This is a film I saw for the first time last summer because I had fallen in love with Lew Ayres and tried to watch everything he had ever been in. Which reminders me, don’t forget to pre-order Lew Ayres: Hollywood’s Conscientious Objector on Amazon. I wrote the foreword and y’all are gonna love it. Anyways, I love this movie. I saw the musical version first and as much as I love Dana Andrews and Vivian Blaine’s amazing Technicolor red hair, I prefer this early version. It’s directed by Henry King, who also directed the 1925 silent version of Stella Dallas, a film I recently saw at the SF Silent Film Festival and also find superior to the later version. I see a pattern forming. I would be lying if I didn’t say after the cut you are in for A LOT of screencaps of Lew Ayres. But like I said earlier, you’ll love it. State Fair was nominated for two Academy Awards, though it didn’t win any: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were 42nd Street, A Farewell To Arms, I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, Lady For A Day, Little Women, The Private Life of Henry VIII, She Done Him Wrong, Smilin’ Through and winner Cavalcade.
Tom Chambers: That’s one way of meeting the situation. Shipping clerk comes home, finds missus with boarder. He breaks dishes. It’s pure burlesque. Then there’s another way. Intelligent artist returns unexpectedly, finds treacherous friends, both discuss the pros and cons of the situation in grownup dialogue. High-class comedy, enjoyed by everybody.
George Curtis: There’s a third way. I’ll kick your teeth out and tear your head off and beat some decency into you!
Tom Chambers: Cheap melodrama. Very dull.
Kitty Packard: I was reading a book the other day.
Carlotta Vance: Reading a book?
Kitty Packard: Yes. It’s all about civilization or something. A nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy says that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?
Carlotta Vance: Oh, my dear, that’s something you need never worry about.