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State Fair (60th Anniversary Edition)

1 rating: 5.0
1945 motion picture starring Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews and Vivian Blaine.

State Fair is a 1945 film directed by Walter Lang. The film is a remake of the 1933 film of the same name. This version has original music by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The film starred Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews, Dick Haymes, Vivian Blaine, and Charles … see full wiki

Director: Walter Lang
Genre: Music, Musical
Release Date: 1945
MPAA Rating: G
1 review about State Fair (60th Anniversary Edition)

Here's to a simpler time and place……..

  • Aug 24, 2010
  • by

I suppose it is just the natural progression of things. When I was younger I used to cringe at the prospect of having to watch a musical. My point of view began to change shortly after I got married at the age of 36. My wife was a big fan of all the great musicals and so I somewhat reluctantly began to put my toe into the water. A couple of years later I had an epiphany and suddenly realized that many of these films are terrific after all.

One of the first musicals I became enamored with was Rogers and Hammerstein's 1945 classic "State Fair". This was this only musical Rogers and Hammerstein ever wrote directly for the silver screen and it is a dandy. The film stars Jeanne Crain as Margie, a restless young lady who feels trapped by both her rural surroundings and her dreadfully dull boyfriend George with Dana Andrews in the role of a newspaper reporter named Pat.  The two meet on the rollercoaster and fall head over heels for each other.  It seems that Pat has been just about everywhere.  He is a “man of the world” and given her present lot in life Margie finds this extremely appealing.  Meanwhile, Margie's brother Wayne (Dick Haymes) is lamenting the fact that his girlfriend was unable to go to the fair with him this year.  He is kind of moping around the midway when he has a rather bizarre encounter with a young lady who turns out to be the lead vocalist of the big band performing at the fair.  Wayne is quite taken by Emily (Vivian Blaine) who kinda-sorta leads him on throughout the film. He'll be sorry! The story line also follows the exploits of Margie and Wayne's parents (Charles Winnenger and Fay Bainter) who have both entered competitions at the fair.  And I would be remiss if I failed to mention the splendid work of Henry Morgan who portrays a rather shady carnival barker in one of the most memorable scenes in this film.

But as you might expect it is the marvelous music that makes "State Fair" such a joy to watch. Dick Haymes was a huge recording star in the 1940's and is one of the greatest pop vocalists of all-time.  You will certainly enjoy his splendid renditions of  "Isn't It Kinda Fun", "It's A Grand Night For Singing" and of course "It Might As Well Be Spring" which became a huge hit record for him as well.  Life was certainly much simpler in those days and hearing these wonderful tunes makes me long for them. We enjoy this film 2 or 3 times each year and we just never get tired of it. There is one oddity about this film that is worth mentioning. Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II won the Academy Award for Best Song for Margie's rendition of "It Might As Well Be Spring". But strangely enough Jeanne Crain's singing voice was dubbed by a singer named Louanne Hogan. I believe this is the only time that this has ever happened in the long history of the Academy Awards.

Now I certainly can understand why some folks might look at "State Fair" and think it is kind of "corny". And they would probably be right. But damn it, I love it and I guess that's all that really matters. My wife and I purchased the deluxe “60th Anniversary Edition” which features a whole host of extras including a copy of the 1962 remake of "State Fair" starring Pat Boone. In my view that version leaves a lot to be desired. But if you have never seen the 1945 version of "State Fair" I urge you to give it a try. You just might be surprised by how much you like it.  Very highly recommended!



Here's to a simpler time and place…….. Here's to a simpler time and place……..

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September 03, 2010
Saw it once years ago and have a very dim recollection of it. Maybe I'll have to give it another shot.
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Rodgers and Hammerstein's State Fair (1945 movie)
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