State Fair (1945) - Rotten Tomatoes

State Fair (1945)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

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 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, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Oscar Hammerstein II, Sonya Levien, Paul Green, Richard L. Breen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 27, 1999
20th Century Fox


Jeanne Crain
as Margy Frake
Dana Andrews
as Pat Gilberg
Dick Haymes
as Wayne Frake
Vivian Blaine
as Emily Joyce
Fay Bainter
as Melissa Frake
Donald Meek
as Hippenstahl
Jane Nigh
as Eleanor
Phil Brown
as Harry Ware
Josephine Whittell
as Mrs. Metcalfe
Paul Harvey
as Simpson
John Dehner
as Announcer
Ralph Sanford
as Police Chief
Almira Sessions
as Farmer's Wive
Virginia Brissac
as Farmer's Wive
Earle Dewey
as Assistant Judge
Wheaton Chambers
as Assistant Judge
Harry Depp
as Secretary to Judge
Francis Ford
as Mr. Martin
Neal Hart
as Farmer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for State Fair

Critic Reviews for State Fair

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Even among dyed-in-the-wool fans of R&H, this one's largely remembered, if remembered at all, as a dud.

Full Review… | February 11, 2007
Film Freak Central

Rodgers and hammerstein's songs are great, but this musical version of the 1933 Will Rogers' vehicle is poorly directed by Walter Wang and poorly acted by Jeanne Crain, whose voice is dubbed by Louanne Hogan.

Full Review… | December 21, 2005

Audience Reviews for State Fair

Rodgers' and Hammerstein's least creative lyrics "Our state fair is a great state's the greatest state fair in our state."

Megan S

Super Reviewer


There are legitimately good songs here (even a great one or two), but for the most part it's a little dull as the plot lacks any real conflict.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

The only musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for the screen is definitely no OKLAHOMA or SOUTH PACIFIC, but it's colorful and entertaining nevertheless; Score includes "It's a Grand Night for Singing" and the Oscar-winning "It Might As Well Be Spring."

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