State Fair (1933) DVD
State Fair (1933) Director: Henry King Writers: Philip Stong (novel), Sonya Levien (screenplay) Stars: Janet Gaynor, Will Rogers, Lew Ayres The 1933 State Fair was the first of three film versions of the Phillip Stong bestseller. Some consider it the best of the three because of its stricter adherence to the source material and the presence of star Will Rogers. Rogers plays Abel Frake, patriarch of a family whose individual members are affected by the upcoming Iowa State Fair in various fascinating ways. Abel hopes to enter his prize hog Blue Boy and win the blue ribbon. His wife Melissa (Louise Dresser) wants to enter her mincemeat in a food competition, his son Wayne (Norman Foster) wants to get even with a carnival sharpster who'd outsmarted him during the last state fair, and daughter Margery (Janet Gaynor) just wants to get out of the house for a little fun. The parents win their prizes (though it looks for a while that Blue Boy will succumb to a serious illness) the children have brief romances (one happy, one cautionary), and everyone goes home a little wiser for the experience. Footnote: Fox studios offered to butcher Blue Boy and sell his meat to Will Rogers, but Rogers declined, noting that he wouldn't feel right eating his costar.