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Show Boat (1951)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Family, Musical  |  24 September 1951 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,360 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 13 critic

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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Title: Show Boat (1951)

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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

Taglines:

HERE IT COMES! The M-G-M "SHOW BOAT"! 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)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Annette Warren dubbed Ava Gardner's singing voice in the movie, Ms. Gardner herself sang her two songs on the MGM soundtrack album. See more »

Goofs

The show boat "Cotton Blossom" is inaccurately designed for the era in which the story takes place (the 1880's). The boat used in the film is built in the style of a typical modern luxury riverboat, with giant twin smokestacks and a large paddlewheel in the rear, and it moves on its own power. Modern "show boats" are built that way because of advances made since the 19th century, but authentic show boats of the era did not have smokestacks or paddlewheels, and were not self-powered. They were barge-like structures similar to a long, floating house with a flat roof, and they were connected to, and pushed along by the misleadingly named "towboats", which did have smokestacks and a paddlewheel. If a real show boat of the era had been steam-powered, its steam engine would have had to be placed (very dangerously) smack in the middle of the auditorium. See more »

Quotes

Magnolia: Julie, nothing's changed.
Julie: [embracing Magnolia] Oh Nollie, Nollie, always true! Stay happy now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Because some of the lyrics to the song "Cotton Blossom" have been altered by uncredited staff writers in this version of "Show Boat", Oscar Hammerstein II is never actually mentioned as having written the lyrics to the songs, although P.G. Wodehouse IS listed as having written the lyrics to "Bill". (This is only partially correct; only about half of Wodehouse's 1917 lyric to "Bill" was used. The rest of the lyric is by Hammerstein.) See more »


Soundtracks

I Might Fall Back on You
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung & Danced by Marge Champion & Gower Champion
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Spared No Expense
27 July 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

When MGM acquired the rights to Show Boat for the Arthur Freed unit, no expense was spared in making this one of the most expensive films the studio had ever produced. A whole riverboat was constructed as well as the Natchez landing was completely built on a location on a lake which served as turn of the last century Mississippi river locale.

No doubt also that Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson sang beautifully together. Those three Jerome Kern ballads, Make Believe, Why Do I Love You? and You Are Love were just written for their voices.

Ava Gardner is a beautiful and fetching Julia. Annette Warren's dubbing of Julie LaVerne's songs Can't Help Loving That Man and Bill perfectly matched Ava's speaking voice.

The problem I've always felt with this version is that Howard Keel is too strong a character to be playing Gaylord Ravenal who is essentially a weak personality. Allan Jones in the 1937 version perfectly captured Ravenal's frailty.

That 1937 version also had two people from the original Broadway production who made those parts all their own, Helen Morgan as Julie and Charles Winninger as Captain Andy. And it had the incomparable Paul Robeson though William Warfield is a fabulous Joe.

The singing of the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II score is in the major leagues. The rest of the film however is in a minor key when compared with the earlier sound version with Allan Jones and Irene Dunne.


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The most underrated musical sequence in the film kathyselden
Not the perfect 'Show' at all... churei
'departure scene' mentioned in the trivia section thames-5
The end forgetnorway
Actual 'Show Boat ' luverofmovies
Gotta couple questions harpo_75
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