film kept repeating unattractive leading lady Arthur Houseman Helen Jerome Eddy
While by today's standards "The County Fair" is very old fashioned and predictable, it's still a dandy film almost 100 years later. And, if you love old silent films like I do, it's well worth downloading the film for free at archive.org.
This film stars Helen Jerome Eddy. She certainly is not a household name and was not exactly the sort of young woman you'd expect in movies, as she's actually rather plain looking. This is NOT a criticism--in fact, I think this simplicity is something that is a strength in the movie. The only member of the cast you might recognize if you love old films is Arthur Houseman--though he normally played funny drunks instead of rich weasels like he does here!
"The County Fair" begins with a nasty rich guy threatening to turn an old lady onto the street--unless her niece (who lives with her) marries this man's son. While she's dead set against it, the niece is a sweet thing and would do anything to help her aunt--even marry the rich jerk. However, a possible way out is presented. When a poor young man is taken in and fed, he turns out (naturally) to be a jockey and thinks he can win the $3000 prize at the fair and save the farm.
While where it all goes next is quite predictable, the film manages to make that journey quite enjoyable, romantic and sweet. Plus, compared to the average film of 1920, this one compares very favorably. What's old fashioned now seemed very fresh at the time. Well produced, directed and acted, this one is definitely worth seeing.
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