Twentieth Century-Fox couldn't make a film version of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's Oklahoma in 1945--that particular Broadway musical would remain a "hot ticket" until the end of the decade--so the studio did the next best thing by hiring Rodgers & Hammerstein to pen the score for the Technicolorful State Fair. Fox had previously made a ...Read MoreTwentieth Century-Fox couldn't make a film version of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's Oklahoma in 1945--that particular Broadway musical would remain a "hot ticket" until the end of the decade--so the studio did the next best thing by hiring Rodgers & Hammerstein to pen the score for the Technicolorful State Fair. Fox had previously made a non-singing movie of Philip Stong's novel in 1933, with Janet Gaynor and Will Rogers in the leads. The musical remake downplayed the older characters in favor of the younger members of the cast. Set during the annual Iowa State Fair, the story concentrates on the Frakes family: father Charles Winninger, mother Fay Bainter, and grown-up children Jeanne Crain and Dick Haymes. Each has his or her own reason for attending the fair: Winninger intends to win the "prize hog" ribbon, Bainter hopes to defeat her longtime snooty rival in the food contest (she wins when the judges get schnockered on the alcohol in her entry), Crain falls in love with fast-talking journalist Dana Andrews, and Haymes woos footloose and fancy-free vocalist Vivian Blaine. Musical highlights include the Oscar-winning "It Might as Well be Spring," "It's a Grand Night for Singing," and the title number. To avoid confusion with the 1962 remake, the 1945 State Fair was for many years retitled It Happened One Summer for TV showings. Hal Erickson, RoviRead Less
Originally released: 1999. Good old-fashioned hometown pride is on exhibit in lavish Technicolor in this remake of the 1933 film, the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written directly for the silver screen. When the Frake family travels to the fair, Ma and Pa (Charles Winninger and Fay Bainter) enter contests while daughter Margy (Jeanne Crain) and son Wayne (Dick Haymes) both fall in love for the first time. STATE FAIR is attractively photographed and energized by the vibrant performances of the talented lead actors and actresses, but the high point of the film is the colorful hoopla and hullabaloo of the fair itself, a bustling nexus of strange, wonderful, and hilarious characters brought to life by the fine supporting cast. Songs from the Academy Award-nominated score include "It's a Grand Night for Singing, " ``That's For Me, '' and the Oscar-winning "It Might As Well Be Spring. "
This is a GENTLE film...as warm as a quilt, and as comforting as a mother's hug, and I actually wore out my VHS copy...I love the music, the singers (Dick Haymes is ABFAB) and the actors....especially Charles Winninger, Fay Bainter and Dana Andrews. I also like the soft, rolling fields, and blue skies, and the Frake family's pride and sense of "self". It isn't like that now, and it probably wasn't then...but the spirit was, and we need to see more of it.
My favourite part is the "mincemeat" scene. Being a mincemeat maker myself, I laughed until I cried... As Melissa Frake would tell you, the longer it ripens, the better it gets! (I use BUSHMILLS 10 YR. OLD IRISH!)