in about 100 words or less
US 141m, silent (B&W)
Director: King Vidor; Cast: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, Claire McDowell
The Big Parade is a personal account of three soldiers from varying backgrounds who suffer the mental and physical anguish of participating in WWI. While it is not explicitly an anti-war film, King Vidor’s Big Parade is arguably the first realistic war drama. In comparison to All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), which certainly was inspired by The Big Parade, it is almost lighthearted, particularly with regard to the main character’s romance with a French village girl. Notwithstanding the relatively “happy” ending, the battle scenes are quite realistic for this early period of film making. Of particular note is the colorful language used in the inter-titles, denouncing the futility and senselessness of the war (Klaus Ming November 2010).