Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Cavalcade (1933)

Starring Diana Wynyard, Clive Brook & Una O’Connor

I have thrown up my hands in defeat. This film has been the hardest to track down and I am writing this today without having seen this film. So grab my hand, and let the blind lead the blind down this mysterious path to the film that is Cavalcade. Our guide, today, will be our trusted and oh so reliable friend, the Internet.

Plot: The film opens on New Years Eve, 1899. We meet Jane (Diana Wynyard) and Robert Marryot (Clive Brook), a wealthy London couple and their manservant, Alfred (Herbert Mundin) and his family. Robert and Alfred are off to fight in the Second Boer War. Let us imagine the emotionally charged scene with clean hankerchiefs being shaken as the men are farewelled. But there is good news as both return with honour. Robert is swifty turned into a SIR (being knighted for his ability to kill humans) and Alfred is set free to work his hands to the bone (for himself this time).

With the men settled in their roles, time rolls on. Lady Jane walks the audience through thirty-four years most likely in an aristocratic voice. This is an historic period in England, including events such as The Second Boer War (but of course), Queen Victoria carking it and the Titanic’s fatal voyage of underwater discovery. Oh, and a small skirmish we like to call World War I.

We can only imagine the drama, shock and awe going on in this film, for all we have are posters, images, clips and internet reviews! Sigh.

Like Wings and All Quiet on the Western Front, Cavalcade is all about the evils of war: It is all fruitless and wasteful; death, victory, medals; more wars to follow; more death; more despair. For contemporaries of this film, this theme was painfully relevant. A second World War loomed and mothers’ hearts across the globe were once again sinking at the thought of their innocent boys being experiencing such violence; again! This is what films were created for. Real films talk about real issues. They say the unspeakable and touch sore spots and bring healing.

Cavalcade Trivia:

  • Budget – $1,180,280 (estimated)
  • Cavalcade was based on a Noel Coward play. He was paid a measly $100 000 for his writing of both words and some songs.
  • Famous songs featured in this film include: “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary (Judge & Williams);”Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile” (Powell & Asaf) and “I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside” (Glover Kind).
  • As with Wings the powers that be, have not yet released Cavalcade on DVD – a real shame!

So, there is my attempt at reviewing a film I have yet to see. Will keep trying to track it down and add a real review when able. Thanks to wikipedia, and for all the info. There’s really very little out there about this film which is surprising. I hope that the film big wigs can find it in their hearts and pocketbooks to release our Oscar winning films into the public for all to enjoy. There are some awesome movies out there that are almost impossible to view!

Next week we’re watching It Happened One Night (1934) starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. It’s a comedy, folks so no more death and despair. Onwards and upwards. And it looks like it’s on Youtube. Hip, hip…


One comment on “Best Picture – Cavalcade (1933)

  1. Fiona Watson
    September 21, 2010

    Very brave of you to do the review without a view (so to speak)! Hope you manage to track it down somewhere at some stage, I’d be interested to see if you think differently. Good luck!

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This entry was posted on September 21, 2010 by in Best Picture Films and tagged , , , , .
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