The daughter of a riverboat captain falls in love with a charming gambler, but their fairytale romance is threatened when his luck turns sour.

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(screen play), (based on the immortal musical play "Show Boat" by) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Ellie May Shipley (as Marge)
Gower Champion ...
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...
...
Pete (as Lief Erickson)
William Warfield ...
Joe
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Storyline

The "Cotton Blossom", owned by the Hawk family, is the show boat where everyone comes for great musical entertainment down south. Julie Laverne and her husband are the stars of the show. After, a snitch on board calls the local police that Julie (who's half- African-American) is married to a whiteman, they are forced to leave the show boat. The reason being, that down south interracial marriages are forbidden. Magnolia Hawk, Captain Andy Hawks daughter, becomes the new show boat attraction and her leading man is Gaylord Ravenal, a gambler. The two instantly fall in love, and marry, without Parthy Hawks approval. Magnolia and Gaylord leave the, "Cotton Blossom", for a whirl wind honeymoon and being to live in a Pl: fantasy world. Magnolia soon faces reality quickly, that gambling means more to Gaylord than anything else. Magnolia confront Gaylord and after he gambles away their fortune he leaves her - not knowing she is pregnant. Magnolia is left penniless and pregnant, and is left to ... Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Spectacular in color by Technicolor! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 September 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Magnolia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,295,429 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

MGM vied for the rights to film "Show Boat" as early as 1938. Universal Studios had owned the rights to the musical since 1929, and had made earlier versions in 1929 (with different songs) and 1936. MGM had hopes of starring the reigning operatic duo of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald in the roles of Gaylord and Magnolia. but when that didn't happen, they showcased new stars Tony Martin and Kathryn Grayson - in a kind of screen test as Ravenal and Magnolia in the Kern film biography Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) (and Grayson did eventually appear in the 1951 "Show Boat"). The third lead in the film, the biracial Julie, was considered at various times for Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, and Lena Horne. Shore, although not a major film star, did have a somewhat exotic visage at the time - her hair and eyes were very dark, and she did almost as many blues and torch songs as a band singer in the 1940's as did Garland. Horne mentions in her biography that she wanted to do the role of Julie badly, but only got as far as performing a single number in the "Clouds" film in the opening "Show Boat" vignette. America, after all, was still a segregated nation in 1950. Interracial romance was still taboo on screen - and Julie kisses and romantically interacts with her white husband several times. See more »

Goofs

When the townspeople are rushing to see the show boat at the beginning, the camera crew's shadow is visible on the road. See more »

Quotes

Julie: Where to, Sir Lancelot?
Steve: Gonna get a cup of coffee.
Julie: Gonna be a good boy?
Steve: Sure, if that's what you want.
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Crazy Credits

Jerome Kern is never specifically credited for having composed the music. His and Oscar Hammerstein II's joint screen credit reads: "Based on the Immortal Musical Play 'Show Boat' by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II'", although Kern wrote only the music. See more »

Connections

Featured in Just One More Time (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Cakewalk
(reprise) (1927) (uncredited)
(from the Act I Finale)
Music by Jerome Kern
Danced by Joe E. Brown and Sheila Clark
Banjo played onscreen by William Warfield and harmonica played onscreen by Owen McGiveney
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Dubbing of Ava Gardner's Voice
3 February 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Show Boat is one of my favourite musicals, and I admit to being a solid Howard Keel fan! However, the one thing that gets me, and why they haven't returned it to the original film track, is the dubbing of Ava Gardner's voice.

I have a copy of the soundtrack on good old vinyl and have Ava singing her own songs on it and I have to say, in my humble opinion, that she actually did a better job of it, than the person who dubbed her.

Maybe in 1951 Ava's rendition was a bit.... too hot for the censors, but today, never. Why can't we have Ava's voice back on the film??? What do the rest of you think?


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The most underrated musical sequence in the film kathyselden
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