Cavalcade (1933 film)
|Directed by||Frank Lloyd|
|Produced by||Frank Lloyd
Winfield R. Sheehan (uncredited)
|Screenplay by||Reginald Berkeley
Sonya Levien (continuity)
|Based on||play Cavalcade by
|Music by||Peter Brunelli
Louis De Francesco
J. S. Zamecnik
|Edited by||Margaret Clancey|
|Distributed by||Fox Film Corporation|
|Box office||$3.5 million|
Cavalcade is a 1933 American Pre-Code drama film directed by Frank Lloyd. The screenplay by Reginald Berkeley and Sonya Levien is based on the 1931 play of the same title by Noël Coward. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Offering a view of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 through New Year's Day 1933, the film is presented from the point of view of well-to-do London residents Jane and Robert Marryot. Several historical events serve as background for the film, including the Second Boer War, the death of Queen Victoria, the sinking of the Titanic, and World War I.
Fox Movietone newsreel cameramen were sent to London to record the original stage production as a guide for the film adaptation.
Frank Borzage was originally going to direct, but he departed in June 1932 to work on another project. Fox production head Winfield Sheehan decided to use a British director due to the film's setting, and Frank Lloyd was brought onboard. Production took place from early October to November 29, 1932.
The soundtrack includes "Girls of the C.I.V.," "Mirabelle," "Lover of My Dreams," and "Twentieth Century Blues" by Noël Coward, "A Bird in a Gilded Cage" by Harry von Tilzer, "I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside" by John Glover Kind, "Take Me Back to Yorkshire" by Harry Castling and Fred Godfrey, "Nearer My God, To Thee" by Lowell Mason, "Your King and Country Want You" by Paul Rubens, "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary" by Jack Judge and Harry Williams, "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile" by Felix Powell and George Asaf, "Keep The Home Fires Burning" by Ivor Novello and Lena Guilbert Ford, "Oh, You Beautiful Doll" by Nat Ayer and Seymour Brown, "Hinky Dinky Parlay Voo (Mad'moiselle from Armentieres)" by Irwin Dash, Al Dubin, and Joe Mittenthal, and "Over There" by George M. Cohan.
The film was one of the first to use the words "damn" and "hell", as in "Hell of a lot". These had been used in the play. There was concern at the Hays Office that this could set a precedent. Fox president Sidney Kent was quoted saying the mild profanity "could not offend any person; and, after all, that was the real purpose of the Code. And as far as the use creating a precedent which might be followed by other producers is concerned, the best answer would be that anyone who could make a picture as good as Cavalcade might be justified in following the precedent."
The film premiered in New York City on January 5, 1933 but did not go into general theatrical release until April 15.
- Diana Wynyard as Jane Marryot
- Clive Brook as Robert Marryot
- Una O'Connor as Ellen Bridges
- Herbert Mundin as Alfred Bridges
- Irene Browne as Margaret Harris
- Margaret Lindsay as Edith Harris
- John Warburton as Edward Marryot
- Bonita Granville as Young Fanny
- Douglas Walton as Soldier
It ended up making an estimated profit of £2,500,000 during its initial theatrical release.
Mordaunt Hall of the New York Times called the film "most affecting and impressive" and added, "In all its scenes there is a meticulous attention to detail, not only in the settings ... but also in the selection of players ... It is unfurled with such marked good taste and restraint that many an eye will be misty after witnessing this production."
The film currently holds a rating of 57% on the film review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes with the site stating the critics consensus as "Though solidly acted and pleasant to look at, Cavalcade lacks cohesion, and sacrifices true emotion for mawkishness."
Awards and honors
Cavalcade won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Frank Lloyd won the Academy Award for Best Director, and the Academy Award for Best Art Direction went to William S. Darling. Diana Wynyard was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress but lost to Katharine Hepburn for Morning Glory.
DVD and Blu-ray releases
With the DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases of Wings on January 24, 2012, Cavalcade became the only Best Picture Oscar winner not available on a stand-alone DVD in Region 1. Cavalcade was initially released on DVD December 7, 2010, as part of the three-volume "Twentieth Century Fox 75th Anniversary Collection", a collection with a list price of nearly $500 (though commonly sold for less).
Though 20th Century Fox had no plans to release Cavalcade separately in 2010, it was released separately on Blu-ray Disc in Region A on August 6, 2013 after it received the most write-in votes in a Fox-sponsored online poll. The Blu-ray edition is a combo pack also containing a DVD of the film. As of August 2013, the only official DVDs of the film sold in Region 1 are those found in the 80th Anniversary edition Blu-ray combo pack and the 75th Anniversary Collection.
- "WHICH CINEMA FILMS HAVE EARNED THE MOST MONEY SINCE 1914?". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). March 4, 1944. p. 3 Supplement: The Argus Weekend magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Harry Castling (1865–1933)". Fredgodfreysongs.ca. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- 'Actual Receipts at the Wickets Now Decide "Box-Office Champions of 1933": Seven Ratings Entail Listing Thirteen Films Vary From Ten Voted Best; Robson Vice Barrymore; About Showshops.' The Washington Post (1923-1954) [Washington, D.C] 06 Feb 1934: 14.
- NOTES OF THE LONDON SCREEN: British Producers at Last Heed the Demand of the Public for An Improvement in Films -- Other Items By ERNEST MARSHALL.LONDON.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 29 Apr 1934: X4.
- "COLOSSAL FIGURES.". Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia). 24 December 1933. p. 15 Section: First Section. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- New York Times review
- "NY Times: Cavalcade". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- "Fox 75th Anniversary Collection". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- "The People Have Spoken! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Announces "Voice Your Choice" Winners" (PDF). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- "Cavalcade [Blu-ray] (1933)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- Glancy, H. Mark.When Hollywood Loved Britain: The Hollywood 'British' Film 1939-1945. Manchester University Press, 1999.
- Cavalcade at the Internet Movie Database
- Cavalcade at AllMovie
- Cavalcade at Rotten Tomatoes
- Cavalcade at Turner Classic Movies
- Cavalcade on Lux Radio Theater: December 28, 1936