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The Big Parade

From Academic Kids

The Big Parade is a 1925 silent film which tells the story of an idle rich boy who is shipped off to France to fight World War I, becomes friends with two working class men, experiences the horrors of trench warfare, and finds love with a French girl.

The film contains harrowing and realistic battle scenes, and broke with tradition by not glorifying the war. Indeed, it is often cited as an anti-war film. It greatly influenced the later All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), and many other subsequent war films. It was adapted by Harry Behn and King Vidor (uncredited) from the play by Joseph Farnham and the story Plumes by Laurence Stallings, and directed by Vidor. It stars John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Claire Adams, Karl Dane, Robert Ober and Tom O'Brien.

The Big Parade was one of the greatest hits of the 1920s, and made Gilbert and Adorée major stars. Tragically, Renée Adorée would soon be diagnosed with tuberculosis and die only a few years later. The film is the highest grossing silent film in cinema history, taking in $22 million at the box office.

The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Composer Carl Davis created an orchestral score for the the film in the 1980s, and it was restored and released on video in the late 1980's as part of the MGM and British television Thames Silents project.

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