Texan farmers the Frake family head for the Texas State Fair in Dallas. 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.
Two aging playboys are both after the same attractive young woman, but she fends them off by claiming that she plans to remain a virgin until her wedding night. Both men determine to find a way around her objections.
A semi-autobiographical project by John Boorman about a nine year old boy called Bill as he grows up in London during the blitz of World War 2. For a young boy, this time in history was ... See full summary »
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 »
Wayne's got a girl.
So did Henry VIII, eight of them, but he always showed up at every state affair with a new one.
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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 »
Overshadowed in this day and age by the two musical film versions that succeeded it, this version of State Fair provides a great showcase for the personality and talent of American institutions Will Rogers. Although I was surprised to see that in the billing, Fox's main female star at the time, Janet Gaynor, was billed above him. The power of what winning the first Best Actress Oscar can get you.
It was probably only natural that the two would eventually be in a project together. Gaynor always played good girls, fresh from the farm like Melissa Frake, her best example of that is Esther Blodgett in A Star Is Born. As for Rogers, his patented brand of homespun humor had already established his legend.
When I did a review of Junior Bonner, I said that the film was simply the story of a rodeo family's day at the Presscott Frontier Rodeo. State Fair is a simple film, without any pretensions; the story of the Frake Family and its visit to the State Fair where all of them have an unforgettable time.
I wouldn't believe it, but Will Rogers never had a better straight man than his prize hog Blue Boy who perks up and struts his stuff when an attractive sow comes to his attention. But he's far from the only one who finds romance.
Janet Gaynor meets small city reporter Lew Ayres who says that even though the paper is a Republican one, don't blame him and the rest who have to work there to make a living. Republicans were not highly thought of in the wake of the Depression back in the day. Her wholesomeness attracts him.
As for son Norman Foster he gets quite a lesson in love in a most explicit before the Code encounter with trapeze artist Sally Eilers. Surprising for a Will Rogers film in my humble opinion.
Even Louise Dresser comes home a winner, taking first prize in just about everything she prepares due to Rogers spiking her cooking liberally with some schnapps. He knew the best way to the judge's heart.
State Fair is a great piece of nostalgic Americana and a great showcase for that American institution named Will Rogers.
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