MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 560 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 1,889 users  
Reviews: 52 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 25 titles
created 08 Dec 2010
 
a list of 41 titles
created 04 Jan 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 05 Jan 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 2 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... 

Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
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
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Beautiful woman mistakes a prince's butler for the prince.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Elissa Landi, Paul Lukas, Nils Asther
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: James Whale
Stars: Wallace Beery, Frank Morgan, Maureen O'Sullivan
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: James Whale
Stars: Marjorie Steele, Harry Morgan, Lee Patrick
Green Hell (1940)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 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 7.1/10 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
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:

HEAR Glorious New Music and Songs by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II: "Gallivantin' Around", "Ah Still Suits Me", "I Have The Room Above Her", plus "Make Believe", "Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine". 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 first choice to play Ellie May Chipley in this film was Eva Puck, who had played that part in Show Boat's original Broadway run opposite her husband Sammy White as Frank Schultz. However, by the time this film was made, Puck was divorced from White, casting White was given precedence over casting Puck, and Queenie Smith replaced Puck as Ellie May Chipley. See more »

Goofs

At one point in the story, Cap'n Andy and Parthy discuss hiring a new leading man and leading lady. Just before Cap'n Andy says, "But where do we go from here? We can't give no more shows without a leading man !" he and Parthy are abruptly seen in a slightly different position. See more »

Quotes

Pete: [showing Julie's picture to the Sheriff] See that?
The Sheriff: Why that's Miss Julie LaVerne, ain't it?
Pete: Yeah, that's what she calls herself, ever since she got married to a white man!
The Sheriff: What d'ya mean?
Pete: Frank, come over here; I want you to hear this. You too, Ellie.
The Sheriff: Sit down and explain yourself. And you make sure you know what you're talkin' about.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Though this film version is an extremely faithful adaptation of the Kern-Hammerstein musical version of the novel (rather than the novel itself), and although the film retains all the major changes that Hammerstein made to the novel when adapting it for the stage, the on-screen and poster title for the film reads "Edna Ferber's 'Show Boat'" rather than "Kern and Hammerstein's 'Show Boat'". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

I Have The Room Above Her
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by Allan Jones and Irene Dunne
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent
1 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The BEST version ever of the musical. It follows a show boat and the family that runs it through three generations concentrating on Magnolia (Irene Dunne) and her husband Ravenel (Allen Jones).

Some people have complained that Dunne's high-pitched singing voice is TOO high-pitched...they're not completely wrong. Still she sings in tune and her "Make Believe" duet with Jones is just great. Actually all the songs are great and belted out by the cast--highlights are "Can't Help Lovin' That Man", "Bill" and the great Paul Robeson doing "Old Man River". The movie also is very faithful to the stage play--it has almost all the songs and manages to fit a 3 hour play into a 2 hour film. The last section with Kim seems rushed but that's understandable.

Dunne is just great as Magnolia--very sweet and lovable. The only strange point is her dancing to "Can't Help..."--the dress is way too constricting and she has a strange look on her face. Jones is wooden but but has a wonderful singing voice. Helen Morgan was taken from the stage show to recreate Julie. She stops the movie TWICE with "Can't Help..." and "Bill". She has a beautiful voice and is a superb actress. Her character disappears completely halfway through...but it's the same in the stage play. In the book her character ends up working in a house of prostitution--there was NO way they could have gotten that on the screen back in 1936! Everybody else is great and the movie moves very quickly.

It's much better than the 1950s version. The 50s version IS in color and opens with a great number...but most of the singing is overdubbed, the story is brutally cut down and "Can't Help..." is thrown away!

This has it all over that one. Also director James Whale reportedly liked this one above all his other films--he did a few other little films like "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein"! Beautiful songs, some truly lovely photography (the moonlight scenes on top of the showboat are dreamlike) and a quick story. Just simply one of the great Hollywood musicals. A must see!


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Warfield or Robeson- whose rendition do you like better? TheLittleSongbird
Disappointed IreneEDevine
Hattie !! tarafan-1
Irene Dunne in 1936 Show Boat JessQ
Showboat 1936 Film gordon-blackburn
Easily the best version moviejoe79
Discuss Show Boat (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?