Rosa Mcmillian

Written by Rosa Mcmillian

Modified & Updated: 28 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


“State Fair” is a beloved classic movie that has entertained audiences for decades. Released in 1945, this delightful musical is filled with memorable songs, captivating characters, and a heartwarming story. Set against the backdrop of the annual state fair, the film follows the adventures of the Frake family as they navigate love, competition, and the excitement of the fairgrounds. Directed by Walter Lang and based on the novel by Philip Stong, “State Fair” captures the essence of small-town charm and the joy of experiencing the fair. With its charming cast, catchy tunes, and timeless themes, this movie has stood the test of time and continues to be a favorite among film enthusiasts. In this article, we will take a closer look at 30 fascinating facts about the making of “State Fair” that will enhance your appreciation for this classic film.

Key Takeaways:

  • “State Fair” is a beloved musical film set at the Iowa State Fair, featuring catchy songs and a heartwarming romance, capturing the excitement and spirit of the fairgrounds.
  • The movie received critical acclaim, was a box office success, and continues to resonate with audiences today, showcasing the talents of Rodgers and Hammerstein and the timeless appeal of small-town Americana.
Table of Contents

State Fair is a classic American musical film

State Fair is a beloved musical film that was released in Directed by Walter Lang, it is based on the novel of the same name by Philip Stong.

It is set at the Iowa State Fair

The film takes place at the annual Iowa State Fair, where the characters participate in various competitions and experience love and adventure.

It features memorable songs

The movie includes several catchy and timeless songs, such as “It Might as Well Be Spring” and “That’s for Me”, both of which won Academy Awards for Best Original Song.

State Fair was remade twice

The success of the original film led to two remakes: one in 1962 and another in Each version brought its own interpretation to the story.

It stars Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews

Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews take on the lead roles in State Fair, portraying a brother and sister who find romance at the fair.

The film showcases the State Fair atmosphere

State Fair captures the excitement and spirit of a state fair, highlighting the exhilaration and thrill of the rides, the aroma of the food, and the charm of the exhibits.

It explores the universal themes of love and ambition

At its core, State Fair delves into the timeless themes of love and ambition, as the characters navigate their desires for success and happiness.

The movie received critical acclaim

Upon its release, State Fair received positive reviews from critics who praised its well-executed musical numbers, engaging story, and charming performances.

It was a box office success

State Fair was a commercial hit, attracting audiences with its captivating storyline and memorable musical sequences. It went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of 1945.

The film’s screenplay was written by Oscar Hammerstein II

Oscar Hammerstein II, a renowned Broadway writer and lyricist, penned the screenplay for State Fair, infusing it with his signature wit and lyrical prowess.

State Fair was nominated for Academy Awards

The movie received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Original Song, Best Original Score, and Best Sound Recording.

It showcases the thrill of agricultural competitions

State Fair features various agricultural competitions, from hog judging to pie-baking contests, giving viewers a glimpse into the excitement and competitive nature of these events.

The film includes a memorable dance sequence

One of the standout moments in State Fair is the energetic dance sequence choreographed by Hermes Pan, which adds a lively and joyful element to the film.

It captures the essence of small-town Americana

State Fair paints a nostalgic picture of small-town America, emphasizing the close-knit communities and traditional values associated with these rural areas.

The movie was based on a popular novel

Philip Stong’s novel, which served as the inspiration for the film, was itself a bestseller. The book resonated with readers and paved the way for the movie adaptation.

It showcases the importance of family

Family plays a central role in State Fair, portraying the bonds, support, and challenges that come with being part of a close-knit unit.

The film features beautiful cinematography

The cinematography in State Fair is stunning, capturing the vibrancy and beauty of the fairgrounds and the surrounding landscapes.

It has a timeless appeal

State Fair continues to resonate with audiences today due to its universal themes, memorable songs, and captivating storytelling.

The movie showcases the talents of Rodgers and Hammerstein

State Fair features music and lyrics by the legendary duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, who are known for their iconic contributions to the world of musical theater.

It inspired a Broadway musical adaptation

State Fair was later adapted into a stage musical, bringing the story and songs to a live theatrical audience.

The film highlights the excitement of the Ferris wheel

The thrilling Ferris wheel ride at the fairgrounds is a prominent feature in State Fair, symbolizing the ups and downs of life and love.

It celebrates the joy of indulging in fair food

State Fair captures the mouthwatering appeal of fair food, showcasing characters enjoying classic treats like corn dogs, cotton candy, and caramel apples.

The movie is a heartwarming romance

State Fair weaves a heartfelt love story within the backdrop of the state fair, captivating audiences with its romantic narrative.

It features memorable performances by the cast

The cast of State Fair delivers standout performances, bringing depth and emotion to their respective roles and enhancing the overall viewing experience.

The film’s soundtrack remains popular

The songs from State Fair have become enduring classics and continue to be enjoyed by music lovers today.

It showcases the beauty of agriculture

State Fair pays homage to the importance of agriculture, highlighting the dedication and hard work of farmers and showcasing the beauty of the countryside.

The movie captures the thrill of amusement rides

The exhilaration of the amusement park rides at the state fair is masterfully captured in State Fair, evoking a sense of nostalgia and joy.

It explores the pursuit of dreams and aspirations

State Fair delves into the journey of pursuing dreams and aspirations, as the characters strive to achieve their goals and find fulfillment at the fair.

The film’s costumes add to its visual appeal

State Fair features stunning costumes that enhance the visual experience and transport viewers to the vibrant world of the fairgrounds.

It is a charming and feel-good movie

State Fair is a charming and feel-good film that captures the spirit of the state fair, immersing audiences in a world of romance, music, and excitement.


State Fair is a classic movie that has captivated audiences for decades with its heartwarming story and memorable characters. With its delightful blend of romance, music, and humor, it continues to be a beloved film among movie enthusiasts. From its charming plot to its talented cast, State Fair has stood the test of time and remains a must-watch for fans of classic cinema.The film showcases the excitement and magic of an annual State Fair, where dreams come true and love finds its way. With its catchy songs and immersive performances, State Fair transports viewers into a world of joy and excitement. It reminds us of the beauty and simplicity of life’s simple pleasures.Whether you’re a fan of romance, music, or simply great storytelling, State Fair has something for everyone. So grab a bucket of popcorn, sit back, and let this timeless movie sweep you off your feet. It’s a delightful journey that will leave you smiling long after the credits roll.


1. What is the plot of State Fair?

The plot of State Fair revolves around the Frake family as they visit the annual State Fair. Each family member embarks on their own adventure, from falling in love to winning contests, as they navigate through the excitement and chaos of the fair.

2. Who stars in State Fair?

State Fair features a talented cast, including Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews, Dick Haymes, and Vivian Blaine. They deliver captivating performances that bring the characters to life and make the movie a joy to watch.

3. Are the songs in State Fair memorable?

Absolutely! State Fair is known for its memorable songs, including “It Might as Well Be Spring” and “That’s for Me.” These catchy tunes will have you humming along and wanting to listen to them again and again.

4. When was State Fair released?

State Fair was first released in 1945. Despite its age, the movie continues to be cherished by audiences who appreciate its timeless charm and entertainment.

5. Is State Fair a romantic movie?

Yes, State Fair is a romantic movie that beautifully captures the magic of love and the blossoming of relationships. It’s a heartwarming story that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

6. Is State Fair suitable for all ages?

State Fair is a family-friendly movie that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. Its wholesome and entertaining nature makes it a great choice for a movie night with the entire family.

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