Show Boat (1936) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • 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
  • Magnolia Hawks lives on her father Captain Andy's floating show boat, the Cotton Blossom. She meets gambler Gaylord Ravenal in a river town and falls for him. That afternoon,during the rehearsal for the evening's show, star actress Julie and her husband and co-star Steve are forced to leave the company and Gaylord is hired to take Steve's place, while Magnolia takes over Julie's. They fall in love and marry. Leaving the showboat, 'Nola and Gay and their little daughter, Kim, move to Chicago, where their fortunes wax and wane depending on Gay's luck. He finally leaves his wife and child and she is forced to return to the stage, where she becomes a star.

    - Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>
  • 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.

    - Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <shannon@mun.ca>


This film of "Show Boat" is more faithful to the original stage musical than any of the other films of it...

See full synopsis » (Warning: contains spoilers!)

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