Thursday Movie Picks - Fairs

It's summer time, so we're talking fairs over at Wandering Through The Shelves. I used to go to fairs all the time as a kid. Not so much now as an adult, but I have found memories of them. Here's a few films I'm fond of too.

1) Charlotte's Web (1973) -
This was the version I watched growing up as we had it on VHS. I still have such a soft spot for it. I though the Dakota Fanning version in the early aughts was a nice touch, but this one is still my favorite. 

2) Adventureland -
Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart can be an acquired taste for some, but I love them together. Especially in this amusement park comedy. 

3) Meet Me in St. Louis -
This film may span some time, but the World Fair is a big part of it, and it's my favorite Judy Garland movie. I love it. 


  1. I love Charlotte's Web and have not seen it in years. I cried when the spider died.. the only time I ride when a spider died. I read the book after and felt the same way.
    I have not seen your 2nd pick and doubt I will since I can't stand either a yore especially Eisenberg
    OMG! I forgot about this wonderful Garland musical. She just shines in this and so many great songs. Wonderful pick.

    1. Charlotte's Web is the only time you will find me caring about a spider. I always cried with all her babies fly away and say goodbye to Wilbur, even though a few did stay.

  2. I actually thought about using "Meet Me in St. Louis", although I'm not a fan of Judy Garland musicals. (I very much enjoy dramatic performances like "The Clock".)

    1. I haven't seen The Clock but I did enjoy Judgement at Nuremberg. I'll have to check that one out!

  3. It may surprise you since it's animated but I love this version of Charlotte's Web. I adore the book as well, one of my favorites as a child. It might not be a buy-in for many people but the cast behind the characters (Debbie Reynolds, Agnes Moorehead and Paul Lynde just for starters!) is the biggest selling point for me.

    As we discussed before Meet Me in St. Louis isn't my favorite Judy Garland film but it's in the top five. A lovely film with top-flight Judy. The closing vignette at the fair is lavish but the trip to the fairgrounds where she sings The Trolley Song is my favorite part of the picture.

    Your comment about those two performers is exactly why I've never gotten around to Adventureland.

    When I started thinking about the theme I realized there were more films set at a fair than I thought. The first that came to me is the terrific 1950 film “So Long at the Fair” with Jean Simmons and Dirk Bogarde. English Jean accompanies her brother David Tomlinson (Mary Poppins’s Mr. Banks) to the 1889 Paris Exposition, they check into separate hotel rooms and when she goes to meet him in the morning to go to the fair not only has he vanished but so has his room! Beautifully done.

    Next would be an Elvis Presley piece of fluff-1963’s “It Happened at the World’s Fair”. It’s wafer thin but bright and breezy.

    The last would be 1953’s “Girl on the Run” a low budget indie set in a carnival burlesque show where a reporter is trying to expose a crime ring run out of the tents. It has an obscure cast but soon to be megastar Steve McQueen has a couple words in a bit that was his screen debut.

    1. I'm glad you like an animated film for once! lol. I adore that one. I haven't seen any of your picks this week, but I have heard of the Presley one. I really need to get out and see that Elvis movie still.

    2. Elvis movies are by and large a negligible lot with only a handful that could really be called good films. This one falls somewhere in the middle of the pack.

      If you never seen any Elvis films I'd say the best ones to start with are in order of preference:

      1. King Creole (not so much a Presley vehicle as a noirish crime drama in which he plays a major role with excellent performances by Walter Matthau and Carolyn Jones)
      2. Viva Las Vegas (probably the best "Elvis" movie that includes all the signatures his films usually contained and his most simpatico screen partner in Ann-Margret)
      3. Jailhouse Rock
      4. Blue Hawaii (Angela Lansbury plays his mother even though she was only 10 years older than him! She makes it work though.)
      5. G.I. Blues
      6. Wild in the Country
      7. Love Me Tender (His first film)
      8. Roustabout (this one costars Barbara Stanwyck)
      9. Loving You
      10. Kid Galahad (Elvis plays a singing boxer!)

      All his other films are very cookie cutter with only the location changed....avoid Clambake and Harum Scarum at all costs!!

    3. LOL I will definitely avoid those. I can't say I've ever felt the need to dive into his filmography.

  4. The only one of yours I've seen is Adventureland and I remember liking it. And I do like Stewart and Eisenberg together too, they're a little offbeat.

  5. Meet Me in St. Louis is the one film in that list I haven't seen but I do want to while I've only seen bits of Adventureland which I do need to see as a whole. I grew up on Charlotte's Web despite my phobia of spiders. Yet, I love that song between the rat Templeton and the goose about the fair. Oh, that scene ruled.

    Oh, that movie that Elvis did It Happened at the World's Fair. There's a famous clip where Elvis paid a kid a quarter to kick him in the shins so he can score with some lady. See who that kid is in his first film ever and why he is the only person in cinema so far to play THE KING perfectly.

  6. Now it's my turn to say I can't believe I didn't think of it - love that you picked Charlotte'e Web and the animated version. Was horrified to learn there is a live action film..

    1. The live action is pretty decent because Dakota Fanning is such a prodigy.

  7. omg how adorable is that gif from Charlotte's Web!


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