Fools Parade (1971) James Stewart - any legal release anywhere?


Nov 23, 2007
Alberta Canada
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I remember seeing it first run theatrical, but the last time I saw Fool's Parade was in the early '70s on television. Loved it! And what a cast...Jimmy Stewart as such a lovable but troubled rogue, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, Anne Baxter, Kurt Russell, David Huddleston,William Windom, Mike Kellin etc., atmospheric depression era setting, West Virginia locations...alternately funny and heartbreaking. The script was based on the novel of the same title by Davis Grubb, and most of the movie was filmed in the author's home town of Moundsville, West Virginia! A Columbia release, it's an effective and sentimental movie that is only frustrating in it's lack of a worthy and legitimate home video release in any format that I'm aware of. I do see that it has been released in a dubbed spanish DVD...I don't think it's licensed and legit, but I really don't know.

Fool's Parade is one of my most desired, and thus far MIA, American movies of 1971...the other being Red Sky at Morning, another nostalgic and sentimental melodrama with Strother Martin that is a truly great film. It kills me that neither film has ever had a quality release in any home video format, let alone a remastered HD transfer...I know that there are long standing problems with the original film elements for Universal's Red Sky at Morning, (Richard Thomas, Catherine Burns, Richard Crenna, Claire Bloom, Strother Martin, John Colicos, Desi Arnaz Jr., Harry Guardino, Nehemiah Persoff, a WW2 home front drama beautifully filmed in New Mexico...directed by Hal my mind, it's in the class of Summer of '42) Perhaps some similar affliction concerning the film elements for Fool's Parade explains it's current disappointing fate.

Jimmy Stewart's "glass eye" provides some funny sight (ha, ha) gags in the film...

The poster for Red Sky at Morning...Universal has abused their elements, re-cutting it carelessly for TV and adding voice over narration by Richard the style of his then hugely popular TV series The Waltons...leaving the question as to whether the original theatrical cut could ever be re-assembled...speaking of the lovely and talented Catherine Burns (and coincidentally, Richard Thomas once again!), we're also waiting forever for Warner Archive to rescue and rehabilitate her other truly great film, Last Summer (1968)...wouldn't you know it? Abused and neglected film elements once again!

I hope Warner Archive is making progress on restoring the film elements for Last Summer...a lot of fans have inquired on their FB page, and they have responded that chemical and digital treatments and restoration is required...if I recall, they have said that they are working on it...

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Josh Steinberg

Jun 10, 2003
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Josh Steinberg
It’s really gonna bum me out that I’ll be able to cross everything off my Jimmy Stewart list except this!


Sep 10, 2007
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TCM has aired Fools' Parade within the last couple of years -- I think maybe November 2017 when Stewart was star of the month. I remember my surprise at seeing a late Jimmy Stewart title on the schedule that I had never even heard of. I DVRed it and watched it then. I recall it as very enjoyable with lots of period color and a great cast. It is long gone from my DVR but I don't remember that the transfer shown looked substandard in any way -- however I have neither a very good eye nor a very good memory for such things.


Senior HTF Member
Jul 17, 2009
Real Name
Nick Dobbs
I’m going to live in suspense forever over this! :)
I thought there was a German DVD, but it looks to be the Spanish one referenced in the previous post - though the listing on says it has an English soundtrack.
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