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28 user 4 critic

Fools' Parade (1971)

In 1935, after forty years in a West Virginia prison, three released convicts wish to open a legitimate business using the twenty-five thousand dollars earned in jail, but a crooked prison guard in cahoots with the town banker plans to defraud them.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Roy K. Sizemore
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Steve Mystic
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Chanty (as Kathy Cannon)
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Junior Kilfong
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Enoch Purdy
James Lee Barrett ...
Sonny Boy
Kitty Jefferson Doepken ...
Clara
Dwight McConnell ...
Station Master
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Storyline

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 <ghelton@airmail.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the Shoot-Up Starts, The Dynamite Goes Off! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1971 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Die Gnadenlosen  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (as Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The imitation glass eye that James Stewart wore throughout the movie caused sufficient discomfort to force him to work for no more than twenty minutes at a time. Once it was in place, filming had to begin immediately in order to maximize productivity. See more »

Goofs

When Homer Grindstaff is supposed to be locking the bank door early in the movie, the key is clearly not even in the lock. He is merely making a gesture by fiddling with the key. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

References Ridin' for Justice (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Timeless example of public corruption, moral hypocrisy and the victims it creates.
19 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

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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