State Fair (1945) - Rotten Tomatoes

State Fair (1945)

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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, Rovi

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Cast

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
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Critic Reviews for State Fair

All Critics (5)

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

February 11, 2007 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
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.

December 21, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for State Fair

½

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

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

Megan S
Megan S

Super Reviewer

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