It Happened at the World's Fair (1963)

105 mins | Comedy-drama | 3 April 1963

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HISTORY

The 1 May 1962 LAT announced the provisionally titled Take Me to the Fair as singer Elvis Presley's next film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM). A news item in the 20 Jun 1962 DV hinted that Ann-Margret was under consideration as Presley's leading lady, noting the added advantage of both being under contract to RCA Victor Records. Five weeks later, the 27 Jul 1962 issue stated that an unspecified role was offered to actor Jackie Cooper, with Dolores Hart as the latest candidate for female lead. The part ultimately went to Joan O'Brien. Singer-actor Gary Crosby was also offered a role, according to the 9 Aug 1962 DV.
       Other castings included Sandra Giles (25 Sep 1962 DV) ; former newscaster Henry Travis (9 Oct 1962 DV) ; George Milan, Joe Quinn, Hal Riddle, and Charles Victor (15 Oct 1962 DV) ; Paula Lane (26 Oct 1962 DV) ; and Kurt Russell in his screen debut (10 Sep 1962 DV).
       The 31 Jul 1962 DV reported that producer Ted Richmond had recently returned from New York City, where he selected twelve songs for the picture from the offerings of seventeen songwriting teams. One month later, the 31 Aug 1962 edition noted that Presley had pre-recorded eight of the compositions, including the title song.
       On 4 Sep 1962, DV announced that the 200-member cast and crew were leaving for Seattle, WA, to begin production the next day. Director Norman Taurog and director of photography Joseph Ruttenberg scouted locations several weeks earlier, as ... More Less

The 1 May 1962 LAT announced the provisionally titled Take Me to the Fair as singer Elvis Presley's next film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM). A news item in the 20 Jun 1962 DV hinted that Ann-Margret was under consideration as Presley's leading lady, noting the added advantage of both being under contract to RCA Victor Records. Five weeks later, the 27 Jul 1962 issue stated that an unspecified role was offered to actor Jackie Cooper, with Dolores Hart as the latest candidate for female lead. The part ultimately went to Joan O'Brien. Singer-actor Gary Crosby was also offered a role, according to the 9 Aug 1962 DV.
       Other castings included Sandra Giles (25 Sep 1962 DV) ; former newscaster Henry Travis (9 Oct 1962 DV) ; George Milan, Joe Quinn, Hal Riddle, and Charles Victor (15 Oct 1962 DV) ; Paula Lane (26 Oct 1962 DV) ; and Kurt Russell in his screen debut (10 Sep 1962 DV).
       The 31 Jul 1962 DV reported that producer Ted Richmond had recently returned from New York City, where he selected twelve songs for the picture from the offerings of seventeen songwriting teams. One month later, the 31 Aug 1962 edition noted that Presley had pre-recorded eight of the compositions, including the title song.
       On 4 Sep 1962, DV announced that the 200-member cast and crew were leaving for Seattle, WA, to begin production the next day. Director Norman Taurog and director of photography Joseph Ruttenberg scouted locations several weeks earlier, as reported in the 15 Aug 1962 edition. The 11 Sep 1962 DV stated that composer Leith Stevens left for Seattle that day to supervise the musical finale.
       According to the 9 Oct 1962 LAT, four mobile homes, constructed by Divco-Wayne Industries, were delivered to MGM Studios in Culver City, CA, for a trailer park set on Stage 20. The article claimed that it was the first time mobile homes were depicted on screen in a "deluxe park setting." The 26 Oct 1962 DV noted that a replica of Seattle's "Space Needle" building was created for the film.
       After the company returned from Seattle, the 16 Oct 1962 DV reported that Norwegian Vice Consul Arild Riisberg appeared on set the previous day to present Elvis Presley with a "silver record mounted on a mahogany plaque," on behalf of the people of Norway.
       As both production and the Seattle Century 21 Exposition drew to a close, the title of the picture was changed to It Happened at the World's Fair, as stated in the 23 Oct 1962 DV. Filming concluded on 8 Nov 1962, according to that day's issue. News items in the 17 Jan 1963 and 6 Feb 1963 editions of DV reported the start of recording the music score and the completion of music dubbing, respectively. Meanwhile, RCA Victor shipped more than 516,000 copies of Presley's latest single, featuring two songs from the picture. A news brief in the 28 Jan 1963 DV revealed that a preview screening was held in Long Beach, CA, over the previous two days.
       On 8 Apr 1963, DV announced that the picture was opening that week at 450 locations, supported by a "heavy" radio and television campaign targeting the teenage demographic. It Happened at the World's Fair opened 3 Apr 1963 in Los Angeles, CA, and on 29 May 1963 in New York City to dismissive reviews, with the 1 Apr 1963 DV and 6 Apr 1963 LAT both describing the picture as "tedious." Regardless, critics predicted a profitable run, evidenced by earnings in Los Angeles of $125,000, as reported in the 9 Apr 1963 DV.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 Jun 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Jul 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
31 Jul 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1962
p. 3.
Daily Variety
15 Aug 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1962
p. 12.
Daily Variety
4 Sep 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Sep 1962
p. 3.
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1962
p. 6.
Daily Variety
25 Sep 1962
p. 3.
Daily Variety
9 Oct 1962
p. 10.
Daily Variety
15 Oct 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
16 Oct 1962
p. 5.
Daily Variety
23 Oct 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
26 Oct 1962
p. 4, 15.
Daily Variety
8 Nov 1962
p. 7.
Daily Variety
17 Jan 1963
p. 9.
Daily Variety
28 Jan 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1963
p. 14, 18.
Daily Variety
14 Mar 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
1 Apr 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
9 Apr 1963
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
1 May 1962
Section C, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
25 Aug 1962
Section A, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
9 Oct 1962
Section E, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
3 Apr 1963
Section C, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
6 Apr 1963
Section B, p. 5.
New York Times
30 May 1963
p. 15.
Variety
3 Apr 1963
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Ted Richmond Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Tech adv
Gaffer
SOURCES
SONGS
"I'm Falling in Love Tonight" and "They Remind Me Too Much of You," words and music by Don Robertson
"Relax," "Take Me to the Fair," words and music by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett
"How Would You Like To Be?" words and music by Ben Raleigh and Mark Barkan
+
SONGS
"I'm Falling in Love Tonight" and "They Remind Me Too Much of You," words and music by Don Robertson
"Relax," "Take Me to the Fair," words and music by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett
"How Would You Like To Be?" words and music by Ben Raleigh and Mark Barkan
"Beyond the Bend," words and music by Ben Weisman, Fred Wise and Dolores Fuller
"One Broken Heart for Sale,"words and music by Otis Blackwell and Winfield Scott
"Cotton Candy Land," words and music by Ruth Batchelor and Bob Roberts
"A World of Our Own," words and music by Bill Giant, Bernie Baum and Florence Kaye
"Happy Ending," words and music by Sid Wayne and Ben Weisman.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Take Me to the Fair
Release Date:
3 April 1963
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 April 1963
New York opening: 29 May 1963
Production Date:
5 September--8 November 1962
Copyright Claimant:
Ted Richmond Productions
Copyright Date:
31 December 1962
Copyright Number:
LP23743
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
105
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Mike and Danny, two bush pilots, are grounded when a local sheriff attaches their plane as security for unpaid bills resulting from Mike's weakness for women and Danny's for gambling. They hitch a ride to Seattle with Walter Ling, a Chinese farmer, and his young niece Sue-Lin. Upon arrival the uncle finds it impossible to take Sue-Lin to the World's Fair, and Mike volunteers to accompany her while Danny goes to search for a friend, Vince Bradley. Sue-Lin gets a stomach ache after sampling every kind of food and going on every ride. In the dispensary Mike makes a successful play for nurse Diane Warren, but during their dinner date Sue-Lin arrives and tearfully explains that she has lost her uncle. Mike takes her under his wing, but she is taken away by the Child Welfare Board, supposedly on Diane's recommendation. In reality, Danny is the informer--he wants Mike to help him pilot a plane for Vince. Mike agrees, but he learns just before takeoff that Sue-Lin has run away. He finds her at the fair and takes her to the airplane. Meanwhile, Diane, also looking for Sue-Lin, has arrived at the runway. Mike becomes suspicious of Vince and discovers that the cargo they were to transport consists of smuggled furs. A scuffle ensues, police apprehend Vince, Mike and Diane are reconciled, Sue-Lin is reunited with her uncle, and all ends ... +


Mike and Danny, two bush pilots, are grounded when a local sheriff attaches their plane as security for unpaid bills resulting from Mike's weakness for women and Danny's for gambling. They hitch a ride to Seattle with Walter Ling, a Chinese farmer, and his young niece Sue-Lin. Upon arrival the uncle finds it impossible to take Sue-Lin to the World's Fair, and Mike volunteers to accompany her while Danny goes to search for a friend, Vince Bradley. Sue-Lin gets a stomach ache after sampling every kind of food and going on every ride. In the dispensary Mike makes a successful play for nurse Diane Warren, but during their dinner date Sue-Lin arrives and tearfully explains that she has lost her uncle. Mike takes her under his wing, but she is taken away by the Child Welfare Board, supposedly on Diane's recommendation. In reality, Danny is the informer--he wants Mike to help him pilot a plane for Vince. Mike agrees, but he learns just before takeoff that Sue-Lin has run away. He finds her at the fair and takes her to the airplane. Meanwhile, Diane, also looking for Sue-Lin, has arrived at the runway. Mike becomes suspicious of Vince and discovers that the cargo they were to transport consists of smuggled furs. A scuffle ensues, police apprehend Vince, Mike and Diane are reconciled, Sue-Lin is reunited with her uncle, and all ends happily. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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