7.6/10
2,525
62 user 25 critic

Show Boat (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 17 May 1936 (USA)
Despite her mother's objections, the naive young daughter of a show boat captain is thrust into the limelight as the company's new leading lady.

Director:

James Whale

Writers:

Edna Ferber, Oscar Hammerstein II (stage play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Show Boat (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mostly silent version of Edna Ferber's original novel, with some songs from the musical as a last-minute addition

Directors: Harry A. Pollard, Arch Heath
Stars: Laura La Plante, Joseph Schildkraut, Emily Fitzroy
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After a night of wild partying at a friend's house, a couple wake up to discover the party's host has been murdered in his bed. A detective is called in to investigate, but his ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Edward Arnold, Robert Young, Constance Cummings
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young lady leaves her brutal husband and meets another man aboard a ship.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Diana Wynyard, Colin Clive, Frank Lawton
Certificate: Passed Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Despotic King Louis XIV discovers he has a twin brother who has grown up under the tutelage of his foster father, the patriotic musketeer D'Artagnan.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett, Warren William
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An Austrian prince flees his homeland when the Nazis take over and settles in London. While in London, he meets a beautiful Austrian émigré who makes him realize his mistake in leaving ... See full summary »

Directors: James Whale, Victor Fleming, and 1 more credit »
Stars: George Brent, Martha Scott, Paul Lukas
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 1862, a young Englishwoman becomes royal tutor in Siam and befriends the King.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Irene Dunne, Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Beautiful woman mistakes a prince's butler for the prince.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Elissa Landi, Paul Lukas, Nils Asther
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage.

Director: Garson Kanin
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott
Green Hell (1940)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A group of adventurers head deep into a South American jungle in search of ancient Incan treasure. A beautiful woman, brought to their camp by hired bearers, has come to join her husband, a... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Bennett, John Howard
The Road Back (1937)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After World War I, a group of former German soldiers try to adjust to civilian life.

Director: James Whale
Stars: John 'Dusty' King, Richard Cromwell, Slim Summerville
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Madelon and Marius intend to marry but he finds the call of the ocean irresistible and leaves her and his father behind.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Wallace Beery, Frank Morgan, Maureen O'Sullivan
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A prosecutor trying a case where a husband shot his adulterous wife begins to suspect that his own wife is having an affair, and starts to have his own thoughts about killing her.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Warren William, Gail Patrick, Constance Moore
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Irene Dunne ... Magnolia
Allan Jones ... Gaylord Ravenal
Charles Winninger ... Cap'n Andy Hawks
Paul Robeson ... Joe
Helen Morgan ... Julie
Helen Westley ... Parthy Ann Hawks
Queenie Smith ... Elly May Chipley
Sammy White Sammy White ... Frank Schultz
Donald Cook ... Steve Baker
Hattie McDaniel ... Queenie
Francis X. Mahoney Francis X. Mahoney ... Rubber Face
Marilyn Knowlden ... Kim (as a Child)
Sunnie O'Dea ... Kim (at Sixteen)
Arthur Hohl ... Pete
Charles Middleton ... Vallon
Edit

Storyline

Adaptation of the Broadway musical. Magnolia Hawks is the lovely but protected, and thus very naive, daughter of Cap'n Andy Hawks, the genial proprietor of a show boat that cruises the Missisippi, and his nagging wife, Parthy. She is best friends with the show boat's star, Julie LaVerne, but Julie and her husband Steve are forced to leave when it is revealed that Julie has "Negro" blood in her, thereby breaking the state law by being married to the white Steve. Magnolia replaces Julie as the show boat's female star, and the show's new male star is the suave gambler Gaylord Ravenal. "Nola" and Gaylord fall in love and marry against Parthy's wishes. They and their young daughter lead the high life when Gaylord is lucky in gambling, but live like dirt when he's unlucky. During one such unlucky streak, a broken Gaylord leaves Nola, and she is forced to start over by returning to the stage. Like Old Man River, as the famous song from this show goes, she just keeps rollin' along. Written by Tommy Peter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sensation of 1936! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Edna Ferber's Show Boat See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Noiseless Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Flora Finch (Hard-of-Hearing Woman), George Hackathorne (YMCA Worker), Theodore Lorch (Simon Legree) and Max Wagner (Soldier) were filmed in scenes which were cut before the movie's release. See more »

Goofs

When Ravenal first meets Magnolia, just after he sings "Where's The Mate For Me?", she mentions that she plays the piano. He asks, "Was that you I heard just now?", but there is no indication in the film that he actually has heard her. This is probably because part of the scene may have been edited out before the film's release. In the original show, Ravenal sings the first verse of "Where's The Mate For Me?", and then hears Magnolia practicing offstage. Then he goes on to sing a part of the song which is not included in the film. Immediately afterwards, his first conversation with Magnolia takes place, and so, in the stage version, the audience knows exactly when he heard her practicing. See more »

Quotes

Joe: [singing] I gits weary / An' sick o' tryin' / I'm tired o' livin' / An' scared o' dyin' / But Ol' Man River / He jes' keeps rollin' along!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits for this film say "A James Whale Production" although Whale did not produce the film, while the film's posters say "A Carl Laemmle, Jr. Production", and Laemmle did produce the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

After the Ball
(1892) (uncredited)
Written by Charles Harris
Sung by Irene Dunne and Trocadero nightclub audience
(from the musical "A Trip to Chinatown")
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Wonderful Musical!
19 June 2007 | by juanandonly12See all my reviews

This movie is a wonderful stage-to-screen musical film. It stuck to the original musical play and had wonderful stars. Irene Dunne as the young innocent Magnolia Hawks, Allan Jones as the charming gambler Gaylord Ravenal, Charles Winninger as Cap'n Andy Hawks, Paul Robenson as Joe, and Helen Morgan, in the role she originated on stage, as Julie LaVerne. This film is a musical drama with comedy and racial references. This film is a great musical about racial differences and the reactions of people, back then, with different races. That is what makes this film a landmark musical and also one of AFI's 100 Years of Musicals and was #24 out of 25 musicals. This version of "Show Boat" is known to be the best movie version of all three movie versions. The 1929 version was not done very well because it was a very early talkie and the numbers weren't heard correctly. The 1951 version was much too sanitized and it took out the value of the whole show. "Show Boat" is a very entertaining and beautiful film.


11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 62 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed