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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 3,324 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 12 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 ...
...
...
...
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:

Lift your heart with love, music, joy! 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
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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

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

Trocadero Stage Assistant: [referring to Julie] What's the matter with her?
Jake Green: [holding up an empty glass of whiskey] Ehhh...
Trocadero Stage Assistant: She startin' in on a bust again?
Jake Green: She better not. These fool one-man gals! Their fella walks out on them and they gotta tear themselves apart till they hit bottom. And I gotta suffer for it.
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 »

Connections

Version of Great Performances: Show Boat (1989) 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

 
A Great Show
14 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Beautifully wrought version of the Edna Ferber novel may not hew as closely as the earlier Irene Dunne take on the story but is a sublime pleasure nonetheless.

The music by Kern and Hammerstein is some of the best either ever composed sung by extremely talented performers Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel. Both do excellent work both musically and dramatically even if early in the film its a bit of a stretch for Kathryn to be believable as the teenage Magnolia.

Taking full advantage of being shot in Technicolor the film is a feast for the eyes brimming with vibrant purples, reds and greens as well as being loaded with talent. And what talent, Marge & Gower Champion contribute several fine numbers full of bounce and zest, Joe E. Brown is a memorable Cap'n Andy funny and touching in turn, Agnes Moorehead delightful as the vinegary Parthy and William Warfield provides a soaring and haunting Ol' Man River.

The real standout however is Ava Gardner as the tragic, wounded Julie. Originally intended for Judy Garland until her meltdown and firing and while she would have made a memorable Julie full of jittery vulnerability Ava nails the part with a haunted sadness. A shame they felt the need to dub her vocals since they do appear on the cast album and are both very good and have the right feeling for the songs. Her final scene is a star making moment as surely intended by Metro.

Across the board this is a five star winner of a movie musical, one of the best the dream factory ever turned out.


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Recent Posts
The most underrated musical sequence in the film kathyselden
Not the perfect 'Show' at all... churei
What happened to Joe and Queenie? dmnemaine
'departure scene' mentioned in the trivia section thames-5
The end forgetnorway
Actual 'Show Boat ' luverofmovies
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