The Big Parade

Screening on Film
Directed by King Vidor.
With John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth.
US, 1925, 35mm, black & white, silent, 115 min.

King Vidor's stunning antiwar film is one of the classics of silent cinema. Containing realistic, remarkably staged battle sequences and moments of powerful drama, The Big Parade follows the enlistment and service of an American soldier (silent-screen great John Gilbert) who fights in France in the First World War. Though the film was made in the early years of American filmmaking, Vidor has a superior command of the medium, creating scenes that are not only brilliantly constructed but achingly intimate and disturbing. Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory is said to have been influenced by Vidor's masterpiece.

Part of film series

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: A–Z

Other film series with this film

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: Directors U–Z

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In The Trenches: Filming World War I

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Grand Illusions
The Cinema of World War I