The Big Parade

Posted on 01. Sep, 2014 by in Blog, Classic Movies

Movies Just Watched

The Big Parade (1925)
In this highest grossing silent film of all time, a rich, young, innocent clean-shaven lad enlists for World War I service with his buddies but  soon learns the horrors of war.  However, before battle, romance is struck between the young American and a French farm girl. I won’t give away the full story. Read the full synopsis and reviews here if you would like.  But it is a must see film.

This is the first silent film I have really enjoyed that I have seen-and it was well over a 2 hour movie. Along with engaging characters and realistic imagery, it was filled with romance, comedy, and war drama. It is probably the best World War 1 movie of all time especially for its day. This film was filled with realistic battle scenes and frontline experiences.  John Gilbert had an amazing performance as James (“Jim”) Apperson. This film depicts his growth from a naive young man to battle hardened hero determined to survive and find his love.

There were many different things in the movie to like including the various characters, story lines and cinematography. The goofy sidekicks, Bull and Slim were fun to watch and added to the humor but they also showed their heroism and friendship on the battle lines. Of course my favorite part of the story is the love story between Jim and the young French farm girl named Melisande played by Renee Adoree. From the very first scene together when they met  to the gum chewing scene, I enjoyed the wit and sweetness of the couple while battling a language barrier, which added even more humor. Even the dramatic buildup to the men leaving to battle had its funny moments. I particularly enjoyed  the part where Melisande is frantically hanging on for dear life of the truck leaving and also Jim’s leg. When she finally lets go, Jim throws her a necklace to keep and even one of his shoes. Even the music composed and conducted by Carl Davis fit perfectly to each scene and feeling at the time in the movie.  I was nervous about the ending…!  It is a must see film and I highly recommend it for your viewing pleasure!


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