Railroaded: “Fool’s Parade” (1971)

foolsparade4     “Fool’s Parade”  (1971)

    “Fool’s Parade” is one of those occasional excursions into what a jaded America film industry would regard (no doubt with pinched nostrils) as the “heartland”; a rural conception entirely alien to a self-indulgent cultural community bolstered by excessesfoolsparadeOS of faux glamor and accompanying faux high moral and artistic purposes while transposing the human experience into a ceaseless assembly line of overheated (though sexually dishonest) melodrama and formulaic genre films which elevate mise-en-scene over substance. In that regard, at least Andrew V. McLaglen displays a steadier than usual assurance with dramatic rhythms and and an uncharacteristically sensitive attention to verisimilitude, until ultimately derailed by the slackness of scripting and one particularly glaring example of performance overindulgence.

     Three convicts are released from a penitentiary in Glory, West Virginia: Mattie Appleyard (James Stewart), a murderer with a glass eye; bank robber Lee Cottrill (Strother Martin), and young offender Johnny Jesus (Kurt Russell). The three are accompanied to the local rail station by prison Captain and half-crazed Sunday school teacher Doc Council (George Kennedy, fitted with the most appalling dental applications since John Mills in “Ryan’s Daughter”), who proceeds to issue the group threats more ominous for their suggestion of a mentally unhinged bearer than any genuine prognosticative menace. However, an initially uneventful train passage soon reveals itself as a calculated snare in which the lives of the former offenders are in imminent jeopardy.

    To read the complete review, click the following link to: https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/nights-at-the-roth-theaters/

About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in books, George Kennedy, James Stewart, Movies, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Railroaded: “Fool’s Parade” (1971)

  1. beetleypete says:

    Not only have I never seen this film, I had not even heard of it. From reading your linked review, I conclude that my remaining life span is too short to bother to search it out.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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