Thursday, July 7, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks #417: Fairs

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. I'm back after a several-week hiatus, mostly because I looked at this week's theme, "Fairs", and realized that it wasn't going to be too difficult to find three movies that fit the theme, as opposed to say last week's TV theme of origin stories. (I'm not into comic book superheroes or movie/TV adaptations of them.) The only issue was whether or not I had used any of the movies before. With that in mind, here are my three selections:

State Fair (1933). You may know the Rogers and Hammerstein musical State Fair, but that wasn't original; in fact, it was written directly for the screen, being based on both the 1933 movie and the novel that preceded the movie. (There was another musical version in the early 1960s.) In this first movie version, Will Rogers, Fox's big star of folksy movies in the days before Variety wrote the "Stix Nix Hick Pix" headline, plays the patriarch of an Iowa family who head off to the state fair for the weekend. Daughter Janet Gaynor meets and falls in love with Lew Ayers; Norman Foster plays the son who falls in love with Sally Eilers. Victor Jory shows up at the beginning of his career, playing the ring toss barker running a crooked game.

So Long at the Fair (1950). Jean Simmons plays a young woman traveling to the Paris World's Fair together with her older brother. She wakes up the next morning to see the fair with her brother, only to find out that her brother is no longer in his hotel room, and there's no evidence that he was ever there, with nobody even willing to admit that the brother even existed. Dirk Bogarde plays an artist who is eventually able to offer Simmons some assistance; a very young Honor Blackman plays Bogarde's girlfriend.

Ministry of Fear (1944). Ray Milland gets out of a mental hospital in the middle of World War II England. He then goes to a village fair, where he wins a cake by guessing its weight. The only thing is, he wasn't supposed to be the winner, and the person who was supposed to win would really like the cake, which contains microfilm that a ring of spies wants for its own nefarious purposes. Milland has to flee to London and try to break the spy ring himself. Watch for Dan Duryea as the guy who wants the cake.


Birgit said...

I chose the “middle” State Fair with non singers Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews but I know about this earliest version which I still have to see. Will Rogers was the darling back then before his sad death. I would love to see this Jean Simmons film which reminded nds me of Bunny Lake is Missing. I have not seen the last one either so I’m batting a big fat 0. Glad to see you back!

Realweegiemidget Reviews said...

Didn't choose any of these, but that Ray Milland film does sound good...

ThePunkTheory said...

ooooh such interesting picks!
I don't think I've heard of any of them before