Big Parade (1925) Movie Reviews
Share your thoughts. We appreciate it!
By talisencrw January 31, 2017
Recently in approaching the milestone of seeing my 5,000th film (at least by my IMDb list of my shoddy recollections), I wanted to make it a very special film, so it was between the blus of this and 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre'. That was a very special work too, but in retrospect, I felt this was an even finer film. I haven't seen much of Vidor's work (only 'The Champ', 'Hallelujah' and 'The Fountainhead'--all of which I greatly admired), but I knew he was a great American director to be reckoned with, for any cinephile worth his salt. Plus, I had always been intrigued by the then-sex symbol status of ill-starred John Gilbert (especially since my favourite actress ever, Great Garbo, was so enraptured by him).
This was remarkable. I was astounded by how Vidor (who said beforehand he wanted to finally make a film that wouldn't simply be gone from theatres in a week, but would play on for years, and that he would put forth a much greater effort if that could be the case, especially if either about steel, wheat or war) mixed elements, emotions and atmosphere so expertly. Even though it was a first-watch, since it was a silent film I thought it would be all right to throw on the Jeffrey Vance commentary, which contained four interview snippets from Vidor, late in his life in the 1970's. It was a wonderful cinephilic experience, and the book that enclosed the blu ray release was even more telling, with tons of pictures and essays about the American landmark of silent cinema.