53 user 53 critic

The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 1926 (Austria)
A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.


King Vidor, George W. Hill (uncredited)


Laurence Stallings (story), Harry Behn (scenario) | 1 more credit »
3 wins. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

The Crowd (1928)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach
Greed (1924)
Drama | Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Gibson Gowland, Zasu Pitts, Jean Hersholt
Foolish Wives (1922)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A con artist masquerades a Russian nobility and attempts to seduce the wife of an American diplomat.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Rudolph Christians, Miss DuPont, Maude George
Napoleon (1927)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A film about the French general's youth and early military career.

Director: Abel Gance
Stars: Albert Dieudonné, Vladimir Roudenko, Edmond Van Daële
The Wind (1928)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A frail young woman from the east moves in with her cousin in the west, where she causes tension within the family and is slowly driven mad.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love
The Wheel (1923)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (who Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »

Director: Abel Gance
Stars: Séverin-Mars, Ivy Close, Gabriel de Gravone
Show People (1928)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young lady from Georgia goes to Hollywood in the hopes of becoming an actress.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Marion Davies, William Haines, Dell Henderson
The Unknown (1927)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A criminal on the run hides in a circus and seeks to possess the daughter of the ringmaster at any cost.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford
Way Down East (1920)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.

Directors: Fred Niblo, Charles Brabin, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman, May McAvoy
Hallelujah (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A sharecropper decides to become a preacher after falling for a vamp from the city.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Daniel L. Haynes, Nina Mae McKinney, William Fountaine
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut


Complete credited cast:
John Gilbert ... James Apperson
Renée Adorée ... Melisande (as Renee Adoree)
Hobart Bosworth ... Mr. Apperson
Claire McDowell ... Mrs. Apperson
Claire Adams ... Justyn Reed
Robert Ober ... Harry
Tom O'Brien Tom O'Brien ... Bull
Karl Dane ... Slim
Rosita Marstini ... French Mother


The idle son of a rich businessman joins the army when the U.S.A. enters World War One. He is sent to France, where he becomes friends with two working-class soldiers. He also falls in love with a Frenchwoman, but has to leave her to move to the frontline. Written by Philip Apps <apps@math.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Laurence Stallings' great motion picture story following his stage success with "What Price Glory" See more »


Drama | Romance | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »




Release Date:

1926 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Parade des Todes See more »


Box Office


$245,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| | (1988 TCM print) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Silent | Mono (music and sound effects) (Western Electric Sound System)


Black and White (with tinted sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Officially, MGM stated that studio electrician Carl Barlow had died during production when he slipped and fell off a platform. However, what actually happened was that a shelf collapsed above him and he was crushed to death by lighting equipment. See more »


The soldiers march past eucalyptus trees during the Belleau Wood sequence. Native to Australia, eucalyptus trees are not found in that region of France. They can, however, be found in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, where the sequence was shot. See more »


Bull: We've ridden far enough and walked far enough to be in China!
Slim: Nix! If this was China you'd see a lot of Chop Suey joints around!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gratefully acknowledges the splendid co-operation of the Second Division, United States Army and Air Service Units, Kelly Field. See more »


Featured in Hollywood: Hollywood Goes to War (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Reality of War
21 April 2014 | by CJBx7See all my reviews

THE BIG PARADE (1925) is set in the United States in 1917. It tells the story of Jim Apperson (John Gilbert), an idle young rich man who enlists to fight in World War I. He finds friendship and love during his time in France, but is soon plunged into the chaos and horror of war. Directed by King Vidor.

SCRIPT: THE BIG PARADE is often acclaimed as the first Hollywood movie to realistically portray war. This is very accurate. The lead character, Jim, is reluctant to enlist but does so due to peer pressure and finding himself caught up in the patriotic fervor of the moment. Along the way, his character is changed forever by what he experiences. On my first viewing, I did feel that it took a while to get to the war…but the first hour of the movie really lays the groundwork for the great changes to come. Jim finds friendship and romance along the way, and we get to see him bond with the characters (even though he did seem to rather conveniently and inexplicably forget about his fiancée back home – that part could have been handled better IMHO.) The movie shows abundant humor, warmth, and humanity. This causes the shift to the war to have more dramatic impact. THE BIG PARADE does not glamorize war, but shows it for what it really is – a brutal and senseless waste of life. However, even then it has time for humor, and shows realistic character development. We see the toll the war takes on Jim, but the film does end on a hopeful note. SCORE: 9/10

ACTING: John Gilbert became a star after this movie, and it's easy to see why. His performance still holds up very well today – understated, realistic, and yet very charismatic. He displays a great emotional range that never seems exaggerated. Renee Adoree contributes a moving performance as his love Melisande – she conveys the character's strong will, and the depth of her love for Jim as he is taken away is very evident in this pivotal scene. The rapport between her and Gilbert is very good. Tom O'Brien contributes good support as Jim's buddy Bull. I wasn't a big fan of Karl Dane's performance as the tobacco-chewing hayseed Slim; it seemed a little broad to me, but just a little, not nearly as overdone as, say, the characters in DW Griffith's WAY DOWN EAST. Karl Dane gets to display more depth and determination during the war scenes. Claire McDowell is excellent as Jim's mother, and the relationship between her and Gilbert is moving and believable. Quite well done overall. SCORE: 9/10

CINEMATOGRAPHY/PRODUCTION: King Vidor showed his considerable directorial talent with this film. The cinematography and editing are nothing less than first rate. There are quite a few powerful sequences here – Melisande pursuing Jim as he is taken to the front; the soldiers' doomed march into the forest, with tracking shots and polished editing; the climactic battle at night…Vidor shows a great command of his use of light and shadow during the battle scene. You really do feel the impact of the battle. The editing is smoothly done throughout, and this movie helped set the standard for war movies to follow. SCORE: 10/10

SUMMARY: THE BIG PARADE is a pivotal moment in cinema, for daring to show the reality of war, rather than an idealized or propagandistic point of view. It has warmth, humor, and camaraderie, as well as a realistic viewpoint of war's horror and senselessness. The performances, cinematography, and production are first rate. Though there are minor flaws, the movie as a whole stands as a masterpiece. SCORE: 9/10

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 53 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed