. There is going to be another short hiatus because I am going abroad but I will try to do as much as I can before I leave.  Enough about me!  Let's crack on!

So my initial happiness about finally receiving this movie was a bit dampened when I saw that it was over two hours long. It is also a war movie of which I rarely enjoy (thumbs up Gone With the Wind; thumbs down Saving Private Ryan).   I was actually pleasantly surprised.  The story is about a rich, spoiled guy who is kind of a pansy and cannot stand up to his fiancee enough to say "but I don't want to go to war!".  He ends up going to France and falling in love with a lovely French girl.  Typical war tragedy ensues, and the ending is really poignant.

I will start with my complaints.  The love story is a bit half-assed.  They can't speak the same language so you kind of gather that it is a pretty, ahem, physical relationship.  It kind of reminded me of Disney's Pocahantas although the girl didn't magically learn to speak English (maybe if she had listened to Grandmother Willow, she would have been able to).  They then proceeded to make Jim's, the main character, fiancee fall in love with his brother so you didn't feel sorry for her which felt a bit lazy to me.  If you get past the rather pathetic romance, however, it is a pretty good coming of age story.  Some of it was fairly predictable but if it wasn't it wouldn't be a war movie!

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Highest grossing silent film of all time.

A studio electrician died on the set when he slipped and fell off a platform.

This film was immensely successful.  King Vidor, the director, was entitled to 20% of the net profits.  MGM found out and swindled him into selling his share.  It grossed around $55 million (adjusted for inflation).  Corporate windbags!

I apologize that this post was so long but it has been a long time since I did this!  Good luck getting this film by the way!  Now I am stuck with a secondhand video tape...groan...


  1. Maybe his disappointment with the studio was why King Vidor proceeded to make a lot of depressive movies. Bandits.