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Is anyone watching ?Fools? Parade? with Jimmy Stewart?


FredCDobbs
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I?d feel too guilty if I posted it now.

 

My rant was about the general photographic and film making style, which was filled with typical eary-1970s flaws. But if you and mongo didn?t notice them, I hesitate to rant about them. If you like the movie, that?s the main thing, and I?m certainly in no position to tell you that you ?shouldn?t? like it.

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> My rant was about the general photographic and film making style, which was filled with typical eary-1970s flaws.

 

You mean all those pointless zooms?

 

I enjoyed this movie, even if I'm always put off by the zooming and editing of movies from the 1960s and 70s.

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Yes, too many zooms.

 

To save time and money, they used many zoom-lens shots instead of dolly and tracking shots. The zoom shots make the various zoom scenes look like they were filmed by a TV news crew rather than being natural-looking views witnessed by various bystanders in the film.

 

And also, the first walk from the car to the train station was shot with a hand-held camera, with the camera being too jumpy and wiggly. This was just a really cheap way of making movies so they wouldn't have to lay a dolly track or even set up a tripod.

 

The length of the men?s hair was much too long for 1935, but it was just right for 1971. One character has hippie-length hair. If he had had that in 1935 he would have been laughed out of the country and beaten up all along the way.

 

The film had a title at the start that said "1935", yet they drove past a couple of 1938 cars on the way to the train station.

 

During the first wide shot of the rain sequence at night at the old train station, it only rains on the left side of the screen (where all the water sprinklers are located), but it doesn?t rain on the right side of the screen (where the crew didn?t bother to set up water sprinklers).

 

During the ?inside the moving train? shots, the camera is on a ?jiggle board? and is being jiggled as if the train is moving and rocking around, but none of the actors are wiggling side to side as they should be doing if they are inside a moving train.

 

It?s hard to believe that Stewart and Ann Baxter (in horrendous garish make-up) would make a film like this. I had to turn the sound down to avoid most of the corny dialogue, and I tried not to look at the scenes of Ann Baxter. I don?t want to have these memories of her in my mind. I finally turned the film off.

 

I think this film is probably the ?True Grit? of Jimmy Stewart?s career.

 

I will always admire Gretta Garbo for getting out of the film business when she did. That way, she will always be beautiful to us.

 

Message was edited by: FredCDobbs

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Baxter's character was a madam, and was supposed to look overly made up, and less than beautiful.

 

I have no problem with characters looking realistically unbeautiful; it sure as hell beats Merle Oberon's ridiculously, implausibly glamorous death in *Wuthering Heights*.

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Wanted to thank you for the accurate analysis, Fred. Most of this I didn't notice simply because I grew up with films of this kind. I was hoping your rant might save me from my own anti-'60's-'70's screed, since I consider others more competent, but no such luck. More on that later.

I followed the movies of directors Andrew V. McLagen and Burt Kennedy back then because they'd trained under Ford, Boetticher and Wellman. To my mind, their work harkened back to an earlier time. That their films didn't live up to their teachers' sort of goes without saying.

This, like most westerns of this time, was essentially a B-movie. If memory serves, another movie McLaglen made the same year, One More Train to Rob, was either sent straight to tv (the early '70's equivalent of straight to video) or had been made for television but was given a token theatrical release. I really don't remember Fools' Parade getting general distribution. The few critics who managed to find it considered it a diamond found in the rough.

I do apologize if you watched this on my recommendation, since it sounds like it was a real downer for you.

I enjoyed the story here and the performances. From my understanding, in the original book the characters were grotesques. McLaglen actually toned that down (even George Kennedy's with those teeth and those shoes). I hate what Hollywood did to older actresses back then, but even with that makeup, I thought Ann Baxter pulled the humanity out of that character. I liked her. I know there's a "There are no character actors anymore" thread out there somewhere, but I thought the ones here did pretty well.

I really thought Stewart did a good job here too. To my mind, his True Grit was 1965's Shenandoah, and no, I don't mean that in any kind of good way.

Well damn, I wanted to add my rant to this, and I've already run on too long. I'll save it for my next post.

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