Show Boat

Film, Drama

Time Out says

Not surprisingly, Arthur Freed's production values put this ahead of Whale's 1936 version as sheer spectacle, but the earlier version had two big plusses in Robeson (Warfield here is secure, but lacks the mystique), and Helen Morgan (here Ava Gardner's voice is dubbed, and try as she might she can't shake off the big star bit). Keel and Grayson are as colourless as ever, but no less so than Jones and Dunne were in 1936. As a film musical it survives on sheer class and some of Jerome Kern's richest melodies. As an anti-racist tract, though, it must have looked a lot less ingenuous when it first opened than it does now. Instead, enjoy the unashamed sentiment of the tale, and the spirited hoofing of Marge and Gower Champion.

By: SG


Release details

108 mins

Cast and crew

George Sidney
John Lee Mahin
Marge and Gower Champion
Agnes Moorehead
Robert Sterling
Kathryn Grayson
William Warfield
Joe E Brown
Howard Keel
Ava Gardner
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