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The Big Parade

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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The Big Parade
Movie Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by King Vidor
Release Date November 5, 1925
Language Silent
Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Distributor Loew's Incorporated
Main Cast
Character Actor
James Apperson John Gilbert
Melisande Renée Adorée
Bull Tom O'Brien
Slim Karl Dane

The Big Parade is a 1925 American silent World War I film directed by King Vidor. The United States enters World War I on April 6, 1917. The young Jim Apperson gets infected by the war euphoria of his family and his friends Tom and Karl and volunteers. In a French training camp, he and the other recruits lead a seemingly carefree life. Jim falls in love with the local peasant girl Melisande, whom he must leave, however, as his unit is transferred to the front. There, the young soldiers are confronted with the horrors of war.

This movie is considered the first realistic war film that does not glorify heroic death but condemns it. It paved the way for productions such as All Quiet on the Western Front, Westfront 1918 and numerous other anti-war films.

The following weapons were used in the film The Big Parade:


Smith & Wesson M1917

Some American officers use Smith & Wesson M1917 Revolvers as their duty sidearm.

Smith & Wesson M1917 - .45 ACP
An officer fires the revolver at a German MG position.
After emptying out he throws it in direction of the position.

Colt M1911

The Colt M1911 is used by U.S. officers.

Colt M1911 (dated 1913) - .45 ACP
An officer with a holstered Colt pistol informs Slim to move out.
Another officer holds the M1911 before a massive assault on German lines.
After the time has come, the officer leads the charge.
During hand to hand fight, the Colt is used as a club by an officer.

Luger P08

A German soldier and officer are seen with Luger P08 pistols during the fighting.

Luger P08 - 9x19mm
A German soldier fires at the advancing James.
The same soldier looks at what happened.
Later in the heat of battle, the officer holds the Luger.


Springfield M1903

The main battle rifle of the Doughboys including James (John Gilbert), Bull (Tom O'Brien), and Slim (Karl Dane) is the M1903 Springfield. German soldiers can also be seen with this rifle instead of accurate Mauser Gewehr 1898 rifles.

Springfield M1903 Mk 1 - .30-06
The three friends march with their Springfields after the boot camp.
American troops marching with the rifles to the front.
Springfield M1903 with M1905 bayonet - .30-06
Bull, James, and Slim carry their Springfields with fixed bayonets as they are advancing into Belleau Wood. The sword bayonet below James appears to be from a Beaumont-Vitali rifle.
Slim fires at a German sniper hiding on a tree.
A German soldier on the right (George Beranger) in a foxhole with the rifle with extended rear sights.
James works the bolt handle on his muddy Springfield.

Krag-Jørgensen M1896

The Krag-Jørgensen M1896 is the second most used rifle in the movie of the American and Germans.

US Property Marked Krag-Jørgensen Model 1896 - .30-40 Krag
A Doughboy with glasses marches with the Krag in the boot camp.
Another soldier holds the rifle to assemble his men.
U.S. soldiers marching with the Krag-Jørgensen behind James.
The German sniper aims his rifle at approaching Yankees.

Beaumont-Vitali M1871/88

Some rifles that appear to be Dutch Beaumont-Vitali M1871/88 rifles can be seen. This rife is often seen in American movies in the 1910s and 20s.

Beaumont-Vitali Model 1871/88 - 11.3x50mmR
A rifle lies on the ground next to a dead French soldier. Note the straight bolt handle and side-mounted bayonet which is common on the Beaumont-Vitali. Unfortunately, the rear part is hidden by an Adrian helmet.

Machine Guns

Hotchkiss Mle. 1914

French Hotchkiss M1914 Machine Guns in AA-mountings are used by American soldiers to shoot down a plane.

Hotchkiss Modèle 1914 - 8x50mmR Lebel
The soldiers fire at the plane. This seems to be archive footage.

Browning M1917

Browning M1917 machine guns are used by German soldiers.

Browning M1917 mounted on tripod - .30-06
A (bored) German soldier mows down advancing Americans.
German gunners fire at Renault FT light tanks.

Maxim MG 08

German troops use the Maxim MG08 machine gun against AEF infantrymen as well. Some of them are fitted with the Patronenkasten 16 belt drum.

Maxim MG08 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A Pilot fires a (ground-use) Maxim from his plane.
A Maxim position in the woods.
German Maxim team with the MG. Note the mounted Patronenkasten.
An abandoned Maxim on the right.

Maxim MG 08/15

A Maxim MG08/15 is fired by a German soldier from a house in No Man's Land.

Maxim MG08/15 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
The Maxim being fired by the German.


Mills Bomb

The Doughboys use British Mills Bombs.

No. 36M Mk. I "Mills Bomb"
James and Slim about to throw the grenades.

Stielhandgranate Mockup

German soldiers use Stielhandgranate Mockups standing for Model 17 Stielhandgranaten.

For comparison: Model 17 Stielhandgranate
The mockups in a crater while a soldier readies one of them. Whatever the soldier screws off on the stick.


Canon de 75 mm modèle 1897

The French Canon de 75 mm modèle 1897 field gun is used by American and German forces. For the Germans, it stands for 7,7 cm Feldkanone 96 n. A. field guns.

Canon 75 mm modèle 1897 - 75×350 mmR
The Canon de 75 mm in AA-mounting.

7.58 cm Minenwerfer

Two German soldiers fire a 7.58 cm Minenwerfer from a crater.

Leichter Minenwerfer neuer Art - 75.8 mm (2.99 in)

Renault FT

Renault FT light tank


Unclear howitzers are seen in German positions.

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