IMDb > Show Boat (1951)
Show Boat
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Show Boat (1951) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Lee Mahin (screen play)
Jerome Kern (based on the immortal musical play "Show Boat" by) ...
View company contact information for Show Boat on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 September 1951 (USA) See more »
It's NEW! See more »
The daughter of a riverboat captain falls in love with a charming gambler, but their fairytale romance is threatened when his luck turns sour. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Spared No Expense See more (46 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kathryn Grayson ... Magnolia Hawks

Ava Gardner ... Julie LaVerne

Howard Keel ... Gaylord Ravenal

Joe E. Brown ... Cap'n Andy Hawks

Marge Champion ... Ellie May Shipley
Gower Champion ... Frank Schultz

Robert Sterling ... Steven Baker

Agnes Moorehead ... Parthy Hawks

Leif Erickson ... Pete (as Lief Erickson)
William Warfield ... Joe
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Boyd Ackerman ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Bette Arlen ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Mary Bezemes ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Chet Brandenburg ... Man at New Years Celebration (uncredited)
Carol Brewster ... Girl (uncredited)
Peter Camlin ... Croupier (uncredited)
Sue Casey ... New Year's Eve Cutie (uncredited)

Chick Chandler ... Trocadero Stage Assistant (uncredited)

Linda Christian ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Sheila Clark ... Kim Ravenal - Age 4 (uncredited)

John Crawford ... Hotel Clerk (uncredited)

Frank Dae ... Doctor (uncredited)
Nova Dale ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Roy Damron ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Anne Dore ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Michael Dugan ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Marietta Elliott ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

Lisa Ferraday ... Renee (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
George Ford ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Robert Fortier ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Dan Foster ... Deckhand (uncredited)
Mary Jane French ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

William Hall ... Bouncer (uncredited)
Len Hendry ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Earle Hodgins ... Riverboat Bartender (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
Tom Irish ... Bellboy (uncredited)
Claude Jaeger ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)

Joyce Jameson ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Michael Jeffers ... Poker Player (uncredited)

Adele Jergens ... Cameo McQueen (uncredited)
Edward Keane ... Hotel Manager (uncredited)
Helen Kimbell ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Marilyn Kinsley ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

Fuzzy Knight ... Trocadero Piano Player (uncredited)
Judy Landon ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

John Phillip Law ... Extra (uncredited)

Norman Leavitt ... George the Calliope Player (uncredited)
Meredith Leeds ... New Year's Eve Cutie (uncredited)

George Lynn ... Blackjack Dealer (uncredited)

Ian MacDonald ... Drunken Sport (uncredited)
Alice Markham ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Maurice Marks ... Dancer (uncredited)
Alphonse Martell ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Owen McGiveney ... Windy McClain (uncredited)
Louis Mercier ... Dabney - Poker Player (uncredited)
Ida Moore ... Little Old Lady (uncredited)

Anna Q. Nilsson ... Seamstress (uncredited)

Emory Parnell ... Jake Green (uncredited)
Gil Perkins ... Player (uncredited)

James Pierce ... Doorman (uncredited)

Tao Porchon ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Allan Ray ... Elevator Operator (uncredited)
Charles Regan ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Al Rhein ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Mitchell Rhein ... Show Spectator (uncredited)
Suzanne Ridgway ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)

Bert Roach ... Drunk (uncredited)
Joseph Roach ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Robert Robinson ... Man at New Years Celebration (uncredited)
Jean Romaine ... New Year's Eve Cutie (uncredited)
Harry Seymour ... Riverboat Piano Player (uncredited)
George Sherwood ... Trainer (uncredited)

Carl Sklover ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bob Stebbins ... Bellhop (uncredited)
William Tannen ... Man with Julie (uncredited)

Regis Toomey ... Sheriff Ike Vallon (uncredited)
Dee Turnell ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Mitzie Uehlien ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Annette Warren ... Julie LaVerne (uncredited) (singing voice)

Frank Wilcox ... Gambler Mark Hallson (uncredited)
Lyn Wilde ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Frances E. Williams ... Queenie (uncredited)
Marjorie Wood ... Landlady (uncredited)

Directed by
George Sidney 
Writing credits
John Lee Mahin (screen play)

Jerome Kern (based on the immortal musical play "Show Boat" by) and
Oscar Hammerstein II (based on the immortal musical play "Show Boat" by)

Edna Ferber (from novel)

Produced by
Ben Feiner Jr. .... associate producer
Arthur Freed .... producer
Roger Edens .... associate producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Adolph Deutsch (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Charles Rosher (director of photography)
Film Editing by
John D. Dunning  (as John Dunning)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Jack Martin Smith 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes)
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles designer
William Tuttle .... makeup creator
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Roger Edens .... director (sequence "Ol' Man River") (uncredited)
George Rhein .... assistant director (uncredited)
Carl 'Major' Roup .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Richard Pefferle .... associate set decorator (as Richard A. Pefferle)
Matty Azzarone .... construction (uncredited)
Donald P. Desmond .... set construction (uncredited)
Frank Wesselhoff .... painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording supervisor
Special Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Man Ray .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Alexander Courage .... additional orchestrator
Adolph Deutsch .... musical director
Conrad Salinger .... orchestrator
Robert Tucker .... vocal arrangements
Alexander Courage .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Robert Franklyn .... additional orchestrator (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... additional orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Robert Alton .... dances
Peter Ballbusch .... montage sequences
James Gooch .... technicolor color consultant
Henri Jaffa .... technicolor color consultant
Miriam Goldina .... ballet dancer (uncredited)
Alex Romero .... assistant choreographer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
108 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Finland:S | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1951) | Netherlands:AL (re-rating) (1951) (passed with cuts) | Sweden:Btl | UK:U (passed with cuts) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #15118) | USA:Passed (The National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

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


How much of this film was really shot in Mississippi?
How different, overall, is this 1951 film from the original show as well as the 1936 film?
What is the biggest difference between the original show and this film version of "Show Boat"?
See more »
20 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
Spared No Expense, 27 July 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (46 total) »

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Marge and Gower Champion shalmayan-1
Ava Gardner's final scene bfp13108
Confused on something I thought I heard on TCM last night. lightkeeper-1
The most underrated musical sequence in the film kathyselden
Howard Keel Forever Doctor_Mabuse
Kim ken479
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