Newest Reviews
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Night Drive
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Pebble and the Boy, The
Mosquito State
Lina from Lima
Newest Articles
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
  So Long at the Fair The Vanishing
Year: 1950
Director: Anthony Darnborough, Terence Fisher
Stars: Jean Simmons, Dirk Bogarde, David Tomlinson, Marcel Poncin, Cathleen Nesbitt, Honor Blackman, Betty Warren, Zena Marshall, Eugene Deckers, Felix Aylmer, André Morell, Austin Trevor, Natasha Sokolova, Nelly Arno
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Victoria Barton (Jean Simmons) and her older brother Johnny (David Tomlinson) have been travelling around Europe, planning to end their peregrinations at the 1889 Paris Exhibition which should be opening when they arrive in France, after which they will return home to England. Johnny has booked ahead, wisely as it turns out as the hotels are packed with tourists seeking accomodation, and the staff in the place they are staying in are most helpful. That night, although Johnny is feeling tired after their long journey, they go out to see the sights, but the next morning...

Ah, the next morning we've been plunged into urban legend territory, one of the earliest of such things to make the rounds during the twentieth century, when they really took off as something to tell your friends that would either shock them or make them laugh. The tale So Long at the Fair was drawn from was one of the former, and had been reprinted in many books down the years often as fact, although there is no proof it ever happened. Neverthless, the filmmakers stuck closely to the twists of the source here, and for many this is the definitive version of a tale which had been retold with variations quite a few times.

It's basically the old "they won't believe me" plot, with Simmons alternately plucky and distraught at the reaction she gets when she tries to assure those she meets that of course she has a brother, didn't they see him with her? There's her problem though, as when she wakes up after her night out she finds that the hotel staff not only tell her that the room she thought her brother was in doesn't exist - it's the bathroom on that floor - but her brother doesn't exist either. Now, we have seen the opening twenty minutes of the movie, so we know Vicky is telling the truth when she says that he has gone missing, so why can nobody else recall him ever appearing with her?

The room may have gone without a trace, and Johnny may have vanished into thin air, but that's the cue for some well handled scenes of helpless paranoia, after all, what do you do when you know full well that there's something not right but cannot find anyone else to explain to you precisely what is going on? And not only that, but they deny there was ever an issue in the first place? Simmons is a fine heroine in this middle part of the film, refusing to back down in spite of how scared she is, and how increasingly crazy she appears, with every avenue being closed off to her at every turn - including the death of the one person who could have corroborated her story in a balloon accident.

Or was it an accident? Well, we never actually find that out, as the narrative moves into its final act and Vicky eventually discovers someone who will assist. Johnny had lent a fellow Englishman, painter George Hathaway (Dirk Bogarde), a sum of money to pay for a cab fare the night he disappeared, and just as Vicky is about to pack her bags in defeat, George drops the money off with a letter to her room. Proof at last! In truth, once she has an ally, and a possible romantic relationship into the bargain, the tension eases up somewhat, as the sense of the leading lady all at sea in a land which doesn't want to acknowledge her troubles was by far the strongest element. As it is, So Long at the Fair remains a classy little puzzle which ends as the urban myth did, although perhaps happier than in some versions, but manages to sustain its mystery to its conclusion. Music by Benjamin Frankel.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3074 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: