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State Fair (Special Edition)

Pat Boone , Bobby Darin , José Ferrer , Walter Lang    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 37.98
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State Fair (Special Edition) + Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection (Widescreen)
Price For Both: CDN$ 115.48

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Product Description

Amazon.ca

"I've got that nice, tired old feeling," says Pa Frake near the end of the gentle, sunny 1945 film, State Fair. The Rodgers and Hammerstein music, commissioned while Oklahoma was still making musical-theater history, feels tired too, like the result of a hastily written score. The state of Iowa just can't seem to inspire the same quality music as its more memorable, southern cousin. Remember that State Fair gem "All I Owe Iowa"? Still, it is R and H, and "It Might as Well Be Spring" is here as well as some other decent ditties. There's a country-mouse feeling as the Frake family journeys to the big city for the annual harvest celebration. Young daughter Margy (Jeanne Crain) has her eye on something more exciting than her bore of a fiancé, while her brother meets a lovely big-band singer with a secret. But the bucolic, Old Farmer's Almanac feel is genuine, and it's most obviously a picture of a bygone era when someone expostulates gleefully, "You're gonna be the wife of a journalist!" Not a "don't miss" but not a dismiss either. The DVD features include a vintage trailer for the film and production notes, which do add to the experience. --Keith Simanton

Product Description

Rodgers and Hammerstein's only score written expressly for the screen highlights this delightful film about an Iowa family's adventures at the fair. Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews and Dick Haymes star.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Musical, but......... July 24 2001
Format:DVD
As far as the story, cast, and songs go, State Fair is a warm nostalgic film which is highly enjoyable. I bought the DVD for what I hoped would be an improvement over my VHS. I was disappointed by the audio and video quality of the DVD to be quite honest. The audio is so low that I really had to crank up my receiver to get an acceptable volume. Afterall, this is a musical isn't it? In the early part of the film when Jeanne Crain is singing "It Might as well be Spring", there seemed to be little gnats flying around her face. In reality they were spots on the film that SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLEANED UP. This condition improved later on, but come on! These Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals should have been given a lot more loving care than they have received. I say this because other musicals in the series also have problems. The audio and video on State Fair needs some restoration, the kind that is afforded other classic films. Otherwise, a worthwhile purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A grand night April 7 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This was the first movie I ever saw, at the age of four at the Victory Theatre in Wellston, Missouri (The Victory, a new name for the Mikado, dumped when World War II broke out for obvious reasons). During "It Might As Well Be Spring" I was horribly worried Jeanne Crain was going to fall out of the windowsill of her second story bedroom window. I was so relieved when the song was over. This is a colorful, sweet film, though it does demonstrate as so often was demonstrated that only M-G-M could make M-G-M musicals. Jeanne Crain, the mother of many, always seemed to be acting with her mind on what the kids would have for dinner that evening, but she was lovely, so totally natural (my favorite Jeanne Crain film is the totally forgotten "Take Care Of My Little Girl," about college sorority life). Poor Dick Haymes is totally out of his element, though a wonderful singer. Vivian Blaine pretty much steals the show. She should have enjoyed a much bigger movie career; it's Broadway that won her heart. I love the roller coaster scenes. The coaster in the closeups is not the coaster in the far shots. The studio had a limited budget and, because of World War II, even more limited resources to build the darned sets with. "State Fair" has a lot of pasted-together elements, consequently, but if you don't look close (so much doesn't match from shot to shot and the big, overall shots of the Fair clearly are shooting a miniature that if you think too much doesn't make any sense at all) you'll feel you are at the State Fair.
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5.0 out of 5 stars STATE FAIR Like The One My Dad Took Me To Oct. 24 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This 1945 musical is pure family fun. It's a good film staring Dana Andrews and Jeanne Crain, but I prefer the excellent 1962 remake also pure family fun. The kids will just love the scene when Tom Ewell sings to a pig in the 1962 version! That first-rate piece of Americana was filmed in 1961 at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas. The CinemaScope photography was just beautiful and was a vast improvement over the 1945 version. Director, José Ferrer took full advantage of the fair grounds in Dallas where the Cotton Bowl is located. The Texas Hall of State building, an achievement of architectural Art Deco was prominently featured. Inside is the Great Hall and it has an Art Deco mural adorning both sides of its walls depicting the state's colorful history and these in turn are adorned by Texas' six flags: Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, The Confederate States and The United States. The 1945 version has a stronger cast but the 1962 version holds its own in more realistic fashion. There are many excellent stars in it including Pat Boone, Bobby Darin, Ann-Margret and Wally Cox. Alice Faye came out of retirement to play Pamela Tiffin's mother in a memorable performance. Walter Lang directed this 1945 version it too a remake from the 1933 version. Lang is a better director than Ferrer, but he doesn't have CinemaScope. All in all both films are strong on Americana and expound the virtues of man in harmony with his fellow man. This is great family fun and is great American nostalgia as we see a state fair when they used to look like a state fair.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Americana at its very best! July 30 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I could not have been much older than 12 when I first saw this movie musical which I now know was the first of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals to be shown on movie screens. It was then, and will undoubtedly continue to be a thoroughgoing delight! The cast of characters were obviously chosen with great care for all of them reflect a time when Americans were shown to the world as being people with character and principles as well as real heart. And, in my view at least, the score and all songs were Rodgers and Hammerstein at their earliest best for the song "It Might as Well Be Spring" won the Academy Award and has, I suspect, come to epitomize the very essence of Spring feelings for virtually all budding young lovers. This movie should be re-released for it depicts the best of the spirit of America, despite its having been filmed during the early years of World War II, which together with The Holocaust effectively all but destroyed the values embodied and displayed by this truly heart-warming movie musical. I am nearly 70, and I most sincerely wish it were possible to return the world to a time when life was precious and people cared for people without regard to ethnic origin or religious preference...what a wonderful world that would be.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars good
Good , Works like it should and so far no complaints.
What else to say but that it works like it should.
Yes it works like it should
Published 6 months ago by Bob Ca
5.0 out of 5 stars worth seeing
This move is definitely a classic! A movie I've loved since I was a kid. It should not be missed.
Published 9 months ago by Christina Hartl
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
I Love the movie. I would recommend it to all my fiends. I have always loved the classics.Keep up the good work.
Published 18 months ago by G.
5.0 out of 5 stars State Fair
I love all Rogers and Hammerstein musicals and had all of them except State Fair - I loved Pat Boone when I was a teenager and have been looking for this movie for a long time -... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Suzanne Derome
4.0 out of 5 stars A sweet film
As others have said, State Fair is generally regarded as the weakest of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, but this film is one that I have always loved. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2005 by for_love_of_joss
4.0 out of 5 stars Isn't the film kinda fun?
This is a better film for families to see, despite the kissing. It is better than Carousel(a nightmare,) but not as good as Chicago. Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A kinder, gentler era
This movie is pure delight. Yes, it has some of the corniest moments ever put on film -- but isn't that part of the charm of these old movies? Read more
Published on June 18 2003 by bookfan
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't forget Vivian Blaine
Unlike Jeanne Crain's, Vivian Blaine's singing voice is her own and she outclasses everyone in the film. Read more
Published on March 29 2003 by Louis Barbarelli
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Grand Night for Singing
I don't know about you but somehow each time i go to the State Fair and i am riding the Freswheel i just wish for once that everyone in the park would just start singing "It's A... Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2002 by Rick D. Barszcz
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful film musical!
I really loved this movie. It has auch beautiful songs and is a great romance story as well. I highly recommend it. It's a movie the entire family can watch.
Published on April 25 2002 by Rosella Ann Myles
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