State Fair

Tagline : For the young in heart! And romantic oldsters, too!

Runtime : 100 mins

Genre : Comedy Music Romance

Vote Rating : 6.6/10

Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : During their annual visit to the Iowa State Fair, the Frake family enjoy many adventures. Proud patriarch Abel has high hopes for his champion swine Blueboy; and his wife Melissa enters the mincemeat and pickles contest...with hilarious results.

Cast Members

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This is a colourful depiction of the antics of the "Frake" family - "Abel" (Charles Winninger), his wife "Melissa" (Fay Bainter) and their teenage children "Wayne" (Dick Haymes) and "Margy" (Jeanne Crain) at the annual Iowa State Fair. The fair itself offers an excellent vehicle for loads of storylines from some lovelorn pig husbandry and mincemeat tasting through the usual boy loves girl loves other boy - or in his case - man (Dana Andrews) for daughter "Margy" and Wayne has the hots for big band starlet "Emily" (Vivian Blaine). The story proceeds along predictable lines, with some characterful efforts from a decent supporting cast - Harry Morgan running a crooked stall and Donald Meek's penchant for his food tasting duties spring to mind, and Rodgers and Hammerstein provide us with the memorable "It Might as Well be Spring" as well as the toe-tapping "It's a Grand Night for Singing" to keep it moving along nicely. It's an unashamed piece of Americana, this: smiles, chintz and cheese - lots and lots of cheese. The writing, at times quite amusing, lacks anything to accompany the songs though - it's all just a little bit thin, twee even. Crain, Andrews and a slightly clunky Haymes are efficient, but their constant romanic shenanigans started to get a bit on the dull side after a while - for me, anyway. It's an interesting observation of just how rural folks got their entertainment back then but the story isn't one of Hammerstein's best. Enjoyable enough to watch though, but it hasn't quite the style of the Gaynor/Foster version from twelve years earlier.

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