So Long at the Fair (1950)

 |  Drama, Mystery  |  29 March 1951 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 992 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 11 critic

A young woman visits Paris with her brother only to discover the following morning he has gone missing and the hotel staff have no recollection of his presence.

0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Caroline Ruthyn is the teen-aged niece of the her uncle Silas, a sickly and at one time unbalanced man who becomes her guardian on the death of her father. The fact that Silas is broke and ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Frank
Stars: Jean Simmons, Derrick De Marney, Katina Paxinou
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a beautiful bride goes on a ocean liner with her new husband, he goes into hiding, and she becomes the target of a murder conspiracy.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Michael Rennie, Max Showalter
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When Secret Service agent David Somers is fired, he takes a quiet job with the Fentons at their country estate - cataloging butterflies, hence the title insect. David grows fond of Jess ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: Jean Simmons, Trevor Howard, Sonia Dresdel
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: John Mills, Joan Greenwood, Edward Chapman
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In early 1900s England, a maid tries to blackmail her master into romancing her when she discovers he murdered his wife.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Stewart Granger, Jean Simmons, Bill Travers
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three strangers, each with a serious problem in their lives, share a sweepstakes ticket which they wished upon together before a Chinese idol.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.

Director: Gerd Oswald
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, Raymond Burr
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A serial killer (circa 1916) is targeting women with 'afflictions'; one night during a thunderstorm, mute Helen feels menaced.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Dorothy McGuire, George Brent, Ethel Barrymore
Black Angel (1946)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When Kirk Bennett is convicted of a singer's murder, his wife tries to prove him innocent...aided by the victim's ex-husband.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Dan Duryea, June Vincent, Peter Lorre
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman he meets is murdered, a soon to be drafted sailor has until dawn to find the killer, aided by a weary dance hall girl.

Director: Harold Clurman
Stars: Susan Hayward, Bill Williams, Paul Lukas
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Julia Ross secures employment, through a rather-noisy employment agency, with a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes, and goes to live at her house. Two days later, she awakens in a different house ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Nina Foch, Dame May Whitty, George Macready


Complete credited cast:
Vicky Barton
George Hathaway
Johnny Barton
Marcel Poncin ...
Cathleen Nesbitt ...
Madame Hervé
Rhoda O'Donovan
Betty Warren ...
Mrs. O'Donovan
Eugene Deckers ...
Day Porter
Felix Aylmer ...
British Consul
Doctor Hart
Austin Trevor ...
Police Commissaire
Natasha Sokolova ...
Nelly Arno ...
Madame Verni


Vicky Barton and her brother, Johnny, take a trip to the 1896 Paris Exhibition. They both sleep in seperate rooms in a hotel. When the sister gets up the next morning, she finds her brother and his room had disappeared and no one will even acknowledge that he was ever there. Now Vicky must find out what exactly happened to her brother. Written by DarkDan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery


See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

29 March 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Black Curse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Audiences in 1950 had no trouble identifying where the somewhat ungainly title came from. It's from the fourth line of a well-beloved folk song, not heard much anymore: "Oh, dear, what can the matter be?/ Dear, dear, what can the matter be?/ Oh, dear, what can the matter be?/ Johnny's so long at the fair." It's no stretch to understand who Johnny is in the movie: It's Jean Simmon's character's missing brother, Johnny, and he certainly seems to have overstayed his welcome at this Paris World's Fair. See more »


In the opening scene, an advertisement for the Paris Exposition Universelle states that it will be open from May 6 to November 6, 1889. However, it closed on October 31, 1889. See more »


Remake of Covered Tracks (1938) See more »


Tritsch Tratsch Polka
Music by Johann Strauss Sr.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Fair to Remember?
25 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There can be a small study made of movies set in Worlds Fairs. Start with THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, where a few scenes appear at Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace. Then CENTENNIAL SUMMER, where the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition is the center piece. Go on to The STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER, where Clifton Webb (as John Philip Sousa) performs at the 1896 Cotton Exposition in Atlanta. Then go to this film, followed by MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (the St. Louis Worlds Fair in 1904). There would be others.

SO LONG AT THE FAIR is about the Paris Worlds Fair of 1900. It is based on an incident that has grown into a modern urban legend concerning how a young woman was told that she had no mother (or,in the film, a brother), there was no room in a hotel that she left this party in, and that she has been imagining events and people for the last couple of days (at least). In the original legend, the young woman is so hopelessly lost by this she loses her mind and is put into an asylum. In the movie (and its novel and other versions) eventually the massive conspiracy to cover-up what happened is revealled.

Did it happen? Did a young woman (here played by Jean Simmons) come into Paris, readying itself for the big world's fair, find herself confronted by a conspiracy that claimed she imagined it all? No historical evidence has ever surfaced that this actually happened. Yet the story survives. It is a terrific story, for it is based on the fragility of reality. If everyone doubted us how could we prove what we said was true? Hard to say. You need some people to validate your story in part or whole for people to believe you. In all the retellings of this story, the heroine is isolated once the mother or brother is gone. The very person to prove the story is the person whose absence is deplored but questioned.

As a costumed historical film, SO LONG AT THE FAIR is very good, with Simmons aided by Dirk Bogarde as the one person in Paris who believes her. And together they prove that Cathlene Nesbitt (the hotel owner) is lying - but with powerful friends to assist her.

It is not the best retelling of the story - Hitchcock used the plot, but changed it, in THE LADY VANISHES, where it is the missing spy, Miss Froy, whose existance is questioned by all who hear the heroine (Margaret Leighton), except Michael Redgrave.

I should add that students of this mystery don't know which world's fair is the site of the story: the 1889 French fair (where the Eiffel Tower first appeared), or the 1900 one. However there was also the 1867 fair in Paris, where Tsar Alexander II of Russia arrived. One version of the story tells that the reason for the cover-up deals with an attempt on the life of the Tsar. So it could have been one of three fairs that was the basis for this marvelous yarn.

33 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How many movies can you name whitetigerzone
spoil me! RodgerAlfordJr
TV remake on Alfred Hitchcock DemonPazuzu
A Great Thriller, Not to be Missed! Navy65
Dirk Bogarde is so gorgeous! Blondfashionisto
Why was she waiting for the lady in the baloon ? bittermilk
Discuss So Long at the Fair (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: