Watch Cavalcade

  • NR
  • 1933
  • 1 hr 52 min
  • 5.8  (5,815)
  • 73

Cavalcade is a 1933 American epic drama film directed by Frank Lloyd, based on a play by Noel Coward. The movie follows the story of two English families, the Marryots and the Bridges, and their respective domestic and professional lives over the course of several decades, between the years 1899 to 1933. The film offers a panoramic view of life in early 20th century England, with specific emphasis on the social and political changes that occurred during the era. From the Boer War to the sinking of the Titanic, the Great War to the Roaring Twenties, and the Great Depression, the film touches upon various key events and historical moments that took place during this time.

The Marryots are an upper-middle-class family, while the Bridges are their domestic servants who work for them. The head of the Marryot family is Robert (Clive Brook), a businessman, and his wife Jane (Diana Wynyard), a traditional if sometimes forward-thinking woman. The Bridges family is headed by Ellen (Una O'Connor), a tough but loving nanny who serves the Marryot family for her whole life.

The film opens with New Year's Eve celebrations in London in 1899, where the Marryot family is hosting a party, and we are introduced to recurring characters and a range of societal types. The film then jumps ahead to the Boer War in South Africa, where Robert Marryot is serving in the army. The film shows Robert's discomfort with the realities of war, particularly when confronted with the suffering of a Boer woman.

After the war is over, the film takes us through different time periods as we see the Marryots and Bridges face a myriad of personal and professional struggles. From the Marryot's daughter, Edith (Margaret Lindsay), who falls in love with a charming Irishman named Joe, to Elizabeth (Ursula Jeans), a modern woman who wants to work full time and have a career, the film explores the different social and moral values of the time.

The film also examines the impact of the First World War, which drastically changed the world, and how it affected the Marryots and the Bridges family. Robert's experience during the war haunts him, and he struggles to adapt to a world that has gone through such destruction. The war proved to be a turning point for many characters, challenging their beliefs and values.

As the Great Depression sets in, the characters continue to face challenges, but the film remains hopeful. The final scenes of the film show Jane Marryot reflecting on her life, and she ultimately concludes that even with all the struggles and tragedies, her life has been a "cavalcade." The film ends on a positive note, with the characters coming together to celebrate the New Year once again.

The film is anchored by powerful performances from the lead actors, Diana Wynyard and Clive Brook. Wynyard delivers a strong performance as the traditional yet open-minded Jane Marryot, who is determined to do the right thing even if it means challenging societal norms. Brook, on the other hand, portrays Robert Marryot with sensitivity and nuance, showcasing the complexities of his character's struggles.

Una O'Connor is also a standout as Ellen, the wise and loving nanny who serves as the family's rock throughout the years. The supporting cast manages to shine despite sharing limited screentime, highlighting the strong characterizations of the film.

Cavalcade is a cinematic tour de force that remains a thought-provoking exploration of the human experience in the early 20th century. The film's scale and depth make it a compelling watch, as it captures the essence of a pivotal period in history while highlighting the personal struggles and triumphs faced by ordinary people. Ultimately, Cavalcade is a moving and heartfelt tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.

Cavalcade is a 1933 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 52 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8 and a MetaScore of 73.

Where to Watch Cavalcade
Cavalcade is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at FuboTV, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Cavalcade for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 52 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (5,815)
  • Metascore