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State Fair (1962)

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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.


José Ferrer


Richard L. Breen (screenplay) (as Richard Breen), Oscar Hammerstein II (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Pat Boone ... Wayne Frake
Bobby Darin ... Jerry Dundee
Pamela Tiffin ... Margy Frake
Ann-Margret ... Emily Porter
Tom Ewell ... Abel Frake
Alice Faye ... Melissa Frake
Wally Cox ... Hipplewaite
David Brandon David Brandon ... Harry Ware
Clem Harvey ... Doc Cramer
Robert Foulk ... Mincemeat Judge
Linda Henrich Linda Henrich ... Betty Jean
Tap Canutt Tap Canutt ... Red Hoertert (as Edward 'Tap' Canutt)


The Frakes - father Abel Frake, mother Melissa Frake, young adult son Wayne Frake and eighteen year old daughter Margy Frake - are a farming family from Banning, Texas getting ready to go to the multi-day Texas State Fair in Dallas as they do every year. Wayne is too preoccupied with entering his red sportster in the Gold Cup car races against his arch rival Red Hoertert than really notice that his unofficial fiancée Betty Jean isn't going to the fair. And Margy is just preoccupied with the thought of being in a relationship with a real man, instead of the courtship she has with the boorish Harry Ware. At the fair, Melissa is hoping she made the right decision regarding the mincemeat she has entered for judging, she dealing with her temperance view against Abel's assertion that the mincemeat would taste better with some brandy. The competition is even more cutthroat as commercial producers have entered several of the food competitions including mincemeat this year. And Abel may have ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


So fresh and wonderful with Richard Rodgers' NEWEST melodies and NEWEST lyrics!


Musical | Romance


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English | Italian | Spanish | French

Release Date:

9 March 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Feira da Vida See more »

Filming Locations:

Becker, Texas, USA See more »


Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The lush, distinctive scoring for this film bore the unmistakable stamp of 20th Century-Fox's resident maestro Alfred Newman and his associate Ken Darby, who had previously collaborated on three other Rodgers and Hammerstein vehicles at Fox, the stage-to-screen transfers of Carousel (1956), The King and I (1956) and South Pacific (1958), the second of which netted them an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. The team's faithful, sumptuous adaptations of these scores led Universal-International to engage their services for Ross Hunter's film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song (1961), after which they returned to their home lot for State Fair (1962). In their partnership, which took full advantage of the coming of multi-track stereophonic sound, Newman focused primarily on augmenting the instrumentation of the scores from twenty-five pieces on Broadway to more than a hundred on screen while Darby concerned himself with choral and ensemble pieces. Combined, they were the ideal interpreters of Rodgers and Hammerstein's canon, as all of the R&H scores contained rousing choral numbers (good examples are "It's a Grand Night For Singing," "There is Nothin' Like a Dame," "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Our State Fair"). To get a sense of how effective Newman and Darby's collaboration was, compare the sound of the 1962 State Fair with the more threadbare 1945 version, on which Newman worked solo. Newman and Darby also collaborated memorably on Daddy Long Legs (1955), How the West Was Won (1962), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and Camelot (1967), which garnered another Academy Award for the team. Apart from Newman, Darby backed Andre Previn on Porgy and Bess (1959), which resulted in yet another Oscar, and collaborated with Ray Heindorf on the sublime Finian's Rainbow (1968). See more »


Featured in Hollywood Musicals of the 60's (2000) See more »


More Than Just A Friend
Lyrics and Music by Richard Rodgers
Performed by Tom Ewell
See more »

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User Reviews

Much better than you think!
24 October 2007 | by jppuSee all my reviews

For 45 years or so, this remake of State Fair has been unfairly judged going back to the original reviews. In spite of that, it was a hit then and it should be a hit today. It's a great family film, the kind they don't make anymore, plus morals - something we don't have in movies today!! Jose Ferrer really outdid himself as a director. He keeps his young actors in line and the cute little plot moving along. It's got beautiful photography and wonderful choreography from Nick Castle.

For even longer than 45 years, the world has been pretty critical of Pat Boone which has been undeserved. Well, he shines in this one! Those acting lessons from Sandy Meisner really paid off in his scenes with Ann-Margret. He's simply terrific and "in the moment". Not only does he have a great set of pipes, he looks wonderful without his shirt, he does acrobatics and that duet with Ann "Willing and Able" is just about the sexiest... no, the hottest number to come out of a musical from that era. West Side Story didn't have a number like that! Wow-wee! Pat should have been a big movie star based on what I saw in this movie as well as a the great recording artist he was at that time.

Ann looks awesome is shorts and her big number, "Isn't it kind of fun" is really well done.

All in all, the movie has really aged well and people should check it out with their families and decide for themselves. Don't listen to those grumpy people who don't like this movie (or Pat).

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