films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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Plain forgettable

The Big Parade

1925 / 151m - USA
Romance, War
The Big Parade poster

An early war epic. Fans of war cinema (and silents) will find a real treat here, as The Big Parade is a blueprint of many a famous war film that followed in its wake. It's certainly overlong, but the build-up is meticulous and the scenes in the trenches bring the usual mix of boredom and terror.

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When World War I commences, the young and eager James joins the army. He is shipped off to France, where he spends his first days in a peaceful village. There he meets Melisande, a lovely young woman. They hit it off, but then his regiment is ordered to fight in the trenches and he has to leave Melisande behind.

I'm not really a big fan of these war epics, but I was surprised to see so many familiar elements in such an old film, executed properly too. The usual gore and massive battles aren't here, of course, the scale is a lot smaller, but the structure and themes are very recognizable. It's a shame the film is so long, otherwise, I might've liked it better.