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The only Academy Award winning picture for Fox Studios (in its pre-20th Century-Fox era), Cavalcade is a stately film adaptation of the pageant-like stage hit by Noel Coward. The film concentrates on the years 1901 through 1933, as seen through the eyes of an upper-class British family and its servants. Clive Brook and Diana Wynyard portray the "upstairs" Marryots, while Herbert Mundin and Una O'Connor represent the "downstairs" Bridges (the incidents and characterizations in Cavalcade are very, very close to those seen in the popular 1970s BBC series Upstairs,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's rife with fey, unintentional camp like the scene in which a newlywed couple pledge eternal love on the deck of an ocean liner -- only to move away and reveal a life preserver labeled Titanic."
‑ Ty Burr, Entertainment Weekly
"Nary a tear-jerking trick is missed (our family loses one son to the Titanic, the other to World War I), and the strangulation is compounded by the staginess since the film."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"Critics at the time loved this rather sanctimonious jaunt through history. Seen from the vantage point of post-Second World War egalitarianism, however, it all appears quaint and riddled with accepted class differences."
‑ Sue Heal, Radio Times
"A rare beauty."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The first soap opera to win the Best Picture Oscar, Cavalcade, based on Noel Coward's long-running play tells the 30-year saga of a upper-class British family that loses both sons, the older in the Titanic tragedy, the younger in WWI."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Almost certain to be near the top of the list for 1933."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"It is a most affecting and impressive picture."
‑ Mordaunt Hall, New York Times
"It's hard not to see Cavalcade today as a corny contraption... [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"A loose collection of unfortunate events strung together to make a feature film sadly lacking a coherent theme."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"[A] delightful, passionate drama."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"This is the first big film out of the Fox studio since Sheehan's return there and this is a big picture from and on every angle."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"If nothing else, this reveals something about the lingering power of World War I on the national and international psyches during the era."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"As drama it gets a little too soapy and the jumps in time can seem abrupt, but "Cavalcade" really does convey a sense of history and historical periods."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"Very much a part of our cinema heritage, Cavalcade deserves to be remembered more than it has been."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"It's all very stiff-upper-lip stuff, but 70 years after it was made, it still remains a very rousing, moving experience."
‑ Matt Easterbrook, Matt's Movie Reviews
More reviews for Cavalcade on Rotten Tomatoes