The Great Gabbo

Watch The Great Gabbo

"Hated by all-his real soul spoke through the lips of a lifeless dummy"
  • Passed
  • 1929
  • 1 hr 32 min
  • 6.0  (969)

The Great Gabbo is a drama film released in 1929 directed by James Cruze and starring Erich von Stroheim, Donald Douglas, and Betty Compson. The film follows the life of a ventriloquist, Gabbo (Erich von Stroheim), and his relationship with his assistant, Mary (Betty Compson). The movie opens with Gabbo performing in a vaudeville theater in Chicago, where he uses a ventriloquist doll, Otto, to entertain the audience. Gabbo is arrogant and rude to everyone, including Mary, who he treats poorly. Despite his success on stage, Gabbo is unhappy and lonely, often speaking to himself at night.

Gabbo's career takes a turn when he is approached by a producer named Frank (Donald Douglas) who offers to help him achieve greater success. Gabbo and Frank embark on a national tour, performing in various cities across the United States. However, as Gabbo becomes more successful, he becomes increasingly unstable and delusional.

Throughout the film, Gabbo becomes consumed with his own ego and develops a strange relationship with his ventriloquist doll, Otto. He begins to believe that Otto is alive and has a mind of his own, and that the doll is the real star of the show.

As Gabbo's behavior becomes more erratic, his relationships with those around him begin to crumble. He mistreats Mary and fires her, causing her to spiral into depression and alcoholism. Meanwhile, Frank becomes increasingly concerned about Gabbo's mental state and tries to help him, but Gabbo refuses to listen.

The climax of the film comes as Gabbo performs in New York City, where he suffers a mental breakdown on stage. In front of a packed audience, he loses control of his ventriloquist act and begins to argue with Otto, revealing his own insecurities and weaknesses in the process.

The Great Gabbo is a fascinating look at the world of vaudeville and the psychological deterioration of a man consumed by his own ambition. Erich von Stroheim gives an incredible performance as Gabbo, conveying the character's narcissism and instability with frightening accuracy. Betty Compson also shines as Mary, the long-suffering assistant who falls victim to Gabbo's cruelty.

The film's impressive cinematography and use of sound create a haunting atmosphere, particularly in scenes where Gabbo talks to himself or hears voices in his head. The Great Gabbo is a powerful and unforgettable film that explores themes of mental illness, fame, and the destructive nature of one's own ego.

The Great Gabbo is a 1929 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0.

The Great Gabbo
Where to Watch The Great Gabbo
The Great Gabbo is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at FuboTV, FlixFling, The Roku Channel, FlixFling VOD and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Great Gabbo for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (969)