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Cavalcade (1933)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, War | 15 April 1933 (USA)
A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War,... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (continuity)
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ellen Bridges
...
Alfred Bridges
...
Cook
...
Margaret Harris
Tempe Pigott ...
Mrs. Snapper
...
Annie
...
...
Fanny Bridges
...
Edith Harris
...
Edward Marryot
...
George Grainger
Desmond Roberts ...
Ronnie James
Dickie Henderson ...
Master Edward (as Dick Henderson Jr.)
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Storyline

A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War, the death of Queen Victoria, the sinking of the Titanic and the Great War. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE PICTURE OF THE GENERATION! (original print ad-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cabalgata  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,180,280 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play opened in London on 6 September 1931 and had 405 performances. Una O'Connor, Irene Browne and Merle Tottenham originated their movie roles in the play. See more »

Goofs

The Titanic's port of registry was Liverpool, not Southampton. See more »

Quotes

Jane Marryot: There should never be any good reason for neglecting someone that you love.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Me Back to Yorkshire
(1910) (uncredited)
Written by Harry Castling and Fred Godfrey
Sung by an unidentified male and chorus at the beach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stylistically Dated But Nonetheless Memorable
18 April 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

CAVALCADE is an extremely good example of films made in the first few years following the advent of sound, an era in which actors, directors, writers, and cinematographers struggled to find a new style that could comfortably accommodate the new technology. During this period, many actors and writers were drawn from the stage--only to discover that what seems real and natural in the theatre seems heavily mannered on screen.

This is certainly the case with CAVALCADE. The film presents the story of two London families whose lives intertwine between 1900 and 1933. The film begins with the upperclass Marryot family and their servants, Mr. and Mrs. Bridges, facing the Boer War--and then through a series of montages and montage-like scenes follows the fortunes of the two families as they confront changing codes of manners and social class and various historic events ranging from the sinking of the Titanic to World War I.

From a modern standpoint, the really big problem with the film is the script. CAVALCADE was written for the stage by Noel Coward, who was one of the great comic authors of the 20th Century stage--but the sparkling edge that seems so flawless in his comic works acquires a distastefully "precious" quality when applied to drama. Although the play was a great success in its day, it is seldom revived, and the dialogue of the film version leaves one in little doubt of why: it feels ridiculously artificial, and that quality is emphasized by the "grand manner" of the cast.

That said, the cast--in spite of the dialogue and their stylistically dated performances--is quite good. This is particularly true of the two leading ladies, Diana Wynyard and Una O'Connor (best known for her appearances in THE INVISIBLE MAN and THE BRIDE OF FRANKESTEIN), both of whom have memorable screen presences that linger in mind long after the film ends. The material is also quite interesting and startlingly modern; although it is more covert than such films as ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, CAVALCADE has a decidedly anti-war slant, and the characters in the film worry about where technology (which has produced such horrors as chemical warfare by World War I) will take them in the future.

I enjoyed the film. At the same time, I would be very hesitant to recommend it to any one that was not already interested in films of the early 1930s, for I think most contemporary viewers would have great difficulty adjusting to the tremendous difference in style. The VHS (the film is not yet available on DVD) has some problem with visual elements and a more significant problem with audio elements, but these are not consistent issues. Recommended--but with the warning that if you don't already like pre-code early "talkies" you will likely be disappointed.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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