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Cavalcade (1933 film)

File:Cavalcade film poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Frank Lloyd
Produced by Frank Lloyd
Winfield R. Sheehan
Written by Reginald Berkeley
Sonya Levien
Based on the play by Noël Coward
Starring Diana Wynyard
Clive Brook
Una O'Connor
Herbert Mundin
Music by Peter Brunelli
Louis De Francesco
Arthur Lange
J. S. Zamecnik
Cinematography Ernest Palmer
Edited by Margaret Clancey
Distributed by Fox Film Corporation
Epoca (1999) (Argentina) (VHS)
Turner Classic Movies (USA) (TV)
Release dates
  • April 15, 1933 (1933-04-15)
Running time
110 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,180,280
Box office $3.5 million[1]

Cavalcade is a 1933 American 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.


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.

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[2] 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 premiered in New York City on January 5, 1933 but did not go into general theatrical release until April 15.



The film was the second most popular movie in the US in 1933.[3] It made over US $1 million in England.[4]

It ended up making an estimated profit of £2,500,000 during its initial theatrical release.[5]

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."[6]

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."[7]

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.[8] Diana Wynyard was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress but lost to Katharine Hepburn for Morning Glory.

Cavalcade was the first film produced by Fox Film Corporation to win the Best Picture Oscar, and the only one before it merged with 20th Century Pictures in 1935 to form 20th Century Fox.

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).[9]

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.[10] The Blu-ray edition is a combo pack also containing a DVD of the film.[11] 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.


  1. ^ "WHICH CINEMA FILMS HAVE EARNED THE MOST MONEY SINCE 1914?.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 4 March 1944. p. 3 Supplement: The Argus Weekend magazine. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Harry Castling (1865–1933)". Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  3. ^ '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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ New York Times review
  7. ^
  8. ^ "NY Times: Cavalcade". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  9. ^ "Fox 75th Anniversary Collection". Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ "Cavalcade [Blu-ray] (1933)". Retrieved 2013-08-23. 


  • Glancy, H. Mark.When Hollywood Loved Britain: The Hollywood 'British' Film 1939-1945. Manchester University Press, 1999.

External links