6.5/10
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29 user 5 critic

Fools' Parade (1971)

GP | | Comedy, Drama, Thriller | 1971 (UK)
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.

Director:

Andrew V. McLaglen

Writers:

Davis Grubb (novel), James Lee Barrett (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stewart ... Mattie Appleyard
George Kennedy ... 'Doc' Council
Anne Baxter ... Cleo
Strother Martin ... Lee Cottrill
Kurt Russell ... Johnny Jesus
William Windom ... Roy K. Sizemore
Mike Kellin ... Steve Mystic
Katherine Cannon ... Chanty (as Kathy Cannon)
Morgan Paull ... Junior Kilfong
Robert Donner ... Willis Hubbard
David Huddleston ... Homer Grindstaff
Dort Clark ... Enoch Purdy
James Lee Barrett James Lee Barrett ... Sonny Boy
Kitty Jefferson Doepken Kitty Jefferson Doepken ... Clara
Dwight McConnell 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:

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. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Gnadenlosen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (as Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Kennedy and Strother Martin exchange roles. In Cool Hand Luke, Martin was the warden (authority) and Kennedy the inmate. In Fool's Parade, Kennedy is the prison official (authority) and Martin the inmate. Kennedy's accent is very similar in Fool's Parade as Martin's is in Cool Hand Luke. Country law enforcement stereotypes. See more »

Goofs

When the conductor is confessing his role in the plot to Mattie, a moving shadow of the boom microphone is visible on the wall of the coach behind him. See more »

Quotes

Mattie Appleyard: God uses the good ones and the bad ones use God.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1935 See more »

Connections

References Ridin' for Justice (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable film about three unfortunate ex-cons plenty of drama , thrills and stunning performances
7 March 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Interesting story set in Great Depression with tension , intrigue , some violence but also amusement and too many moments to be taken seriously . 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. When a trio ( Stewart ,Strother Martin , Kurt Russell ) of ex-inmates led by Mattie Appleyard (James Stewart) is released from jail , they hope to open a general store . Homer Grindstaff ( David Huddleston) is a big named banker in Glory and Doc Council (George Kennedy) is a prison guard and they team up to scheme to kill Appleyard and his ex-convict friends who were trying to open up a general store in Stone Coal, West Virginia and then to take the money . After the three ex-cons boarded a passenger train( the locomotive used in this movie is none other than Southern Railway 4501 ) headed for Stone Coal , Council join forces with an assortment of bad guys , Steve Mystic (Mike Kellin) and Junior Kilfong (Morgan Paull) to stop the train before it reaches its destination and kill all three convicts . After an unsuccessful attempt, Junior Kilfong fires one shot from his double barrelled shotgun into Roy K. Sizemore (William Windom) knocking him to the ground. Later on , the trio escapes and goes to a brothel-ship where they find a Madam ( Anne Baxter) and a young girl (Katherine Cannon) .

This entertaining film about three ex-cons stalked by their former warden contains action , melodramatic events , thrills , some violence but also humor , though clichés run through-out . Comic relief for amusing moments developed among main characters and especially on the relationship between James Stewart and Strother Martin . Another great James Stewart acting as a good ex-convict who puts explosives on his body , hence the alternative name of the film "Dynamite Man from Glory Jail" . Very good support cast with special mention to George Kennedy as an extremely villain and Anne Baxter as an old prostitute . Colorful cinematography by Harry Stradling Jr , Victor MacLagen's usual , and was filmed in Moundsville, West Virginia, which was the hometown of Davis Grubbs, author of the novel titled "Fools' Parade" .

The motion picture sometimes receives an excessive melodramatic treatment and being well realized by Andrew V McLagen, son of great actor Victor McLagen . He's a a known Ford's disciple . Andrew holds the distinction of directing the most episodes of "Gunsmoke" . Furthermore , he holds the honor of filmmaking the most episodes of ¨Have gun , Will travel" (1957). And is one of the few directors to have directed both Clint Eastwood and John Wayne . He's a Western expert (McLintock, Shenandoah, Bandolero, Chisum, Cahill, Way west) and warlike specialist , such as proved in several films ( Return to Kwai, Wild Geese , Dirtdozen: the next mission, Sea wolves, Breakthrough ) . Rating : Nice 6,5 . The picture will appeal to James Stewart fans , an old master in the art of conjuring sympathy out of nothing . Worthwhile watching .


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