Paramount on Parade
Paramount on Parade is a 1930 all-star American pre-Code revue released by Paramount Pictures, directed by several directors including Edmund Goulding, Dorothy Arzner, Ernst Lubitsch, Rowland V. Lee, A. Edward Sutherland, Lothar Mendes, Otto Brower, Edwin H. Knopf, Frank Tuttle, and Victor Schertzinger—all supervised by the production supervisor, singer, actress, and songwriter Elsie Janis.
Featured stars included Jean Arthur, Richard Arlen, Clara Bow, Evelyn Brent, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Jack Oakie, Helen Kane, Maurice Chevalier, Nancy Carroll, George Bancroft, Kay Francis, Richard "Skeets" Gallagher, Gary Cooper, Fay Wray, Lillian Roth and other Paramount stars. The screenplay was written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, produced by Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky, with cinematography by Victor Milner and Harry Fischbeck.
Paramount on Parade, released on April 22, 1930, was Paramount's answer to all-star revues like Hollywood Revue of 1929 from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, The Show of Shows from Warner Bros., and King of Jazz from Universal Studios. The film had 20 individual segments—several of them in two-color Technicolor — directed by 11 directors, and almost every star on the Paramount roster except Claudette Colbert and the Marx Brothers. (Colbert became a star in May 1930 with the release of The Big Pond, also with Chevalier and also released in a French-language version.) Cecil B. DeMille was also not involved in the revue as he had moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1928 and would not return until 1932 to direct The Sign of the Cross.
Paramount also produced a French-language version Paramount en Parade directed by Charles de Rochefort and a Romanian-language version Parada Paramount (Chevalier and Martini also starred in the French version, and Romanian actress Pola Illéry starred in the Romanian version. There was also a Dutch version, Paramount op Parade with Theo Frenkel. The Scandinavian version starred Ernst Rolf and his wife, Tutta Rolf.
The film, including some of its Technicolor sequences, has been restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. The original title sequence and chorus girl number immediately following it, however, are still lost. The sound for two of the Technicolor sequences ("Gallows Song" and "Dream Girl") are also missing.
According to Robert Gitt, film archivist now retired from UCLA, in a lecture at Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley, the film was also released with sound-on-disc for those theaters not equipped for sound-on-film. The archive had a report of the soundtrack for this film still existing on disc until the 1994 Northridge earthquake destroyed a set of discs that a collector was planning to donate.
In August 2010, CapitolFest in Rome, New York showed a 102-minute version restored by UCLA Film and Television Archive. Some sequences are still missing the sound, for some sequences only the soundtrack exists.
At Paramount's Hollywood studio, Ernst Rolf and his Norwegian wife, Tutta Rolf, filmed introductions and sequences for the Scandinavian version. Japanese comedian Suisei Matsui introduced the film in Japan. Mira Zimińska and Mariusz Maszynski appeared in the Polish version, and Dina Gralla and Eugen Rex appeared in the German version. Paramount filmed most of the above versions, along with Czech, Hungarian, Serbian, and Italian versions, at their Joinville Studios in Paris.