Dress Parade

Dress Parade is a 1927 American silent romantic drama film produced by William Sistrom and Cecil B. DeMille and distributed by Pathé. The film stars William Boyd and Bessie Love, and was directed by Donald Crisp. Although it is based on a story by Major Robert Glassburn, Major Alexander Chilton, and Herbert David Walter, the plot is essentially the same as West Point, produced at MGM in 1928.[1][4]

Dress Parade
Dress Parade lobby card.jpg
Lobby card
Directed byDonald Crisp
Produced byWilliam Sistrom
Written byMajor Robert Glassburn (story)
Major Alexander Chilton (story)
Herbert David Walter (story)
Douglas Z. Doty (scenario)
John Krafft (intertitles)[1][2]
StarringWilliam Boyd
Bessie Love
CinematographyPeverell Marley
Edited byBarbara Hunter
Distributed byPathé Exchange
Release date
  • November 11, 1927 (1927-11-11)
Running time
7 reels; 6,599 feet[3]
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

Dress Parade is preserved at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and has been released on home video by Grapevine Video.[5][6][7][8]


For authenticity, many scenes were filmed at West Point.[9] Actress Bessie Love was so impressed by her time on location that she penned an unpublished novel based on her experiences, Military Mary.[10]


Civilian Vic Donovan (Boyd) visits West Point, and falls for beautiful Janet Cleghorne (Love), daughter of the commandant (Geldart). He successfully wins an appointment to the Academy, where he and Stuart Haldane (Allan), another cadet, vie for Janet's affection. Their competition escalates, nearly resulting in Haldane's dismissal, but Donovan takes responsibility, and Janet falls in love with him.[1][3][11]


Release and receptionEdit

The film received positive reviews,[11][12][13] and the performances of Boyd, Natheaux, and Allen were especially praised.[11]

The film was screened to War Department officials in Washington, D.C.[14] Adjutant General Lutz Wahl was a fan of the film, and wrote a letter to his commanding officers to support the film's success in local theaters in any way they could.[14] In Los Angeles, a military-themed parade with star William Boyd led to a showing for 200 troops,[15] and in Providence, Rhode Island, an army band played in the lobby of a theater.[16]


  1. ^ a b c Munden, Kenneth W., ed. (1971). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films 1921–1930. New York: R.R. Bowker Company. p. 202. OCLC 664500075.
  2. ^ "William Boyd in Dress Parade". Moving Picture World. November 5, 1927. p. 9.
  3. ^ a b c "Through the Box-Office Window". Moving Picture World. November 5, 1927. p. 21.
  4. ^ Service, T.O. (March 3, 1928). "Service Talks". Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World. p. 49.
  5. ^ "Dress parade [motion picture] / De Mille Pictures ; writer Douglas Z. Doty ; director, Donald Crisp". Berkeley Library, University of California.
  6. ^ "Dress parade (Motion picture : 1927)". UCLA Library Catalog, Film & Television Archive.
  7. ^ "Dress Parade (1927)".
  8. ^ Dress Parade, OCLC 663975100
  9. ^ Crisp, Donald (Director) (1927). Dress Parade. 1 minutes in.
  10. ^ Love, Bessie (1929). Military Mary. OCLC 37148006.
  11. ^ a b c "Hollywood Preview: 'Dress Parade' (Pathe)". Moving Picture World. October 22, 1927. p. 497.
  12. ^ "What the Picture Did for Me". Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World. January 21, 1928. p. 75.
  13. ^ "What the Picture Did for Me". Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World. February 18, 1928. p. 64.
  14. ^ a b "U.S. War Department Squarely Behind Pathe's 'Dress Parade'". Moving Picture World. October 22, 1927. p. 488.
  15. ^ "'Dress Parade' Smashes Records". Moving Picture World. December 10, 1927. p. 21.
  16. ^ "Here's an Actual Milkman's Matinee". Moving Picture World. December 24, 1927. p. 29.

External linksEdit