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Fools' Parade (1971)

GP  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Thriller  |  October 1971 (Austria)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 659 users  
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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 ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
'Doc' Council
Lee Cottrill
Johnny Jesus
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Station Master


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Glory, W.Va., 1935. It wasn't exactly a parade. It wasn't a time for celebration. It was a time to run for your life.


Comedy | Drama | Thriller


GP | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1971 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Die Gnadenlosen  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor) (as Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The locomotive used in this movie is none other than Southern Railway 4501, she was also used in the movie October Sky (1999) and is owned by the Tennessee Valley Railroad. See more »


In the closing scene and credits, the vehicles crossing the bridge over the railroad track are correct older vintage cars. However, on the second bridge in the distance, new cars can be seen crossing. See more »


Homer Grindstaff: Is this your way of stickin' up a bank?
Mattie Appleyard: Nope. No. No, I'm not a bank robber. I'm just an American that's come into a bank to cash a check.
Homer Grindstaff: I'll see you in hell, first!
Mattie Appleyard: Well that's very possible, Mr. Grindstaff. Very possible, indeed. And sooner than you think if you don't get me my money right quick!
See more »

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User Reviews

James Stewart in one of his best!
1 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film: Starts off, Typical STEWART- The very beginning of this film is almost Hitchcock-ian.

Stewart is a released convict who has saved $25,000 over the 40 years of his imprisonment. A "Murderer," he is accompanied by a "Bank Robber" Strother Martin and "Rapist" - A teenage Kurt Russel.

The year is 1935 and on release from work prison in "Glory," a fictional town in Virginia: they are "accompanied" (By Double Barreled Shotgun) to the train leaving town by bible-spouting (And slime encrusted) George Kennedy (With Really Nasty Ugly Shark-like Teeth).

As they board the train, Kennedy spouts threatening innuendo- And as the train begins to roll, we know that the train is not going to the intended rendezvous, and the suspense embedded in the film during this point, before we know exactly what is going to happen is very Hitchcock-ified. And this is where I stop lest there be spoilers.

Directed and Produced by Victor McLaglen's son Andrew: And so the homage to Hitchcock may or may not be intended as James Stewart had starred in no less than 4 Hitchcock films and was one of Hitch's best leading men.

The screen is graced also by an Anne Baxter under caked on makeup, which is rather great... She almost-reprises her role as Eve (All About Eve) in her greed... Which is not apparent at first, but once she finds out that there is a large sum of money floating about... The greed of the Baxter character is poetically dealt with in a most humorous fashion, and is a refreshing comical "Handle" for the viewer in the middle of this film.

Even through there are spots where the pace of the film seems to lag, this did not harm my interest in seeing what was going to happen at the end.

Production wise, it is obvious that this is an early 70's almost TV-like movie: The only thing that gives away the fact that this was a theatrical release was the Wide Screen Aspect Ratio.

This is well worth seeing, especially if you watch Vertigo first. Wonderful Film.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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