When a trio of ex-convicts led by Mattie Appleyard is released from prison, they hope to open a general store using money Mattie has saved during his 40-year sentence. This attempt is met ... See full summary »
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When a trio of ex-convicts led by Mattie Appleyard is released from prison, they hope to open a general store using money Mattie has saved during his 40-year sentence. This attempt is met with great resistance from a corrupt prison official and the banker who issued Mattie the check. Written by
Greg Helton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Timeless example of public corruption, moral hypocrisy and the victims it creates.
I was 10 years old when Fools Parade was filmed in my hometown of Moundsville, West Virginia, and I remember vividly all of the excitement we felt as we observed the actors at work in various locations. Kurt Russell couldn't go anywhere without a crowd of adoring young females screaming for his attention. I made it to the front of the crowd just once as he was ushered into a limo that would drive him to the days shoot. As I stood on the other side of the car window, my 10 year old face twisted with the emotional devastation of just missing the chance to touch him, he looked directly at me and flashed a brilliant, "I'm sorry" smile that made my day! Jimmy Stewart was very friendly and often took time to converse with the locals. My mother remembers a having conversation with him in which he demonstrated his use of the glass eye. To answer an earlier question - I believe the glass eye was called, "Tye".
Fools Parade was the second Davis Grubb novel to be filmed in Moundsville (Davis Grubb's hometown), the first being, Night of the Hunter. Both novels (and movies) explore the hypocritical, mindless nature of the "herd mentality" that can be so easily manipulated by rotten leaders & officials - especially through the use of religion and labeling. Those who see through it end up being society's outcasts, while those who follow it (in mindless hopes of acceptance and salvation) foolishly cut off their own noses to spite their faces. It's a scenario that plays out again and again in human history and is especially relevant today. A thoughtful viewer will easily see how these themes of labeling, discrimination, and fear of rejection have played out in forming the personal values of each character and boxing them into specific life circumstances - from the pathetically self-serving, desperately patriotic Cleo, to the train attendant with the tormented conscience who must choose between doing the right thing or keeping his job (and being able to feed his family during the depression).
I don't know why this movie is not easily accessible, but I have heard that it has something to do with legalities involving the Ann Baxter estate. It has, however, played on late night TV occasionally and I have a low quality video recording from quite a few years ago.. I hope it will eventually come out on DVD.
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