State Fair (1933) is an American Pre-Code comedy-drama film directed by Henry King and starring Janet Gaynor, Will Rogers, and Lew Ayres. The picture tells the story of a farm family's multi-day visit to the Iowa State Fair, where the parents seek to win prizes in agricultural and cooking competitions, and their teenage daughter and son each find unexpected romance. Based on a bestselling novel by Phil Stong, this was the first of three film versions of the novel released to theaters, the others being the movie musicals State Fair (1945) starring Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews, and State Fair (1962) starring Ann-Margret and Pat Boone.
The 1933 version was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. This pre-Code film has some scenes that would be censored a few years later due to the Production Code that took effect in 1934. Although the screenwriters cut the novel's depiction of a sexual affair between the daughter and a reporter, they kept the son's seduction by a trapeze artist. Moralists were particularly outraged by a scene in which Norman Foster and Sally Eilers' dialogue is heard off-screen while the camera reveals a rumpled bed and a negligee on the floor.
Rogers was accorded top billing on some posters, but Gaynor was billed above Rogers in the film itself.
Victor Jory also appears as the hoop toss barker at the carnival, at the beginning of a screen career spanning 57 years.
In 2014, State Fair was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Janet Gaynor as Margy Frake
Will Rogers as Abel Frake
Lew Ayres as Pat Gilbert
Sally Eilers as Emily Joyce
Norman Foster as Wayne Frake
Louise Dresser as Melissa Frake
Frank Craven as Storekeeper
Victor Jory as Hoop Toss Barker