Before this past weekend, I am not sure if I have ever sat through the entire 1945 version of State Fair or not. Elements of it looked familiar, but for some reason, it is not a movie I recall seeking out to watch.
The movie stars Jeanne Crain, a beautiful woman who I mainly associate with Cheaper by the Dozen and its sequel, Belles on Her Toes. She does quite well in this role of a maturing young woman eager to find true love. She does some singing, but Crain’s voice was dubbed. From what I understand, the woman who was hired to dub her voice in this movie was actually signed to continue to dub Crain in all of her singing movies.
State Farm begins with a nice song about the upcoming state fair called appropriately enough, “Our State Fair”. I liked it. It made me feel at ease, like I was out in the country. It really sets the tone for the picture, taking us through the country to the main characters.
Of course, soon after that I see the big pig and worry about his fate. I am an animal lover, and I just cringe thinking about what is going to happen to that critter.
In actuality, Blue Boy, the pig, is practically a star and nothing bad was ever on the agenda for him. That was a huge relief.
The worst moment of the film for me was part of the state fair during some of the food contests. I detest watching and listening to people eating pickles. I just don’t find that entertaining. It is actually a little disgusting to me, and this scene just seemed to go on forever.
Joining Crain in this movie musical are Dana Andrews, Dick Haymes, Vivian Blaine of Guys and Dolls fame, and Percy Kilbride. Kilbride, better known for his role as Pa Kettle in a series of movies, actually has the opening singing lines for “Our State Fair.” Haymes was very All-American in his look, and this was apparently Andrews big debut.
On the whole, I did enjoy the movie, especially the opening, but it is not really at the top of my list, either.