This revue presents its numbers around the orchestra leader Paul Whiteman, besides that it shows in it's final number that the European popular music are the roots of American popular music... See full summary »
Marie is kidnapped and taken aboard ship, then thrown off at Yucatan. She winds up singing in a café in the Panama Canal zone. There she gets involved in a plot to destroy the canal and runs into American intelligence officer Crawbett.
Chinese stowaway Mei Li (Miyoshi Umeki) arrives in San Francisco with her father to meet her fiancé, wealthy nightclub owner Sammy Fong (Jack Soo), in an arranged marriage, but the groom ... See full summary »
Billy Bigelow has been dead for fifteen years, and now outside the pearly gates, he long waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. But he has heard that there is a problem with his ... See full summary »
A producer decides to reopen a theater, that had been closed five years previously when one of the actors was murdered during a performance, by staging a production of the same play with ... See full summary »
The film begins with Magnolia, daughter of Captain Andy Hawks and his domineering wife Parthy, enjoying her childhood aboard her father's show boat. Parthy, irritated over the supposed influence of leading lady Julie (Magnolia's idol and best friend) fires her, despite her husband's objections. Many years later, Magnolia is a young woman and becomes a leading lady. Her leading man is Gaylord Ravenal, a riverboat gambler with whom she falls in love and elopes. But the sudden and unexpected death of Captain Andy forces the couple to leave the boat and move to Chicago rather than endure the disapproving Parthy, and Ravenal's gambling luck soon runs out. Then, Parthy announces she's coming to visit. Written by
Albert Sanchez Moreno
When Nola is given the letter Gaylord has left for her telling her he is leaving her, she is shown holding and reading the letter with her right hand holding the letter near the top and her left hand near the bottom. In the next shot, her hands have changed positions. See more »
I was long curious to see this version of Show Boat and how it stood up against the two more well known versions that came out later. It's a curiosity and nothing more.
I'm willing to bet that the film was being shot at the time sound was hurriedly being accommodated for by the major studios. They had to make up for the fact they had hired non-singers for the lead roles so some dialog was added.
They would have been better keeping it a straight silent. Some of Broadway's best shows were done in acceptable silent versions. Kid Boots, Rose Marie, and The Student Prince come to mind.
First of all the whole subplot involving Julie and the miscegenation angle was completely eliminated. Considering that was a controversial theme in those days and gained Show Boat a pioneering reputation, why would you want to sacrifice it.
Laura La Plante and Joseph Schildkraut as Magnolia and Ravenal are acceptable enough. But when the Jazz Singer was made it was the musical interludes with Jolson that made it a hit. There was no rhyme of reason for the parts where dialog was included.
The best performance in the film was Emily Fitzroy who plays Parthy Hawkes like a stone-faced harridan. The later versions with Helen Westley and Agnes Moorehead gave her a trace of humanity. This was one witch of a woman and she never lets up either.
Now that Show Boat is an American classic and it's a classic because of the wonderful Kern-Hammerstein score, I'm not sure anyone would want to bother with this one.
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