MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 16,713 this week

Show Boat (1936)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Musical  -  17 May 1936 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,941 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 23 critic

Despite her mother's objections, the naive young daughter of a show boat captain is thrust into the limelight as the company's new leading lady.

Director:

Writers:

, (stage play), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 12 Jul 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 08 Apr 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 11 Apr 2013
 
a list of 31 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 32 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Show Boat" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Show Boat (1936)

Show Boat (1936) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Show Boat.

User Polls

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Turnabout (1940)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Bickering husband and wife Tim and Sally Willows mutter a few angry words to a statue of Buddha and wind up living each other's life.

Director: Hal Roach
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Carole Landis, John Hubbard
Certificate: Passed Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Despotic King Louis XIV discovers he has a twin brother who has grown up under the tutelage of his foster father, the patriotic musketeer D'Artagnan.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett, Warren William
Sweet Adeline (1934)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

In 1898, composer Sid Barnett manages to get his sweetheart, Adeline the beer-garden singer, to sing the lead in his new Broadway operetta; this infuriates Elysia, the erstwhile star. But ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Irene Dunne, Donald Woods, Hugh Herbert
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The author of a scandalously racy best-selling book tries to hide her celebrity from her provincial small town neighbors who'd be scandalized if they knew.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Irene Dunne, Melvyn Douglas, Thomas Mitchell
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 18th-century Italy, an orphan's debt to the man who raised him threatens to separate him forever from the woman he loves.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Michael Curtiz
Stars: Fredric March, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Woods
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Young Pud is orphaned and left in the care of his aged grandparents. The boy and his cantankerous old grandfather become inseparable friends. But Gramps is concerned for his grandson's ... See full summary »

Director: Harold S. Bucquet
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Cedric Hardwicke, Beulah Bondi
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A maid's dreams come true - except they are not quite what she expected.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Lew Ayres, Mae Clarke, Una Merkel
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In a Welsh coal mining valley, a young man with a beautiful singing voice is called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice when a pit disaster threatens.

Director: Pen Tennyson
Stars: Paul Robeson, Edward Chapman, Simon Lack
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Unscrupulously ambitious Brutus Jones escapes from jail after killing a guard and through bluff and bravado finds himself the emperor of a Caribbean island.

Director: Dudley Murphy
Stars: Paul Robeson, Dudley Digges, Frank H. Wilson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Peterson Price Porterhouse III (Eddie Bracken)) and Nancy Crane (Priscilla Lane), both flat broke, meet on a Florida beach and decide to "go for the big money," under the premise that ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew L. Stone
Stars: Eddie Bracken, Priscilla Lane, Tom Conway
The Road Back (1937)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After World War I, a group of former German soldiers try to adjust to civilian life.

Director: James Whale
Stars: John 'Dusty' King, Richard Cromwell, Slim Summerville
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An Auustrian prince flees his homeland when the Nazis take over and settles in London. He meets a beautiful Austrian émigré who makes him realize his mistake in leaving. He makes a deal ... See full summary »

Directors: James Whale, Victor Fleming, and 1 more credit »
Stars: George Brent, Martha Scott, Paul Lukas
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Charles Winninger ...
...
Joe
...
Helen Westley ...
Queenie Smith ...
Sammy White ...
Donald Cook ...
...
Francis X. Mahoney ...
Rubber Face
...
Sunnie O'Dea ...
Arthur Hohl ...
...
Edit

Storyline

Adaptation of the Broadway musical. Magnolia Hawks is the lovely but protected, and thus very naive, daughter of Cap'n Andy Hawks, the genial proprietor of a show boat that cruises the Missisippi, and his nagging wife, Parthy. She is best friends with the show boat's star, Julie LaVerne, but Julie and her husband Steve are forced to leave when it is revealed that Julie has "Negro" blood in her, thereby breaking the state law by being married to the white Steve. Magnolia replaces Julie as the show boat's female star, and the show's new male star is the suave gambler Gaylord Ravenal. "Nola" and Gaylord fall in love and marry against Parthy's wishes. They and their young daughter lead the high life when Gaylord is lucky in gambling, but live like dirt when he's unlucky. During one such unlucky streak, a broken Gaylord leaves Nola, and she is forced to start over by returning to the stage. Like Old Man River, as the famous song from this show goes, she just keeps rollin' along. Written by Tommy Peter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Here Comes the Grand and Glorious "Show Boat" (version of 1936) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 May 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Edna Ferber's Show Boat  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Noiseless Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The cost of production for the movie was more than Universal Studios could afford. Head of the studio, Carl Laemmle Jr., had to borrow money to finish the picture and to keep the studio afloat. When he reneged on an agreement to repay the loan, Universal Studios was taken over by a New York City lending institution. Laemmle Jr. lost his position at the studio his father had started and never again worked in Hollywood. See more »

Goofs

During the scene in which Cap'n Andy introduces his actors to the crowd, a young woman looks off to the side absent-mindedly as the captain begins to introduce Ellie. As soon as he mentions Ellie's name, the young woman seems to snap to attention and automatically smiles broadly and gives out a loud cheer along with the rest of the crowd. See more »

Quotes

Julie: [singing] Oh, I can't explain. It's surely not his brain That makes me thrill. I love him Because he's - I don't know... Because he's just my Bill!
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the opening credits, we see a cardboard cutout display of a show boat parade, with cutout paper townspeople watching it, on a moving turntable. The parade revolves past the camera carrying cardboard banners on which are printed the title and other credits to the film. Most of the parade figures are simply figures, but among them we can discern cutouts of Paul Robeson and Helen Morgan (the appearance of these figures does not coincide with the appearance of their names onscreen). In the background can be seen the shadows of a paddlewheel and a riverboat. See more »


Soundtracks

Gallivantin' Around
(1936) (uncredited)
(Reprise)
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Hummed by mixed chorus and danced by Sunnie O'Dea and dancers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I Agree: This Is The Preferred Version
5 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There are a couple of famous, great songs in the opening 15 minutes of this film that hooked me in to watch the entire two-hour film.

I don't think the two-hour production ever wound up matching those early minutes but I still enjoyed it enough to give it "8 stars." Also, I still think it's better than the more-famous 1951 color re-make. It's a shame this 1936 film is not available on DVD, at least at this point here in the U.S.

Funny, but I did not particularly care for the two leading actors voices - Irene Dunne and Allan Jones. They are just two high-pitched for my tastes. I preferred the deep voice of Paul Robeson and was pleasantly surprised how well Hatie McDaniel sang.

The fun part of the film, however, wasn't the music but the story. It's pretty entertaining and a key reason for that was Charles Winniger, who keeps it alive with good humor. All the characters, except for Helen Westley's, are "good guys." and nice to follow. The story has a good mixture of drama, humor, sadness, sentimentality and song.

Also, there is some nice closeup photography with some great facial expressions. Some just make you laugh right out loud.

I am in agreement with those who think "Show Boat" was the best-ever and very good feel-good film.


23 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Question about Camera Work in 'Old Man River' blacksunday52
Disappointed IreneEDevine
Warfield or Robeson- whose rendition do you like better? TheLittleSongbird
Hattie !! tarafan-1
Irene Dunne in 1936 Show Boat JessQ
Showboat 1936 Film gordon-blackburn
Discuss Show Boat (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?