Cavalcade (1933)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Romance, War


Cavalcade (1933) Poster

A portrayal of the triumphs and tragedies of two English families, the upper-crust Marryots and the working-class Bridgeses, from 1899 to 1933.


5.8/10
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17 June 2011 | blanche-2
6
| Thirty-four years in the life of a British upper class family
The Marryot family is the focus of Noel Coward's antiwar film, "Cavalcade," made in 1933 and starring Diana Wynyard, Clive Brook, Una O'Connor, and Margaret Lindsay.

This is an upstairs-downstairs look at the effects of war, and war's effects on society as we see what happens to the Bridges family, the servants, and the Marryots, during the years 1899-1933 in Great Britain. Not in any way snobbish, the Marryots in fact have a very close relationship with their servants. But class is class, and the class system declines to the point where the daughter (Ursula Jeans) of Ellen and Alfred Bridges (O'Connor and Herbert Mundin) becomes involved with her childhood playmate, Joe Marryot (Frank Lawton), a sign that the world the Marryots knew is fading away. All three Marryot men are involved in the Boer War, and two fight in World War I, to the distress of Jane Marryot (Wynyard), who is the representative of the antiwar sentiment.

There are other world events that touch the family as well: the death of Queen Victoria, and the sinking of the Titanic.

The film is a bit on the slow side and spends more time on the early period than the later. Coward, however, with shots of men blinded in the Great War, young men being shot, etc., makes his point very well.

My big quibble with this film is that it goes for 34 years. At the beginning, the Marryots have young children. Even if the Mr. and Mrs. Marryot were 30 years old at the beginning of the film -- why at the end of the movie did they look and act 90? It was hilarious as they're probably in their sixties. It goes to show how the concept of age has really changed.

This film is okay but somehow not as involving or as good as David Lean's This Happy Breed which concerns a middle-class family post World War I to World War II - also written by Noel Coward. I think This Happy Breed has a better cast; some of the acting in Cavalcade is a little stiff. Still, there are some striking scenes.

Critic Reviews



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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.


Quotes

Jane Marryot: Thank you Bridges.
Robert Marryot: Everything ready Bridges?
Alfred Bridges: Yes sir.
Jane Marryot: Thought we should never get here in time. I'm sure that cabby was tipsy Robert.
Robert Marryot: So am I; he called me his old coccolare.
Jane Marryot: Oh, what did you say?
Robert Marryot: Gave him another shilling.


Goofs

A lady at this time never smoked in public. Jane lights a cigarette in the train station and very graciously gives it to a wounded soldier, something a lady of that time would not have done.


Alternate Versions

The Fox Movie Channel (FMC) broadcasts the British version of the film, which had fewer onscreen credits than the American version. (The last title card reads "Distributed by Fox Film Co. Ltd., 13 Berners St. London, W.") Omitted in the British version were credits for the assistant director, dialogue director, film editor and costumes. In addition, it specified that the film was based on Charles B. Cochran's Drury Lane production. The IMDb credits are based on the American version, as listed in the AFI Catalogue of Feature Films, 1931 - 1940, which they determined from the records of Twentieth Century-Fox legal department. The soundtrack may also have been different in these two versions. Performance data in the IMDb soundtrack listing, however, was compiled from the viewed British version.


Soundtracks

Girls of the C.I.V.
(1931) (uncredited)
Written by
Noël Coward
Sung in a show by an unidentified woman and chorus

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Romance | War

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