The Big Parade

The Big Parade

classified U

Autumn Festival of Ideas 2014


Please note: This was screened in Nov 2014

138 mins

A rare chance to see two classic American silent films about the First World War with synchronised orchestral scores. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), which will screen earlier in the day at 12:00, is an epic war drama starring Rudolph Valentino. It had a huge cultural impact, is among the highest grossing silent films of all time and made Valentino - the tango-dancing Latin Lover - a superstar. The Big Parade (1925), directed by King Vidor and adapted from the work of veteran Laurence Stallings, tells the story of an idle rich boy, played by matinee idol John Gilbert, who joins the US Army's Rainbow Division and is sent to France to fight in the First World War. He befriends two working-class men, experiences the horrors of trench warfare, falls in love with a French girl and loses his leg from battle wounds.

Both films will screen with accompanying scores by Carl Davis. In association with Photoplay Productions and Watershed and with an introduction by Kevin Brownlow.

Speaker biography:

Kevin Brownlow is a film historian, television documentary-maker, filmmaker, author, and film editor, best-known for his work documenting the history of the silent era. His landmark 1980s series Hollywood (made with David Gill) was based on interviews with silent film stars and film-makers from the US. Under the banner of Thames Silents, Brownlow and Gill restored over 25 silent films, including Ben Hur, The Thief of Bagdad, The Crowd and The Wind. In 1990, with the demise of Thames Television, Brownlow and Gill formed their own company, Photoplay Productions, with Patrick Stanbury, to continue their work. Brownlow has made two feature films in collaboration with Andrew Mollo: It Happened Here, a 'what if' drama exploring an England under Nazi occupation, and Winstanley, a portrait of the 'Diggers' of the English Civil War. He received an Academy Honorary Award in 2010.

Ticket prices: £5.50 full / £4.00 concessions. Special offer: Get a combo ticket for The Big Parade and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (which will screen at 12:00) and pay just £9.00 full / £6.00 concessions for both films. You can buy tickets for this special offer online.

This event is part of Bristol 2014, a partnership programme commemorating the centenary of the start of the First World War and its impact upon the city. It is run in association with Bristol Silents and part of The World Changed: Extreme Times, Extraordinary Music, a partnership between St George's Bristol and Bristol Music Trust exploring music and conflict in the 20th century through a series of concerts and special events throughout 2014, which is supported by Arts Council England and Bristol Festival of Ideas.

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