7.0/10
4,125
54 user 16 critic

Show Boat (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Family, Musical | 24 September 1951 (USA)
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:

George Sidney

Writers:

John Lee Mahin (screen play), Jerome Kern (based on the immortal musical play "Show Boat" by) | 2 more credits »
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From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 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 white man, 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 to live in a Pl: fantasy world. Magnolia soon faces reality quickly, that gambling means more to Gaylord than anything else. Magnolia confronts 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 fend ... Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hundreds In The Cast! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 September 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Magnolia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,295,429 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,293,000, 31 December 1951

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,621,000, 31 December 1951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 11, 1952 with Ava Gardner, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Marge Champion, Gower Champion and William Warfield reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

when Ellie May and Frank discover Nolie in the apartment they're looking at, Nolie goes into the bedroom to find the note left by Gay. The note is laying open on the table with the money visible sitting on it. In the close up the note is closed and the money drops out of it as Nolie picks it up to read it. See more »

Quotes

Magnolia: How are your others?
Gaylord Ravenal: Huh? What's that, honey?
Magnolia: Your other bets! Yesterday's and last night's and all those "one last round before we break it up" bets! Were they just as good?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Some prints of this film spell Leif Erickson's name the correct way in the opening credits; others spell it as "Lief Erickson". See more »

Alternate Versions

Early preview showings of this film featured Ava Gardner's own singing voice, before the film was officially released with Ava overdubbed by Annette Warren. See more »

Connections

Featured in Interactive Film Quiz (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Montage: Make Believe
(reprise)
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by MGM chorus during first montage sequence
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Some flaws but overall an enjoyable musical
7 May 2016 | by utgard14See all my reviews

While it's far from one of my favorite musicals, I did enjoy this version of Show Boat quite a bit. The songs are nice, particularly "Ol' Man River" and "Can't Help Loving Dat Man." The sets, costumes, and Technicolor are all beautiful. Speaking of beautiful, the great Ava Gardner really steals the show here. Despite only playing a supporting part, she's riveting to watch and left a lasting impression on me. That's more than I can say for leads Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel, who are both a little on the dull side. Joe E. Brown is fun to watch in a supporting part. Agnes Moorehead is wasted, however, as Brown's old crow of a wife. She basically just shows up a few times to be a shrew. There are quite a few themes in this that were risqué for their time but won't have as much impact today. Oddly enough, the 1936 film version of Show Boat was more gritty than this one. Both versions are good, though, and you should see them both if you like classic musicals.


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