The Big Parade

I had a routine day of work, and then I got back to watch “The Big Parade,” the classic silent film directed by King Vidor. It was released in 1925, five years before “All Quiet on the Western Front” and 32 years before “Paths of Glory.” It was the story of a rich young man named Jim going off to World War I. He falls in love with a French woman named Melisande. It had humorous scenes, like one with a barrel, and it showed the brutality of war. Some of the scene were beautiful. The countryside in the 1920s was impressive. It was a big, epic war film that was one of the biggest hits of the silent era. I see it as a predecessor of “The Crowd.” King Vidor did well in capturing the trials of the ordinary man. The scene with the cake was amusing, even if we’ve seen it plenty of times. Jim is unhappy when he returns from Europe. I saw traces of “The Hurt Locker” in the scene in his house. I’d rather watch “The Crowd” again, but I thought this was a good film. King Vidor would go on to make “Stella Dallas,” “A Duel in the Sun,” and “War and Peace.” He died in Paso Robles in 1982. Some of the people who died on September 29 include Carson McCullers (1967), Edward Everett Horton (1970), Casey Stengel (1975), Charles Addams (1988), Roy Lichtenstein (1997), Lois Maxwell (2007), and Tony Curtis (2010). Today is a birthday for Ian McShane (73) and Jerry Lee Lewis (80). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 29, Prince had the Number One single in the United States in 1984 with “Let’s Go Crazy.” In 1985, the Steven Spielberg anthology television series “Amazing Stories” made its debut on NBC. Today would have been Madeline Kahn’s 73rd birthday.

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