Fools, Feast of, burlesque religious festival of the Middle Ages. It occurred during the Christmas and New Year's revels, on or near New Year's Day. In many places a Lord of Misrule ruled over the revels. In France and England the ceremonies were under the charge of the Boy-Bishop, a young man fitted out as a high clergyman. During the feast, lower clergymen and minor officials parodied the sacred rites and customs of the Church. A similar burlesque, the Feast of the Ass, celebrating the donkey on which Mary and the Child Jesus rode, was widespread in France. Such burlesques were generally put down by the 15th cent.
Fools' Parade (also known as Dynamite Man from Glory Jail) is a 1971 drama film directed by Andrew McLaglen and starring James Stewart, George Kennedy, Kurt Russell, and Strother Martin. It was based on the novel of the same name by Davis Grubb.


Convicted murderer Mattie Appleyard (James Stewart), bank robber Lee Cottrill (Martin), and Johnny Jesus (Russell) are released from the West Virginia State Penitentiary, located in fictional Glory, in 1935. ("Glory" is author Grubb's pseudonym for his hometown, Moundsville, West Virginia, site of the real state jail.) Appleyard is issued a check for $25,452.32 for 40 years of prison work, an enormous amount in the Great Depression. All three men are escorted by prison Captain 'Doc' Council (Kennedy) to the train out of town.

However, Council has no intention of letting all that money get away. He, Steve Mystic (Mike Kellen) and Junior Kilfong (Morgan Paull), stop the train later. Kilfong shoots an innocent passenger, mining supply salesman Roy K. Sizemore (William Windom), while trying to stop the ex-convicts from getting away. Afterwards, Council kills the wounded Sizemore and places the blame on Appleyard.

Council is telling his partner, banker Homer Grindstaff (David Huddleston), what happened, when Appleyard walks in with sticks of dynamite (from Sizemore's suitcase) strapped to him. Grindstaff reluctantly cashes Appleyard's check. Appleyard and his friends split up, to meet up again later.

While waiting at the rendezvous, Cottrill is talked into boarding a houseboat owned by down-on-her-luck prostitute Cleo (Anne Baxter) for a drink of whiskey. Also aboard is Chanty (Katherine Cannon), a sixteen-year-old virgin Cleo took in and is saving for whoever is willing to pay $100. Appleyard and Johnny follow, only to be tracked down by Council and his bloodhound. The three men get away in a skiff, but Johnny is worried about what Council will do to Chanty, so they turn around and row back. By then, Council has left, but not before telling Cleo about Appleyard's money. Held at gunpoint, Appleyard gives her his suitcase (with dynamite in it). Thinking she is rich, she lets the men take Chanty with them. After they leave, Cleo tries to shoot the locked suitcase open and blows herself up. The fugitives are trapped on a boxcar by Council, but guilt-ridden train conductor Willis Hubbard (Robert Donner) helps them escape, though he is too afraid of Council to tell the police what he knows. Council, Mystic, and Kilfong track them down to an abandoned house. Council decides he doesn't want to share the loot, so he kills his two confederates. He then shoots a window out, wounding Appleyard. Johnny throws some dynamite at Council, but it is fetched back to him by Council's bloodhound, who is attached to Johnny. Appleyard hastily throws it out the window, killing Council. After Hubbard finally confesses the truth, Appleyard and his friends are exonerated and the police arrest Grindstaff.


"Joey" the bloodhound was also used in The Beverly Hillbillies TV series.


"Fools' Parade" was filmed entirely in Marshall County, West Virginia. Davis Grubb, author of Fools' Parade, also known as Dynamite Man from Glory Jail, was born and raised in Moundsville, where most of the filming took place. The production crew used the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (now CSX) throughout filming, mainly at the Moundsville station, which was demolished in 1980. The production crew used "stand-in" actors from Moundsville such as George Metro who was the "Train Dispatcher", and also at the time of filming (1969-1970) was the Trainmaster for the B&O Railroad, and Kitty Jefferson Doepkin, who played Clara, Grindstaff's secretary.

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