State Fair 1945 // Review
Eva, this post is for you. :-)
Several months ago, I was lying in my bed, feeling cranky. I can't quite remember what I had, but I wasn't feeling well, and I went to Youtube to find something for myself to watch - something that would cheer me up a bit. I chose 'State Fair' for several reasons.
1. I had heard of it quite a lot and it looked so charming. (I was already head-over-heels in love with the costumes before I watched it, of course.)
2. It looked liked something the rest of my family wouldn't really enjoy that much (so it would be okay for me to watch on my own, as they didn't really miss out on anything.)
3. It looked like something that would cheer me up.
4. It was on Youtube. (Ha.)
So I watched it. I, WOW, I loved it. It was that delightfully charming and that yearning-to-dive-in-kind-of-movie. I loved it disastrously much, and I wanted to be Marge Frake and wear her darling frothy frocks and go to a fair and meet my future husband there. I seriously lived in a dreamy haze for the next day(s) - I lived with my head in State Fair, wearing the clothes and buying lollies with a dignified gentleman. It's the kind of dream old-movie-style movie, with nothing heavy or teary about it - a movie to cheer you up, a movie to dive into, like a bag of coloured candy. *Sigh*
The Story is about a sweet little family - Stubborn-and-good-old-Pa, Practical-and-loving-Ma, Fun-and-dorky-brother Wayne, and dreamy-whimsical-beautiful-protagonist Marge - who live rather happily in a green-budded farm. The movie starts with them packing to go to the annual State Fair in town. It is obviously a big thing for the family. It seems to be a big thing for everyone - neighbours flock together and talk about that. Mr Frake starts betting about his pig to one of his neighbours, and Wayne phones his girlfriend to ask her if she'll come too.
How can you not like a movie with such an endearing family? :-)
Marge is in a relationship with some kind of weird guy who she obviously doesn't want anything to do with, and Wayne gets his share of disappointment when his girlfriend says she can't come. So both the siblings are rather glum-faced in the beginning. Marge, because she seems stuck with that weird guy and millions of rosier dreams (I have to admit, Marge is a bit whiny in the beginning - but she's adorably whiny, so it doesn't matter at all), and Wayne, because his girlfriend couldn't come. But glum-faced or not, they head off with their caravan to the State Fair, Pa's pig, Ma's alcohol-filled-stews, and all.
The brother and sister find their own way in the colourful, sprinkled-with-cosy-lights and little stalls of attractions, and meet their own new friends. Oh, my goodness, there are so many reasons why I want to DIVE in this movie. The balloons. The competitions. The music. The dances. The hats. The singing couples. The bets and tensions. The little stalls. The popcorn and the lolly sticks. The family, cosy, atmosphere. The colourful evenings, with all the lights. So safe and darling.
Marge meets her Mr Handsome when she tries one of those whizzing-screaming-trains. She clings to the stranger (but-not-stranger-for-long-ha-ha) next to her, only realising her embarrassment when the train comes to a stop. But the stranger happens to be the most dignified, gentlemanly guy ever, and they become good friends and meet up evening after evening, afternoon after afternoon, in the cosy bubbles of the State Fair. They go on Merry-go-rounds, buy red Lolly-pops, all together. They even steal a hug or too and sing 'It's a Great Night for Singing' in the Starlight together.
This couple must be the most handsome couple in cinema history. Jeanne Craine and Dana Andrews are so ridiculously perfect in their roles. A couple struck by moonlight and everything twinkly and beautiful. *Le sigh*
Wayne meets a red-headed, bright-eyed singer, and, not realising she's married, he forms a quick boyish crush on her. They also go through some enjoyable evenings together - dancing and singing some plain-fun songs. But the relationship ends promptly when Wayne realises she's a married woman, and in the end he's happily riding his old girlfriend in his car again. Wayne is the kind of easy, fun guy who gets along with life. I really love Wayne. :-)
As I said, this movie is just so DREAMY. It's just like Marge - dreamy, twinkly, gorgeous, romantic, sweet, kind. While I understand why some people wouldn't like it (because I don't think my siblings would be this crazy about the movie as I am - it's not really the kind of movie for middle-aged-boys who like a bit of action and who loathe romance, right?), I have to admit it has entranced my heart a little. I'm fond of this musical.
Ah yes, it's a musical. That means I must talk of the songs, right? This musical doesn't have as many songs as most musicals, but it is a very toe-tappy, music-filled movie nonetheless.
The songs are ridiculous fun. Some of them are more dreamy and wishful. The one Marge sings in the beginning - 'It Might as Well be Spring' - is a bit kind of whiny, but, don't worry, it's worth it, because she sings it in one of the prettiest bedrooms in cinema history and she sits on the windowsill in the most elegant manner ever possible during part of it. It's just visually stunning, this movie is.
My favourite is, easy, 'It's a Grand Night for Singing.' It's the theme song of the Musical, and no wonder. It's crazily swingy and joyful and impossible-not-to-smile. :-) I also love the silly song 'Isn't it Kinda Fun' - I don't really approve of the lyrics, but it's just SO MUCH FUN. :-D 'All I Owe' is also lovely.
|JUST LOOK AT THEIR SMILES.|
Now I have to talk about my main love for this movie - the Costumes. THE COSTUMES. They are to die for. Every piece. Especially Marge's wardrobe - especially Marge's wardrobe. AH. *Another big sigh, because hey, it's that kind of 'sigh' movie.*
Marge has one of my favourite movie-wardrobes EVER. If you know me and my millions-of-zillions-of-favourite-movie-costumes, you have to realise that this sets the standard high. Marge's wardrobe is to die for. She has the adorable crunchy look (yes, the delicious curly top does help finish off the look) - with beautiful girlish aprons, starry puffy sleeves, flowered bodices, and cherry-decorations. I LOVE EVERY COSTUME IN THIS MOVIE. There, I just said it.
This movie was made in 1945, so I like to think that girls my age watched it to celebrate the end of the War. What an excellent way to celebrate something, don't you think? :-)
Oh, one last thing: Eva is considering doing a State Fair week, everyone. Do comment and tell her that you're interested! :-)
Have you seen this musical?
As crazy about it as I? :-D