MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 14,960 this week

Show Boat (1936)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Musical  |  17 May 1936 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,022 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 24 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 07 Feb 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 13 Nov 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 29 Mar 2014
 
a list of 25 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 38 titles
created 9 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 7.7/10

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... 

Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A seaplane departs for China. On board are a nurse escaping a loveless marriage to do work with refugees, a woman hoping to surprise her estranged son, a wealthy heiress trying to distance ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Madge Evans, John Boles, Bruce Cabot
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Great Garrick (Brian Aherne) is the most celebrated London theater actor of his day (eighteenth century) and is invited to Paris to star at the Comedie Francaise, the most important ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Brian Aherne, Olivia de Havilland, Edward Everett Horton
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A prosecutor trying a case where a husband shot his adulterous wife begins to suspect that his own wife is having an affair, and starts to have his own thoughts about killing her.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Warren William, Gail Patrick, Constance Moore
Dames (1934)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Multi-millionaire Ezra Ounce wants to start a campaign against 'filthy' forms of entertainment, like Broadway-Shows. He comes to his relatives families and makes them members of his ... See full summary »

Directors: Ray Enright, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 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
Journey's End (1930)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In France, 1917, an alcoholic captain is afraid that his new replacement, his sweetheart's brother, will betray his downfall.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Colin Clive, Ian Maclaren, David Manners
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: James Whale
Stars: Wallace Beery, Frank Morgan, Maureen O'Sullivan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young lady leaves her brutal husband and meets another man aboard a ship.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Diana Wynyard, Colin Clive, Frank Lawton
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a night of wild partying at a friend's house, a couple wake up to discover the party's host has been murdered in his bed. A detective is called in to investigate, but his ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Edward Arnold, Robert Young, Constance Cummings
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a famous doctor kills his adulterous wife, he is defended by his best friend, an attorney--who suspects that his own wife is having an affair.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Nancy Carroll, Frank Morgan, Paul Lukas
Green Hell (1940)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A group of adventurers head deep into a South American jungle in search of ancient Incan treasure. A beautiful woman, brought to their camp by hired bearers, has come to join her husband, a... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Bennett, John Howard
The Road Back (1937)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
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

Several scenes were cut before release, because they presumably would have made the film much too long (films lasting two hours or longer were still a rarity in 1936). Among the scenes omitted were a sequence featuring Paul Robeson and Hattie McDaniel in old-age makeup, with Robeson singing an additional reprise of "Ol' Man River" while McDaniel sits beside him in a rocking chair and a modern speedboat is seen in the background; a World War I scene featuring Irene Dunne and Charles Winninger, and a vocal reprise of "Gallivantin' Around", one of the additional songs written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II for the 1936 film version. This last one would have been part of the movie's final sequence in which Kim (played as an adult by Sunnie O'Dea) makes her debut in a leading role on Broadway. She was supposed to have sung the song in addition to dancing to it. The vocal of "Gallivantin' Around" was eventually cut from this final sequence, but much of the rest of the scene remains in the film, except for a "modern" portion which shows how dancing evolved from the nineteenth century to the jazz era. See more »

Goofs

When Joe rows the doctor across the stormy waters, the doctor upbraids him for getting him out of bed under false pretenses. In answer, Joe sings a line from "Ah Still Suits Me", but his lip movements don't quite match the sound of his voice. 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

The rights to this film were bought by M-G-M in 1942, so all prints shown on TV until the mid 1990's had the roaring lion logo at the beginning. However, despite having bought the rights, M-G-M retained Universal Pictures' spinning globe for the "The End: A Universal Picture" credit at the film's close. See more »

Connections

Referenced in She's Alive! Creating the Bride of Frankenstein (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Pop Goes the Weasel
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed a bit by Charles Winninger on violin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A cinematic masterpiece and true to the Ferber epic
16 May 2002 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

This is not a musical. This is a film. James Whale's visual expressionism and the truly remarkable performances he coached from his actors is what makes SHOW BOAT a great movie. As an historical record, this SHOW BOAT is nearest to the Ferber novel as well as the Ziegfeld stage production, using several members of the original and / or London cast. The evocative tone of the film, bringing alive the seedy rural Mississippi River towns, coupled with the natural and subtle acting jobs, make this film real to the touch. Yes, MGM's production is more opulent, with more modern orchestrations and stronger vocals on the part of Gay and Magnolia. Even William Warfield is more polished than Paul Robeson. And that's the trouble. That performance belongs in an opera house. Universal's 1936 SHOW BOAT is musical realism. As for the cultural aspects, blackface happened. Get over it. So did rampant racism; and the misegenation aspects of the script are dealt with frankly and brutally. I know of precious few films of the thirties that were so bold in their statements regarding racial intolerance. And don't think Whale was oblivious to the fact that he was placing one infraction side-by-side with another. It is the perfect unmasking of the hypocrisy of racism - you can make yourself up to look like a nigger; but don't dare marry one or carry a drop of one's blood in your veins or let a real one on the same stage with a white actor.

Why is "Bill" so powerful? Listen to the second chorus. Victor Baravelle brings in high sustained strings. Whale cuts to the old charwomen halting in their work, stopping to listen, wiping away an unwanted tear with an apron.

SHOW BOAT 1936 pulls no punches. It's a masterpiece.


55 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Question about Camera Work in 'Old Man River' blacksunday52
Can anyone clarify what happened to Julie afterwards? tonkagarfield
Irene Dunne in 1936 Show Boat JessQ
Disappointed IreneEDevine
Hattie !! tarafan-1
Showboat 1936 Film gordon-blackburn
Discuss Show Boat (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?