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gagman66

The Big Parade (1925)

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THE BIG PARADE is on in barely a half hour! It is probably John Gilbert's finest film. Although Clarence Browns "FLESH AND THE DEVIL" (1927) with Greta Garbo is certainly another strong contender. THE BIG PARADE is one of the greatest movies ever made! King Vidor was a brilliant film maker, and this Thames version has a spectacular score by the great CARL DAVIS. Actually the score is largely adapted from a late 1940's sound re-issue, but Carl Davis revised and re-recorded that score in 1988.

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yes, gagman i'm watching it right now and also taping it!

king vidor a genius with this film print showing on tcm right now great!John Gilbert is such a cutie pie in this film no wonder the ladies were nuts about him that face on screen is absolutely handsome its tragic his voice

didn't survive the talkies thus ending his career.....

What a star he would've been my oh my!......

One can only imagine its heartbreaking what happen to john. But in this film he's superb in every way and that

is comforting to us his fans!

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Another Tragedy of THE BIG PARADE was Gilbert's leading lady in the picture Renee Adoree who died very young. Sometime in the 1930's I'm ashamed to say I have forgotten the year.

 

THE BIG PARADE is actually one of those pictures where a complete score was provided to the big movie palaces of the twenties. Those that boasted full symphonies. So you were probably hearing a pretty close proximate to what the original score sounded like. Davis score is a reworking, but whenever possible he generally makes every effort to keep his scoring as authentic as he can. I assume that the 1940's reissue print retained much if not all of the 1925 arrangement recorded to an optical audio track. None the less lots of familiar melodies were used for support whenever the orchestration took place. Tunes such as "AND THE BAND PLAYED ON",(Frequently misidentified as "STRAWBERRY BLOND"),"MY BUDDY", "YOUR IN THE ARMY NOW", and "OVER THERE" which many people don't even realize is actually a WORLD WAR I song (not World War II). So much of it still sounded like a regular Photo-play score suggested from studio supplied cue sheets. This was a common practice for the release of feature films during that decade.

 

THE BIG PARADE has not been released on DVD, but I recently read where this is in the works. It is listed in Time-Warner's projects list for future release as "being restored" at this time.

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Lolite--I really don't think it was his voice that did him in, although there are stories that when women first heard his voice they laughed. But after seeing a couple of his "talkies" his voice wasn't that bad. I think his out of control lifestyle contributed more to his downfall than talking pictures. And the infamous fight with Mayer when Garbo left him at the altar.

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SPOILER!I love this movie! How did they ever get that effect with his leg? It really looks like it was gone! Also, were those title cards censored for the 40s release or have they always been like that? Oh well, things don't bother me if they were done in the past. But I do disagree with one thing, they were all pretty much ugly.SPOILER!

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The leg effect was usually acheived by the use of oversized clothes,and the leg almost bent double and strapped to hold it in place.Uncomfortable to say the least.As to Gilberts voice,I saw a sound film with Gilbert.He sounded ok to me.The same was said about Tom Mix.The studio said he was shot in the throat by a jealous woman.So much for Hollywood press agents!

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I have been faithfully recording and re-watching (studying) all of the Silent's that TCM has been showing for about a year now, and hand's down, this one is going to be my very favorite! Wow...and yes, the Carl Davis score certainly contributes to my love of "The Big Parade".

 

I will definitely be watching for this Silent to be released on DVD, and I sure hope that it will be this version, with the Carl Davis score.

 

Thank you TCM for airing this wonderful Silent for us last night! Fantastic job in programming! Mary Lou

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classicsfan1119,

 

I am also thankful to TCM for broadcasting Silent films. I own many Silents on video and DVD, but do tape the various Silents I have never seen before. I just wanted to say that I first saw 'The Big Parade' on TCM a couple of years ago and it blew me away. What a great movie. John Gilbert is excellent in the film. TCM also turned me onto 'The Crowd' and 'Don Juan.' These two films are also silent favorites of mine. I owe TCM so much for the great programming they provide!

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Yes ML this is one of my favorite silents Can't wait for it tocome out on DVD this film print with the Carl Davis

score, i'll be the first one on line for it.

Thanks everyone for clarifying John Gilbert's voice wasn't the only thing that atributed to his down fall

i forgot that Garbo left him at the alter!......

Can't imagine why?" I wouldn't have !.....

No female in the world would have who was in her right mind. What did his costar Renee Adoree die of so early

of in the 1930's ? She had such screen presence she was

magnificent. Also thanks TCM for showing this silent last nite top notch!.....

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The emotion of this movie is made even more evident as I view it because of the tragedy of the early death's of the three stars... Gilbert, Dane, and Adoree. Although, I prefer a mustached Gilbert this is certainly Gilbert's shining moment in his career.

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I think the reason Garbo left Gilbert at the altar was that is was a one sided affair, where Gilbert cared a lot more for Garbo than she did for him. I don't think she ever had any intention of marrying Gilbert, it was probably all cooked up by the MGM publicity machine. And then, the old story goes, Mayer alledgedly told Gilbert that he should just sleep with Garbo not marry her so Gilbert punched him. He never worked much after that and died of alcoholism at a very young age. Dietrich tried to dry him out and get him work but she was a little flighty too and lost interest in her project. It was a sad situation. I really love all three of these artists (Gilbert, Garbo and Dietrich) and feel like a big gossip even typing this but it's just a sad situation all around.

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notice the famous scene where Adoree and Gilbert part, and how Vidor (or the actors) position their bodies. Adoree sits prostrate, head down, hands in lap (the shot that was recently shown on the memorial weekend TCM promo). reminds me of the scene in THE NUN'S STORY where the sisters-in-training lie flat on the church floor as an act of humility. alot of cinema is great for these simple choices: where do you place the human body in front of the camera lens? you make the right choice, as director, and you have a classic scene.

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