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mtmt88

The Big Parade?

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i did a search on the TCM site and looks like the last time this King Vidor's masterpiece was shown was in 2004! (and how often do they run Stalag 17, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? like every month??)

i can't believe that december is "war films" month and the Big Parade isn't on the playlist.

why?!?!?

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This IS one of my long time favorites as it took me a long time to figure out just what is the movie with Melisande and our hero Jim , who his brother kind of took over his GF while at war in France ? and he told his Mother that he fell in love with somone else in France but hasn't seen her or even knows if she's still alive ? , well , Mom tells him , "if you're in love , then all this and nothing else matters , this of course is all done on his new wooden leg , and near the end of the movie heading back to find her she sees him through the field , [she's plowing the field with a horse] and they start towards each other , him hobbling with that God forsaken wooden leg , and when they hugged I creid , end of movie

This movie also had a sort of sing a long in it , maybe for the movie thetre folks , you're in the army now ..... etc.

Great Movie !!!

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I've not seen this film yet, even though I very much want to.

 

To my knowledge, it is not on DVD...and it's not come up on TCM since I've become interested in seeing it.

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This is one of the best films ever, especially in the war genre. There must be a reason TCM hasn't shown it lately, but they should.

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Yes, THE BIG PARADE is among my favorite films ever! This movie has just recently been fully restored. It was expected to be released on official DVD for a couple years now. So far nothing has happened, to my knowledge? This in-spite, of claims it would be released in 2006? Of course, they also made the same promise back in 2005, for it's 80th Anniversary! Sadly it appears that here is a project that Warner has put on the back burner more than once?

 

For decades the original negative was considered lost, and all subsequent prints were somewhat degraded, and based ostensibly on the content of the condensed 1931 re-issue.

 

A few years ago, a second original negative was uncovered, and the picture re-mastered in 2004. TCM probably will debut the new version early in the coming year. When they had aired this film in the past, it was the 1988 Thames Photo-play Productions restoration of the 1931 re-issue print, with a largely adapted score by Carl Davis that they showed. (I authored my own DVD-R of that version. One get's tired of waiting for the studios to get cracking!)

 

The Davis score presented on the Thames Edition, recycled several of the original themes of William Axe, Glen Mandoza's 1925 score, which was released with the film to large movie palaces with symphonies.

 

While I personally love the Davis score, I have been told by people that have seen the film during special live showings that the Axe, Mendoza, score is far superior to it? It's possible that this original score has been re-recorded, and the film now contains several sequences not seen by anyone since the 1920's! Including a few I believe in two-strip Technicolor! I don't know for sure? I do understand a new score was recorded, but I hope it's the vintage one?

 

What is certain, is the pictorial quality should show considerable improvement over what TCM has been able to present in the past. In all honesty, I generally considered the Thames print to be pretty good quality in the first place. So, I am definitely looking forward to the seeing the new restoration.

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It was the Big Parade and The Scarlet Letter that introduced me to silent films.

 

PBS ran a series on silent films back in what must have been the early to mid-70's.

 

I was a young teen then and I had never experienced the power of silent images like I did when I saw those two films.

 

When I got my first VCR in 1985 I was given a gift certificate for a local video store. The Big Parade was the film I bought. Needless to say it's time for a new home video release!

 

Yancey

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I love this movie. I have a DVD made from a VHS tape from the last TCM showing.

 

"The Crowd" is another King Vidor movie that's not shown often enough.

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The Late 80's Thames version of both THE BIG PARADE, and THE CROWD were released on laser-disc in the early 90's, but unfortunately not yet on DVD.

 

SHOW PEOPLE (1928), and THE PATSY (1928), both with Marion Davies, are two more great King Vidor Silent's that should be on DVD soon. Hopefully, in the coming year? LA BOHEME (1926) with John Gilbert, Lillian Gish, and Renee Adoree, appeared to me to need additional restoration, the last time it aired? Also A more elaborate scoring effort than it received.

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They did show "Wild Oranges" recently, but that's sort of for Vidor completists. It's a well made film, but not in the same class as 'The Big Parade" or "The Crowd," or even 'Show People" for that matter.

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i couldn't agree more, not only is it one of my favorite films, The Big Parade is definitely one of the greatest movies ever made. it's a shame it's not screened more often, it seems like the DVD will never come out, just like Wings.

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A while back, George Feltenstein of Warner Home Video said in an interview on the Digital Bits website that there was a problem with the scores for THE BIG PARADE. WHV's original intent was to present Dr. William Axt's 1931 reissue score and Carl Davis's 1988 score on the same disc with the film, but the scores wouldn't sync because they were recorded at significantly different tempos.

 

He said that if the problem couldn't be resolved (re-recording the Davis score is a possible solution), WHV would consider releasing the film as a 2-disc set, with each disc featuring a different score.

 

At any rate, there's a lot of work involved in releasing any silent film on DVD, so let's all be patient . . .

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The issue of releasing a score can tend to be very complicated because of copyright laws and performance rights. I have not heard William AXT's score for the film but if it quoted music after 1922 or early 1923 there may be issues of copyright infringement involved if royalties are not paid to the original composers. Similarly, the Carl Davis score may have similar restrictions due to it being licensed for a particular venue and X number of copies. If this is so, the contract simply has to be renegotiated. Carl Davis has shown a willingness for this; it has already happened with the Ben Hur (1925) score by Davis, so there is hope his scores will be made available on DVD editions (hopefully soon).

 

Roy

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I love the Davis score, if the original scores were even better I'd love to hear this because for a film score to surpass a Davis job would have to be monumental! I'd be interested to see that!

 

The Big Parade is probably my favourite film as well. I wrote my final year dissertation at university on The Big Parade's release and tracked it down for that purpose. It's almost impossible to find in the UK (especially considering it was Thames Television and Brit Kevin Brownlow who restored the damn thing - the only VHS copy on Amazon at the time cost ?75 - thats around $120!) and had to take a train to go to another university in another town just to sit in the little media cubicle in the library.

 

But when I finally put the movie on I was frozen from start to finish, literally with my mouth hanging open. I don't think I've ever been blown away by a film like that before. Stunning! And I cried (in the library) when Jim leaves Melisande for the front. Gilbert's performance is incredible, made all the more intense because it's a silent film. And Vidor - what a genius. After researching that film King Vidor will always have a special place in cinema for me

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After all the glowing reviews, I finally went down to the public library and checked out a copy of The Big Parade. I found the movie to be quite moving. The most powerful part of the film was watching Slim, Bull, Jim and the rest of the allied forces try to advance against the enemy.

 

I can't imagine how hard it must have been for the soldiers to jump out of their trenches into "no man's land" (the area between the trenches) with very little to no protection, and to just keep advancing against the enemy at all costs.

 

I know its sounds clique, but it makes you want to thank those that served in the military when you think of the millions and millions of people (both soldiers and civilians) that lost their lives in the war to end all wars. Great movie.

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I had always heard about "The Big Parade" and then I rented it several years ago. It really impressed me, and I think I would call it King Vidor's best film. He really made an epic out of the US experience in WWI, and it is neat seeing how he brings the diverse soldiers together and we see them as a unit.

 

What really surprised me was the ending of the film, which seemed very "modern" (I guess I mean post-Vietnam). Perhaps this is a reason why "Big Parade" seems to be unknown to so many people today. To me, it is unthinkable that a WW II movie would end in such a way, and that (WWII) is how people expect "classic war movies" to end. Therefore, people ignore "Big Parade" because it doesn't feel like a "classic war movie."

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Unfortunately, The latest word from Warner gave no indication that THE BIG PARADE, LA BOHEME, THE PATSY, SHOW PEOPLE, THE CROWD, all highly anticipated King Vidor Directed Silent's would be out on DVD anytime soon? No target dates are even being given at the present time?

 

Last year they claimed that all these films, and a few others would be out next year? Now they are making up more excuses? Hope, that they change their minds, about this? Apparently, most of these titles are not ready to go in the minds of the powers that be? The last restorations of SHOW PEOPLE, and THE CROWD, were done back in the late 1980's by Thames.

 

THE BIG PARADE was recently restored, but the new version has yet to debut on TCM? I fully expected to see it sometime in 2007! I certainly hope that we still will? I honestly thought it would air in 2006!

 

The second Lon Chaney set, will not be coming this year either! It is currently slated for 2008? A new documentary on Tod Browning is presently in production.

 

No word, on any potential John Gilbert, or Ramon Novarro collections either? This is disappointing. I had been holding out hope for THE STUDENT PRINCE IN OLD HEIDELBERG to appear. The 80's Thames release could stand a fresh transfer, it is very soft looking by today's standards. Not even a second set of Greta Garbo titles are in the works at this time!

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