The Big Parade – Historic Views of the Home Front

John Bengtson does the most amazing detective work, tracking down the locations where your favorite silents were filmed.

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

Small town America (Orange, CA) swept up with patriotic fervor - The Big Parade. Small-town America (Orange, Calif.) swept up with patriotic fervor – The Big Parade.

Big Parade 01Although most of The Big Parade (1925) is set in the war-torn villages and battlefields of France, the acclaimed World War I drama also provides historic views of early downtown Los Angeles and Orange County. Told from the soldier’s point of view, the epic movie directed by King Vidor follows a trio of men from different walks of life brought together by combat.

Set in the Spring of 1917, the movie intertitles describe America then as a nation occupied in peaceful progression. Mills were humming with activity while buildings climbed skyward, monuments to commerce and progression.

ca America’s buildings climbing skyward – the extant Barker Brothers Building at 7th and Flower. LAPL.

Big Parade 05 Broadway TunnelThe three male leads are introduced by their professions. Construction worker “Slim” (Karl Dane) is one of labor’s millions, building a nation, Bowery saloon-keeper…

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