State Fair

State Fair

4.7 10
Director: Walter Lang

Cast: Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews, Dick Haymes

     
 

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Walter Lang's charming State Fair comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. English and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials on this THX certified disc include a trailer. This is a fine release from 20th CenturySee more details below

Overview

Walter Lang's charming State Fair comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. English and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials on this THX certified disc include a trailer. This is a fine release from 20th Century Fox that should be worthwhile for any fan of old-time Hollywood entertainment.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.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
20th Century Fox knew how to use Technicolor better than anyone else, and the Iowa sky in State Fair is breathtakingly blue -- almost as breathtaking, in fact, as Vivian Blaine's crimson tresses. But the vibrant color scheme isn't the only ingredient that separates the Fox musical tradition from, say, MGM's. Could anyone imagine the overly exuberant Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney take the place of such pleasantly corn-fed folks as State Fair's Jeanne Crain and Dick Haymes? Crain and Haymes may not possess the sock-it-to-them gusto that members of the Arthur Freed unit over at Metro demonstrated but they also don't wear out their welcome quite so soon. Granted, Miss Crain's singing voice needed dubbing (by Louanne Hogan) and Haymes never truly made it to stardom, but they both fit State Fair to the proverbial "T." Nothing much happens here, you see; nothing much, or so the screenplay seems to imply, ever happens in "I-o-way" and that is the musical's ultimate charm. Decent folks struggling with everyday problems of pride and romance and not a true villain in sight, unless you count the overly confident Mrs. Metcalfe (Josephine Whittell), whose prize mincemeat loses to Mrs. Frake's (Fay Bainter) brandy-fortified ditto. Almost always choosing purebred Americana over showbiz sophistication, 20th Century Fox knew well how to spin such a negligible yarn, and the tuneful Rodgers & Hammerstein score simply clinches the deal.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/27/1999
UPC:
0086162108679
Original Release:
1945
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[monaural, THX-Supervised Mastering]
Time:
1:40:00

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeanne Crain Margy Frake
Dana Andrews Pat Gilberg
Dick Haymes Wayne Frake
Vivian Blaine Emily Joyce
Charles Winninger Abel Frake
Fay Bainter Meilissa Frake
Donald Meek Hippenstahl
Frank McHugh McGee
Percy Kilbride Miller
Henry Morgan Barker
Jane Nigh Eleanor
William Marshall Marty
Phil Brown Harry Ware
Paul E. Burns Hank
Tom Fadden Eph
William Frambes Pappy
Paul Harvey Managing Editor
John Dehner Announcer
Harlan Briggs Judge
Will Wright Judge
Alice Fleming Judge
Walter S. Baldwin Farmer
Ralph Sanford Police Chief
Virginia Brissac Farmers' Wife
Wheaton Chambers Assistant Judge
Jo Carroll Dennison Girl
Harry Depp Secretary to Judge
Earle Dewey Actor
Francis Ford Mr. Martin
Coleen Gray Girl
Neal Hart Farmer
Frank Mayo Man
Steve Olsen Barker
Emory Parnell Senator
Almira Sessions Actor
Minerva Urecal Woman
Margo Woode Actor
Josephine Whittell Mrs. Metcalfe
Alfred Newman Conductor

Technical Credits
Walter Lang Director
Charles Brackett Producer
Richard L. Breen Screenwriter
Lewis H. Creber Art Director
Paul Green Screenwriter
Oscar Hammerstein Songwriter,Screenwriter
Charles Henderson Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Sonya Levien Screenwriter
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Alfred Newman Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Al Orenbach Set Decoration/Design
William Perlberg Producer
Richard Rodgers Score Composer,Songwriter
Rodgers & Hammerstein Score Composer
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Leon Shamroy Cinematographer
J. Watson Webb Editor
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

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