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gagman66

THE BIG PARADE (1925) Finally Back on TCM!

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For those of you who have never seen King Vidor's *THE BIG PARADE* TCM is running it for the first time in 5 years on Monday! My only complaint is that it is on so late at night. Really early Tuesday Morning, rather than Monday.

 

*THE BIG PARADE* is quite simply the finest American movie ever made, that has never been released on DVD by a wide Margin in my opinion. This is at least a positive step, getting the film back on TCM again after a full 5 years missing in action. My thanks to Chuck Tabesh for making in happen.

 

For 14 years this picture stood as the measuring stick, and the highest grossing MGM feature prior to *GONE WITH THE WIND* in 1939. Personally, I would take *THE BIG PARADE* over *GONE WITH THE WIND* any day!

 

 

 

TheBigParade1925Movie-Poster.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Poster-TheBigParade1925.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

GilbertAdoreeTheBigSmoochParade.jpg

 

 

 

 

TheBigParadeHuggGilbertAdoree1925.jpg

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Yes, I was a little disappointed at the time that it was going to be shown, but I figured that at least it _was_ being shown. I certainly hope that this becomes a "regular" for TCM now. I would like it to be shown at a time when more people would be able to view it next time. I really don't want it to eventually become a forgotten film. I have actually been trying to push it on people lately. I keep telling them that when it is released on DVD, they will _have_ to watch it. It is simply to good to miss!

 

Now, I am a pretty big fan of "Gone With The Wind", but I completely agree with you. I would take "The Big Parade" over that any day!

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silentvamp,

 

I have never needed to push *THE BIG PARADE* on anybody. Once they saw it, they all agreed just how great the movie is, and what a puzzler that it has never had an official DVD release so far.

 

I hope that it will not be that long until we finally see the new Fine-Grain 35 Millimeter master restored in 2004 from the original camera negative on TCM. If not on DVD. I have been told repeatedly that it was in the works, but nothing has come of it since the film was touring for it's 80th Anniversary back in 2005. All the original tints have been re-instated, and the new version uncovered allot of previously missing footage as well. 149 minutes compared to 126 for the previous version.

 

In the meantime, TCM is airing the Thames Silents edition of *THE BIG PARADE* again, which was produced clear back in 1983, but still looks pretty good. Better than the dismal print of *WINGS* they were stuck with from Paramount last year certainly. And this will be the first time many people have seen any version. I fully expect a Prime-time premier of the newly restored version once it is ready in broadcast format.

 

 

title_graphicTheBigParade-80th.jpg

 

*AMPAS Ad from March 2005. Robert Israel and His Orchestra reprised the entire original 1925 William Axt-David Mendoza score live! Oh to have been there for this event! I know a couple folks who actually were!*

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Hi Jeff.... great pictures... I certainly agree about *The Big Parade* as being one of the all-time great films.

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This forum is still not working correctly. I am having all sorts of trouble.

 

Posted this photo of Gilbert and Garbo in another thread, but no one has found it yet. One of the few posts I was able to make all week.

 

 

Flesh-and-Devil-GarboAndGilbert-Gar.jpg

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1a1athebigparade1.jpg?t=1243019056

MGM?s big publicity machine, circa 1926

 

Jeffrey, thanks for the reminder on The Big Parade airing on Monday/Tuesday morning. I had already planned to tape this, but every reminder helps. You mentioned in another thread that you lost a large number of photos from photobucket. I tried to use my account yesterday and I had trouble using the edit/crop/resize options, but I don?t think I lost a single photo. Have you checked you account recently?

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Karin,

 

Never saw this before. A promotional Star Trailer for MGM in the Mid to Late 20's, Circle 1926-'27. Wonderful stuff. Wow, *Renee Adoree* looks Super Gorgeous here, even though we only see her for a brief moment.I have no idea what film the clip is from? Hope the picture survives.

 

Most of the others Stars clips I can name. *Marion Davies in THE RED MILL, John Gilbert in BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT, Billy Haines in TELL IT TO THE MARINES etc.* Greta Garbo is remarkably frumpy here for some reason. The biggest name missing is probably Mae Murray, who I do not recall seeing pictured? Maybe She was I only watched once?

 

 

http://goldenageofhollywood.ning.com/video/mgm-in-the-1920s-the-studio

 

 

 

 

OK this Embed code obviously does not work. So what am I doing wrong? Does the direct link work at all?

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Jeffrey, the direct link does work and thanks for sharing this one. A great publicity short for MGM films, I?m pretty sure that's Lillian Gish in Annie Laurie and Norma Shearer in The Latest From Paris, but I also wonder about the films of Ramon Novarro and Lew Cody. The costume Renee is wearing, with the bonnet, could be a clue to the film. Can you think of a film in which Renee Adoree appeared that was set during the late 1800s or early 1900s, other than Tide of Empire?

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Karin,

 

It is probably a film made between 1924 and 1926. But I have no idea which one that it could be? We have all seen the photos of Renee wearing a bonnet before, not this bonnet though, or dress either.

 

Alice Terry looks really beautiful in the trailer too. I just saw her in *THE THREE PASSIONS (1928).* I have *ANNIE LAURIE (1927),* but somehow, it didn't connect that could be the film? Garbo seems to have on a dark short wig that looks all wrong for her. Have never seen her look that way. I thought that I knew what the Eleanor Boardman clips were from, I was mistaken. Catherine on GAOH found the trailer on Youtube, not me. I can't take the credit for it.

 

Are you still using Video-tape??? I would suggest that you get a T-160 tape if you can find one and record on the fastest speed. Roughly 2 hours and 40 Minutes is the capacity. Plenty enough room for this version of *THE BIG PARADE.*

 

This photo of Renee on newsprint is from 1924, and I have no idea what movie it was taken on the set of either. The film is probably lost though.

 

 

 

 

 

ReneeAdoreeVailed.jpg

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*gagman66*,

 

Well, when I say "push" I mean that is how I can convince people to watch a silent film. I don't know anyone else that watches them (with the exception of some people having watched the standard Chaplin or Keaton films). So, lately, I have been "pushing" it into the minds of people to watch "The Big Parade". But knowing that nobody will put in the effort to even set the timer for it this week, I have basically been telling them that when it is eventually released on DVD that they MUST watch it. They must give it a try. I guarantee them that they will NOT be disappointed. I don't see how they could be either. It is one of those few films that I find to be perfection.

 

I suppose that what we have is better than nothing, but I would LOVE to see the restored version. I am especially interested in seeing the "lost" footage.

 

Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought I heard that WB was only releasing a certain number of films a year. What that number was, I don't recall. Did I hear that right, though? I voted the other day for "The Patsy" to be released next (if they listen to the voters, I don't know), but unfortunately, that only had about 5% of the vote. 1950's "Watch the Birdie" (with Red Skelton and Ann Miller) had a pretty large lead. I can't help but wonder how "The Big Parade" would do on a vote.

 

Have you purchased any DVD's from them? I would like to get "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" (I haven't seen that in years), but I was wondering about the quality of the DVD's.

 

I have to tell you that I really like the Garbo-Gilbert photo in color. I like how light from the match looks like it is glowing against her face. Good job!

 

*whistlingypsy*,

 

Thanks for that other photo. I have never seen that before. Also, I would agree with the T-160 tape, if you are going to record it. I have been thinking about re-recording it just to have a "cleaner" version than the one that I own.

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SilentVamp,

 

Not trying to offend anyone, but If people pass up recording *THE BIG PARADE* tomorrow. they are truly ignorant! They are passing up one of the greatest, most influential films ever made. And VHS doesn't cut it either. I would run out now and get a DVD recorder or DVR, and record on the highest speed! It cost more to buy video tapes than DVD-R's.

 

So far, I have only purchased *THE TRAIL OF '98* from Warner Archive, and it looks about the same as my old recording off TCM from 2001. A little improvement perhaps, but not much of a one. I have all the Garbo's from MGM laser-disc so didn't order those. I will probably get *THE RED MILL,* and a few others pretty soon. I was waiting to see what other Silents were going to be offered?

 

*THE BIG PARADE* is supposed to be getting a full blown DVD release with extras. Not a Warner Archive On-Line DVD-R. I don't expect to see any Silents with Carl Davis, or even Robert Israel scores released though Warner Archive and this type of sale, but I would gladly be proven wrong.

 

Again, the new restoration is just not ready to go. It has never been made available in broadcast format to TCM from Warner's. They never recorded, settled on a musical score. Talk of *Robert Israel and his Orchestra* reprising a new recording of the original *William Axt-David Mendoza* score was/is still just speculation. More recently, it sounds as if they were going to try and keep the *Carl Davis* score in some way. But it would have to be all re-mastered, and matched up with the much improved elements of the new fine grain 35 millimeter master.

 

The 35 mm theatrical print that has seen a handful of live screenings since late 2004. It is being shown in Sydney Australia next month at a festival there. And in the Fall in San Diego, which is certainly good news.

 

A few other things. I really need to mention here. I am not all that sure which version TCM is even running tomorrow? It may not be the Thames print at all? It could be the 1931 re-issue, because that is restored, and has a recorded score. There is also the possibility of a fresh broadcast master of the Thames Silents print. When TCM ran The Kevin Brownlow versions of *THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, ORPHANS OF THE STORM,* and *THE GODLESS GIRL* late last year, all three were brand new NTSC Region 1 Broadcast masters from his Photoplay Productions.

 

I might also add that when they showed *A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS* for the first time in some years last August during the Garbo festival, that movie looked much better than I had ever seen the film look before on TCM, or even on Laser-disc. It must have been a new-broadcast format master from Photoplay Productions too, or maybe from Warners? So it is possible that *THE BIG PARADE* will get the same consideration. Of course the film is owned by Warner's and not Photoplay. But so was *A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS*.

 

TCM still ran *A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS* with the Carl Davis score. However, if the Axt-Mendoza one is around (and it is, I have a copy), I don't see why Warner Archive can't offer the film with that score? They would never release it for on-line purchase with the Davis score I'm pretty sure. Much to expensive to pay the royalties. At least I don't expect them too. Using the vintage track would hold down production costs. It may not be a popular thing to say around here, but I actually like the Axt-Mendoza score to *A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS* better than the Carl Davis one. I think it is a little more fitting. Davis score though is excellent of course.

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*The Big Parade* is a masterpiece that would have cleaned up at the Oscars if there had been Oscars in 1925. John Gilbert gives one of the all-time great performances here. Renee Adoree is also excellent as the peasant girl. This film made them major stars and cleaned up at the box office. To see this film on the "big screen" with live music would be a thrill, and I know it's been shown at various festivals. The finale is one of the most overwhelmingly emotional moments I can recall in a film.

 

And along with *The Crowd* and *Show People,* these three rank as King Vidor's best silent films films. Vidor may well rank among the the greatest directors who are now basically forgotten.

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Would agree with you.. Record it. Question IMDB shows 141 minutes but 126 +/- (TCM) what do we have here. 141 or 126 or something between uncut and cut. Read about music. I'm gathering what we have here is Dr Axt or updated version.

Recording.. Auto or SP. If 141 then Auto.. SP will only do 120 minutes. I've an SP of 4 HorseMen without the ending i.e. up to the burial scene. Hello to all those Veterans out there.

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jattok,

 

The 141 Minute version is probably the new restoration of the Road Show version from 1925, but I had read it was 149 minutes long. In any event, We are not getting the new (2004) restoration tonight. Warner never recorded/settled on a score, and TCM does not have access to it yet in broadcast format. Maybe later on this year, I sure hope so anyway. I mean I expected it by 2006. So you can imagine how disappointed that I have been year after year.

 

THE 126 minute or 129 minute running time, is probably the Thames Silents print from 1983, which is what TCM used to run. The music is by the great Carl Davis, but was based largely on the William Axt-David Mendoza score for Full Orchestra from 1925. This is still a good print, definitely better than WINGS looked on TCM last year, but I am sure it pales to the new fine grain master, stuck from the original camera negatives. That being said the Thames version is the only one that I know, and I love it.

 

On the other hand, TCM could actually be running the 1931 sound re-issue, because that is restored, and has a recorded scoring track by Axt-Mendoza. There is also the possibility of a fresh broadcast master of the Thames Silents print, either from Kevin Brownlow's Photoplay Productions are from Warners. In any event, back in 2004 when the Thames version last ran , they were still using some form of Video tapes for on air transmission, or so I have been told. That changed in 2005. Now everything is on two big digital servers. So there is bound to be some perceivable difference of some kind.

 

One other thing I might mention, when TCM ran this in the past, it always had the 1931 re-issue opening credits, even though it was really Thames Silents. On the MGM laser-disc release you see the original 1925 credits. Nowhere does it say Western Electric Sound System, and Music by Dr. William Axt. On both versions it's Carl Davis score that is playing.

 

Again I suggest a T-160 tape if you are still using VHS, or Super VHS. If you have a DVD recorder without a hard -drive, and have a 2 hrs and 40 minute recording mode, I would use that. Some machines do, while others don't. You might have to settle for a 3 hrs recording mode.

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HollywoodGolightly,

 

Great to see a clip from *THE BIG PARADE* in the *TCM Media Room* as it should have been there from the start. I just checked a few weeks ago, and could not find anything.

 

This is the *Kevin Brownlow/David Gill Thames Silents* presentation from 1983. Released on Tuner Entertainment MGM/UA VHS, and *Laser-disc* in 1989. Though never on DVD. However, *the credits as seen on TCM are clearly the 1931 re-issue credits, and not the original 1925 credits. The MGM/UA laser disc had the original opening credit design. No Music by Dr. William Axt (David Mendoza is not credited), or Western Electric Sound System is listed anyplace. Here are three capture stills:*

 

 

openingcreditsTBP.jpg

 

VidorProductionBP.jpg

 

Castliststart-BP.jpg

 

 

*Original 1925 Opening Credit design.*

 

In any event. what you are hearing is Carl Davis orchestration, and not Axt-Mendoza. That being said Davis retained much of the same themes that Axt and Mendoza had used in 1925. Including the hauntingly beautiful Romance theme between Jimmy and Melisande. (Gilbert and Adoree). As I learned from a good friend just a couple of days ago, here is more information on that great musical selection.

 

*"The piece is called "La Douce Fievre" ("The Sweet Fever"), but was also known as "Whisper That You Love Me" or "Love Theme From The Big Parade" after Axt used it in his score. It's a French composition written in the late 'teens by a fellow named Y'Ener. I've got the piano and orchestra parts, but no recording. If you want a straight piano recording, I can send you an MP3.*

 

*Interestingly enough, the piece is excerpted in the score for SHOW PEOPLE near the end of the film when Billy Haines and Marion Davies meet up again on a BIG PARADE-like set, with Davies dressed up as the Renee Adoree character, so obviously the public was familiar enough with the theme song from BIG PARADE to get the musical joke."*

 

*Here are English lyrics to the song by Louis Weslyn:*

 

*(Note: for male voice use "Ma chere")*

 

*Verse:*

*Tell me "Mon cher,"*

*That the love in my eyes you see.*

*Tell me "Mon cher,"*

*That you soon will come back to me.*

*Don't say "Good-bye"*

*For my hear could not bear the pain.*

*Sun-shine will come again dear,*

*Come again after rain.*

 

*Refrain:*

*Whisper that you love me,*

*Promise me as you start a-way,*

*You'll be always dreaming of me,*

*In the night time, in the day,*

*And remember I am clinging,*

*To your heart all my whole life through;*

*Love is burning, I am yearning,*

*Whisper sweet-heart,*

*That you love me too.*

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I recorded it thinking it was the same Thames version I already had, but apparently I have a 137 minute Thames version with the Carl Davis score and the 1925 credits. It's on DVD-R so I don't know the source or even remember how I got it. Are there 2 Thames versions with the Davis score?

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njpaddy,

 

 

No, the running time of the MGM laser-disc, and the TCM print with the different credits are both the same. I'm sure the old VHS was too. I just hope that more people recorded the movie, and will get to watching it. I still think that *THE BIG PARADE* is one of the greatest films ever made.

 

Right now I am very disappointed, because when TCM ran *WINGS* three times last year, two of those three times it was the most looked up film on the *TCM Movie Data Base* for days afterward. But *THE BIG PARADE* airs at 1.15 (central time) in the morning for the first time in 5 years, after a whole extended weekend of other War movies, and few people see it.

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Jill,

 

If TCM had the restored version in it's mitts, I am pretty certain that it would have kicked off the World War One Festival at 7.00 O'clock. And I still expect to see the movie get a Prime-Time premier, once it is.

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Thank you TCM for THE BIG PARADE and thanks to Jeffrey for raising the profile of these superb silent films. It was a privilege to see this film coincidentally following a PBS documentary showing American military cemeteries abroad titled HALLOWED GROUNDS- devastatingly poignant- truth and honour, loss and the meaning of freedom, even the trees were wounded and still standing. So inspiring, worth the wait, bravura performances, wow...Thanks again TCM.

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>>even the trees were wounded and still standing

 

Potent visual imagery. I vaguely remember a news story from Europe, about two or three years ago now, where veterans were uniting to try and save a forest of trees that had given them shelter in WW 2. I think it was in France. They were going to bulldoze the forest and put up a housing development.

 

Ugh.

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...interesting and veterans know 'home is where the heart is'. The French countryside is a beautiful setting in the film and King Vidor must have been true to Laurence Stallings' autobiographical novel Plumes. In a perfect world, THE BIG PARADE and the book that inspired it would be on library shelves everywhere.

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