John has led a solitary life for thirty years since the death of Moonyeen Clare. But now Owens, a close friend, insists that he care for his niece, Kathleen, orphaned when her parents were ... See full summary »
Iowan farmers the Frake family head for the Iowa State Fair. The parents are focused on winning the competitions for livestock and cooking. However, their restless daughter Margy and her brother Wayne meet attractive new love interests.
Farm family Frake, with discontented daughter Margy, head for the Iowa State Fair. On the first day, both Margy and brother Wayne meet attractive new flames; so does father's prize hog, ... See full summary »
Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie. The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on ... See full summary »
The refined Lady Isabel Carlisle, after leaving her family and enduring nearly a decade of hardships, learns that her son has fallen ill. Despite being nearly blinded as the result of an explosion, she returns home to see her son again.
The Frake family attend the Iowa State Fair. Father Abel enters his Hampshire boar, Blue Boy, in the hog contents. Mother Melissa enters the mincemeat competition. And their children, Margy and Wayne, find love with newspaper reporter Pat Gilbert and trapeze artist Emily Joyce. But will everyone return home safe and happy or will hearts be broken? Written by
Director Henry King and crew were invited to the 1932 State Fair and Exposition in Des Moines, Iowa to film background material, including the racing scenes and midway. After the fair, they purchased three hogs, including the grand champion, Dike of Rosedale, who was cast as Blue Boy. See more »
Most of the credits appear as posters being put up on billboards by workmen. In the film's final scene, there is a heavy rain, and as it washes away the poster bearing the title "State Fair", we see that it was pasted over another poster that says "The End". See more »
The thing about summer love is that it is uncertain and often temporary. Normally, only the young are afflicted, and, as such a powerful emotion is a novelty to the recipient, it can be very hurtful. "State Fair" chronicles two of these.
The Frake family is preparing for the Iowa state fair, all with different expectations. Pa (Will Rogers) hopes his prize boar, Blue Boy, can win first prize and Ma (Louise Dresser) pins her hopes on her pickles and mincemeat. Teenagers Wayne and Margy are just hoping for... they're not exactly sure, but something exciting.
The nominal star here is Will Rogers and he gives a folksy, homespun performance as Pa - makes you wonder if he's acting or not. Louise Dresser is Ma just as you would imagine Ma would be. She was one of our best actresses and retired too soon. The story, though, focuses on the two young players, Norman Foster (Wayne) and Janet Gaynor (Margy) and their adventurous encounters with complete strangers.
This is a 'Pre-Code' picture and tame by todays (lack of) standards, and so both are seen conversing in bedrooms with above-mentioned strangers (smelling salts, please), but the picture is so well-written that the breach of decorum is hardly noticeable. The story is true to life and shot through with vignettes of family life from an earlier time in America. If you were not alive in the 1930's and did not live in the Midwest, you should see this movie. It is a quintessential family picture with lots of heart, as well as exceptional performances by all parties.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?