6.4/10
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2 user 3 critic

Meet Me at the Fair (1953)

Approved | | Musical | January 1953 (USA)
In 1904, Doc Tilbee, medicine show huckster and champion tall-tale teller, gives a ride to a young boy escaped from an orphanage, where bad conditions (the result of political graft) are ... See full summary »

Director:

Douglas Sirk

Writers:

Martin Berkeley, Gene Markey (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Dailey ... Doc Tilbee
Diana Lynn ... Zerelda Wing
Chet Allen Chet Allen ... Tad Bayliss
Scatman Crothers ... Enoch Jones
Hugh O'Brian ... Chilton Corr
Carole Mathews ... Clara Brink
Rhys Williams ... Pete McCoy
Thomas E. Jackson ... Billy Gray
Russell Simpson ... Sheriff Evans
George Chandler ... Deputy Leach
Virginia Brissac ... Mrs. Spooner
John Maxwell ... Mr. Spooner
Doris Packer Doris Packer ... Mrs. Swaile
Edna Holland ... Miss Burghey
George Spaulding George Spaulding ... Governor
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Storyline

In 1904, Doc Tilbee, medicine show huckster and champion tall-tale teller, gives a ride to a young boy escaped from an orphanage, where bad conditions (the result of political graft) are being investigated by new appointee Zerelda Wing, who doesn't know that her fiancée is one of the politicians responsible. Tad wants to stay with his new friend Doc, who is attracted to Zerelda, to the discomfiture of his old flame Clara...all amid nostalgic musical numbers. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Taglines:

Excitment, Glamour, Thrills of the riotous horse and buggy days!

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Espérame en la feria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1904. See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Genevieve
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Tucker
Lyrics by George Cooper
Sung by Dan Dailey as member of quartet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sweet Memories
25 August 2002 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

A lovely, modest turn-of-the-century musical featuring Dan Dailey as one of those medicine show con men that seemed to be everywhere in the cinematic wild west, with Scatman Crothers as his pal, Chet Allen as the little boy he "adopts". Douglas Sirk directs this films with a real feel for the period, and seems literally to be taking his cues on how to direct this film from Dan Dailey's acting style. Dailey was a conundrum. He never made the top cut of musical stars, yet he could sing and dance with the best of them, and was a better actor than most. There was a cynicism to everything he did that made him perfect for con man and shifty character roles, yet he never found the right one that would enable him to break through, especially in his post-musical career. Here he is in very much in his element, as he plays the character of Doc Tilbee as both a scamp and a decent guy. That the little boy idolizes him and regards him as a larger than life hero, taking Doc's tall tales for the real thing, gives a poignancy to the story. Since Doc is himself somewhat of a child, he understands the boy instinctively, and this helps him grow up a little, too.

There are some nice songs along the way, and real heartbreak as well, and both complement the story rather than detract from it, and so the movie is all of a piece. This is a perfect film for a lazy summer afternoon or evening. It brings back sweet memories of childhood, and when it's over it's hard to believe that the story maybe didn't happen to you, that it's part of your life, and that you just happened to have forgotten about it. There aren't too many movies you can this this about. The Wizard Of Oz comes to mind. Meet Me At the Fair is in its way almost as memorable.


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