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.
Jimmy, the owner of a failed music shop, goes to work with his uncle, the owner of a food factory. Before he gets there, he befriends an Irish family who happens to be his uncle's worst ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
The locomotive used in this movie was the Southern Railway 4501, she was also used in October Sky (1999) and is owned by the Tennessee Valley Railroad. See more »
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 »
Is this your way of stickin' up a bank?
Nope. No. No, I'm not a bank robber. I'm just an American that's come into a bank to cash a check.
I'll see you in hell, first!
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!
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Fools' Parade (also known as Dynamite Man from Glory Jail) is directed by Andrew McLaglen and stars James Stewart, George Kennedy, Kurt Russell, and Strother Martin. It's based on the novel of the same name by Davis Grubb with a screenplay by James Lee Barrett. Harry Stradling Jr. photographs on location in Marshall County, West Virginia and Henry Vars scores the music.
Three men released from prison, one with a cheque for $25,452.32 in his pocket. One crooked bank manager and one vindictive prison captain, both men determined not to let the prisoners cash in that cheque.
Something of an under seen picture due to no home format release as yet, Fools' Parade is a well acted story set around the depression era. It's got a mixture of violence, comedy, adventure and whimsy, while its themes of corruption, new beginnings and moral quandaries are neatly put together as a melodramatic whole. The characterisations are most interesting, not least the three criminals, who having served time for some terrible crimes, are actually the most stand up guys in a town that's full of desperation; where the residents are teetering on the brink of badness.
The cast speaks for itself as regards quality, and they deliver on the promise of their names. While an unrecognisable Anne Baxter also enters the fray late on with a heartfelt and dramatic performance. Special mention for Stradling's photography, which captures the hazy atmosphere of the troubled 30s especially well. A more than involving film that prospective new viewers should try and catch if they get the chance. 7/10
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