MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 55 this week

Show Boat (1951)

Passed  -  Drama | Family | Musical  -  24 September 1951 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,951 users  
Reviews: 43 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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (based on the immortal musical play "Show Boat" by), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 25 Sep 2011
 
a list of 29 titles
created 20 Jul 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 04 Nov 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Search for "Show Boat" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Show Boat (1951)

Show Boat (1951) on IMDb 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.
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A movie star helps a young singer/actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson
Pal Joey (1957)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Joey Evans is charming, handsome, funny, talented, and a first class, A-number-one heel. When Joey meets the former chorus girl ("She used to be 'Vera...with the Vanishing Veils'") and now ... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak
Carousel (1956)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Billy Bigelow has been dead for fifteen years, and now outside the pearly gates, he long waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. But he has heard that there is a problem with his ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell
San Francisco (1936)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A Barbary Coast saloonkeeper and a Nob Hill impresario are rivals for the affections of a beautiful singer, both personally and professionally in 1906 San Francisco.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy
Lili (1953)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An orphaned young woman becomes part of a puppet act and forms a relationship with the anti-social puppeteer.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Leslie Caron, Mel Ferrer, Jean-Pierre Aumont
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The lives and romances of three sisters in a musical family; the youngest daughter's life is complicated by the subsequent arrival of a charming composer and a cynical music arranger.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Gig Young
42nd Street (1933)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A producer puts on what may be his last Broadway show, and at the last moment a chorus girl has to replace the star...

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets in this stylish musical, with music drawn from familiar 20th century sources.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo
Yentl (1983)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy to enter religious training.

Director: Barbra Streisand
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Amy Irving, Mandy Patinkin
Carmen Jones (1954)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Rent (2005)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This is the film version of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical about Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love and AIDS, and the impacts they have on America.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Rosario Dawson
Edit

Cast

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

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:

Lift your heart with love, music, joy! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 September 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Show Boat  »

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director George Sidney was forced to leave for a few days because of illness, so uncredited associate producer Roger Edens directed the beautifully shot, fog-enshrouded "departure" sequence, including the performance by William Warfield of "Ol' Man River." It is the one scene in the film that has been praised even by critics who detest this version of "Show Boat." See more »

Goofs

At one point, Magnolia (Kathryn Grayson) refers to Lady Southweight and Hamilton Barsdale as being characters in "Tempest and Sunshine", a melodrama adapted from a then-popular novel. There are no such characters in that play. In the scene in which Cap'n Andy (Joe E. Brown) introduces the show boat actors to the crowd, Julie (Ava Gardner) and Steve (Robert Sterling) make another reference to Hamilton, and Cap'n Andy then says: "You have to see the play tonight folks, to learn their secret - "Tempest and Sunshine", beautiful drama of tears and laughter". See more »

Quotes

Julie: Mister... if you ever get to see Nollie, not get together with her I mean, but- if you ever do get to talk to her, don't ever tell her you saw me; I mean, don't ever tell her you saw me like this.
See more »

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 Changing Stages (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

After the Ball
(1892) (uncredited)
Written by Charles Harris
Sung by Kathryn Grayson and Trocadero audience
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Why all the putdowns of this great musical??? In many ways an improvement over 1936 original...
8 May 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I strongly disagree with some of the other viewers. 'Showboat' -- the 1951 version -- is not inferior to the earlier, darker Universal version with Irene Dunne and Allan Jones. The talent used for the lavish technicolor remake is in itself superior to the cast of the original--Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Joe E. Brown, Agnes Moorehead, Robert Sterling -- and most importantly, Marge and Gower Champion who can do no wrong with dance numbers. By comparison, the dances in the original version appear uninspired--and even the legendary Helen Morgan (not a conventional beauty by any standards) fails to evoke the same magic Ava Gardner does as Julie. True, Morgan did her own singing but Gardner's voice on the soundtrack could just as well have been used instead of Annette Warren's.

Other than that, the MGM film is just fine--everything is staged with much more zest and enthusiasm than is present in the awkward, lumbering James Whale version. And Marge and Gower Champion's version of "Life Upon the Wicked Stage" is a priceless example of this team's artful way with a show tune. Their contribution is a major asset of the newer version.

Likewise, Grayson and Keel blend their rich voices in song the way they were meant to be heard by Kern & Hammerstein. Irene Dunne had a modest soprano voice but she was not as accomplished a singer as Grayson nor did she deliver numbers with Kathryn's uncommon ease. Performance-wise, Grayson is a bit too subdued against Gardner's more colorful character and did not kick up her heels the way she would in 'Kiss Me Kate', one of her best roles.

As for Allan Jones in the earlier version, he was a personable enough singer/actor but he was nowhere close to Keel's adroit handling of both songs and dialogue. Keel went on to become a staple of some of MGM's finest musicals and a fine reputation as a strong singer.

The pacing of the older film was slow, leisurely and downright boring at times. The remake is much easier on the eyes and ears. There's a hint of snobbism in the putdowns this film gets from some of the more discriminating viewers who cannot forgive whatever changes were made to make the plot line and time frame smoother. A deliberate change in story structure does not make a film inferior to the original.

A high point of the film is, of course, William Warfield's full-bodied version of "Old Man River" -- just another of the film's memorable musical moments. An MGM musical in the grand tradition--not to be missed.


36 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What happened to Joe and Queenie? dmnemaine
Not the perfect 'Show' at all... churei
The most underrated musical sequence in the film kathyselden
'departure scene' mentioned in the trivia section thames-5
The end forgetnorway
What Happened to Steve? MikeAnsaraFan
Discuss Show Boat (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page