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.
Roger Grant: Don’t you understand? I’m an artist. Like Pygmalion.
Stella Kirby: Like who?
Roger Grant: Oh, just a Greek who took a hunk of marble, molded it and polished it into a beautiful woman. Then he fell in love with it.
Stella Kirby: Then you mean you’ve just fallen in love with your, with your. . .
Roger Grant: . . .handiwork.
Stella Kirby: Oh, that isn’t so. You loved me from the first day you saw me, platinum hair, loud mouth and everything.
Roger Grant: I guess you’re right.
Stella Kirby: This is the real thing, isn’t it?
Roger Grant: It’s the realest thing that ever happened to me.