Cavalcade (1933)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Romance, War


Cavalcade (1933) Poster

The triumphs and tragedies of two English families, the upper-crust Marryots and the working-class Bridges, from 1899 to 1933 are portrayed.

TIP
Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.

6/10
3,865

Photos

  • Una O'Connor and Diana Wynyard in Cavalcade (1933)
  • Bonita Granville and Herbert Mundin in Cavalcade (1933)
  • Clive Brook in Cavalcade (1933)
  • Betty Grable in Cavalcade (1933)
  • Clive Brook and Diana Wynyard in Cavalcade (1933)
  • Cavalcade (1933)

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


18 April 2005 | gftbiloxi
7
| Stylistically Dated But Nonetheless Memorable
CAVALCADE is an extremely good example of films made in the first few years following the advent of sound, an era in which actors, directors, writers, and cinematographers struggled to find a new style that could comfortably accommodate the new technology. During this period, many actors and writers were drawn from the stage--only to discover that what seems real and natural in the theatre seems heavily mannered on screen.

This is certainly the case with CAVALCADE. The film presents the story of two London families whose lives intertwine between 1900 and 1933. The film begins with the upperclass Marryot family and their servants, Mr. and Mrs. Bridges, facing the Boer War--and then through a series of montages and montage-like scenes follows the fortunes of the two families as they confront changing codes of manners and social class and various historic events ranging from the sinking of the Titanic to World War I.

From a modern standpoint, the really big problem with the film is the script. CAVALCADE was written for the stage by Noel Coward, who was one of the great comic authors of the 20th Century stage--but the sparkling edge that seems so flawless in his comic works acquires a distastefully "precious" quality when applied to drama. Although the play was a great success in its day, it is seldom revived, and the dialogue of the film version leaves one in little doubt of why: it feels ridiculously artificial, and that quality is emphasized by the "grand manner" of the cast.

That said, the cast--in spite of the dialogue and their stylistically dated performances--is quite good. This is particularly true of the two leading ladies, Diana Wynyard and Una O'Connor (best known for her appearances in THE INVISIBLE MAN and THE BRIDE OF FRANKESTEIN), both of whom have memorable screen presences that linger in mind long after the film ends. The material is also quite interesting and startlingly modern; although it is more covert than such films as ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, CAVALCADE has a decidedly anti-war slant, and the characters in the film worry about where technology (which has produced such horrors as chemical warfare by World War I) will take them in the future.

I enjoyed the film. At the same time, I would be very hesitant to recommend it to any one that was not already interested in films of the early 1930s, for I think most contemporary viewers would have great difficulty adjusting to the tremendous difference in style. The VHS (the film is not yet available on DVD) has some problem with visual elements and a more significant problem with audio elements, but these are not consistent issues. Recommended--but with the warning that if you don't already like pre-code early "talkies" you will likely be disappointed.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

Critic Reviews



More Like This

  • Cimarron

    Cimarron

  • The Broadway Melody

    The Broadway Melody

  • The Life of Emile Zola

    The Life of Emile Zola

  • The Great Ziegfeld

    The Great Ziegfeld

  • Grand Hotel

    Grand Hotel

  • Mutiny on the Bounty

    Mutiny on the Bounty

  • Wings

    Wings

  • Going My Way

    Going My Way

  • You Can't Take It with You

    You Can't Take It with You

  • Mrs. Miniver

    Mrs. Miniver

  • Gentleman's Agreement

    Gentleman's Agreement

  • All the King's Men

    All the King's Men

Did You Know?

Trivia

In one of the many chapters presented in the film, there's a section dedicated to the sinking of Titanic. Coincidence or not, but this movie and Titanic, directed by James Cameron have a lot in common: both were winners of the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Art-Direction Oscars; both were produced by Fox; and both featured a scene on the ship where the background music playing was Johann Strauss' "The Blue Danube".


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

The Girl I Left Behind Me
(uncredited)
Traditional

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Romance | War

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to the Academy Awards, our coverage of the 2019 awards season, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com