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State Fair Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Love and Rodgers & Hammerstein music in 1940s Iowa.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an old-fashioned musical film that reflects the simple innocence of the 1940s Midwestern farm community. There are a few scenes of drunkenness played for comic effect. A leading character loses his temper and socks another man in the jaw. In one short roller coaster scene the heroine is very frightened. A number of passionate "movie" kisses indicates that the characters are falling in love.

  • Families can talk about the period in which this movie was made, just before the end of World War II. Do you think this simple musical story of romance, happy endings, and state fairs helped make people feel better during that difficult era? What kinds of movies do you like to see when you want to be entertained and not worry about real life? How is the Frake family like your own family? How is it different? Besides the most obvious differences (like hairstyles, clothes, and music), how has the art of making movies changed since this film was made?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The culture and customs of 1940s Iowa are clearly evident. There is noperson of color or ethnic minority in any scene. Women, with theexception of a singer, are portrayed as homemakers. Everyone is honest, upright, and responsible.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence and scariness: One sock to the jaw in a moment of temper.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Lovers kiss and embrace on three occasions. They're old-fashioned, romantic movie kisses.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Coca-Cola.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking in several scenes. One character becomes tipsy while judging a food contest in which mincemeat has been spiked with brandy. Two men get drunk together after one of them loses his girl.