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Cavalcade (1933)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, War | 15 April 1933 (USA)
The triumphs and tragedies of two English families, the upper-crust Marryots and the working-class Bridges, from 1899 to 1933 are portrayed.

Director:

Frank Lloyd

Writer:

Reginald Berkeley (screen play)
Reviews
Won 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Diana Wynyard ... Jane Marryot
Clive Brook ... Robert Marryot
Una O'Connor ... Ellen Bridges
Herbert Mundin ... Alfred Bridges
Beryl Mercer ... Cook
Irene Browne ... Margaret Harris
Tempe Pigott ... Mrs. Snapper
Merle Tottenham ... Annie
Frank Lawton ... Joe Marryot
Ursula Jeans ... Fanny Bridges
Margaret Lindsay ... Edith Harris
John Warburton ... Edward Marryot
Billy Bevan ... George Grainger
Desmond Roberts ... Ronnie James
Dickie Henderson Dickie Henderson ... Master Edward (as Dick Henderson Jr.)
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Storyline

A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War, the death of Queen Victoria, the sinking of the Titanic and the Great War. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Greater than "Birth of a Nation." - Louella O. Parsons (Print ad- New York Sun, ((New York NY)) 1 February 1933) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cabalgata See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,180,280 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Diana Wynyard was honored with a footprints ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, in connection with this film. See more »

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. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jane Marryot: [as the Marryots return home from an outing] 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.
[they laugh lightheartedly]
See more »

Alternate Versions

As the film was originally released, the "Twentieth Century Blues" cabaret scene featured both a gay male couple and a lesbian couple. For the 1935 reissue after the coming of the Production Code, Fox was forced to delete the lesbians. Although the gay men can still be seen (one is putting a bracelet on the other), the lesbian pair (one in black, the other in white) can be glimpsed only in a quick flash. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Soldiers of the Queen
(ca. 1894) (uncredited)
Written by Leslie Stuart
Sung a cappella by Herbert Mundin
Played by the band at the pier
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stylistically Dated But Nonetheless Memorable
18 April 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

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


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