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Show Boat Star_onStar_onStar_onStar_on 2.0 4.0 from 1 reviews
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Third movie version of the 1927 musical about the life and loves of a Mississippi riverboat theatre troupe. Terrific musical numbers, with fun dance routines from Champion, who went on to great fame as a choreographer. Grayson is somewhat vapid, but lovely to look at and hear. Gardner didn't want to do the part of Julie, although she eventually received fabulous reviews--her singing was dubbed by Annette Warren. The 171-foot "Cotton Blossom" boat was built on the Tarzan lake on the MGM back lot at an astounding cost of $126,468. Warfield's film debut--his "Ole Man River"--was recorded in one take. excerpts from "Broadway," "Silent Film," and radio Version of "Show Boat," a documentary featuring life on a real show boat, and a commentary on the performers, the film, and the history of show boats.

Criterion Collection, 210 E. 52nd St., 578 Broadway, New York, NY 10022, Phone: (212)212756-8822, Toll-free: 800-446-2001, URL:, Remarks: Does not sell directly to consumers

Available on Running time 115 minutes.

Cast and Crew

Musical Drama, Adapted from a Musical, MGM Musicals, Obsessive Love, Books to Film: Edna Ferber, Top Grossing Films of 1951, Period Piece: 19th Century
George Wells, Jack McGowan
Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ava Gardner, William Warfield, Joe E. Brown, Agnes Moorehead, Gower Champion
Charles Rosher
George Sidney
Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein

Visitor Reviews

Show Boat
Star_onStar_onStar_onStar_on 2.0 4.0

Show Boat came out in 1951 and has a total running time of 115 minutes. This movie is based off the musical. Kathryn Grayson (as Magnolia Hawks), Howard Keel (as Gaylord Ravenal) and Ava Gardner (as Julie LaVerne) star in this romantic drama. The Hawks family owns the showboat “Cotton Blossom” and when an opening became available for the showboat attraction, Magnolia Hawk took the part. Her leading man, whom she soon falls in love with, is Gaylord Ravenal. They marry without her father’s approval. They leave the boat for their honeymoon and she soon finds that Gaylord’s gambling seems more important to him than her. They soon end things and she later finds that she’s pregnant and is now left to raise her baby alone. Will they ever reunite and work things out?