Edna Ferber's Show Boat

Edna Ferber's Show Boat

DVD - 2014
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This is the story of the growth and maturity of Magnolia, a showboat star, who falls for Gaylord Ravenal, a riverboat gambler.

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ThomasJWhiting
Jun 09, 2016

OUTSTANDING 1936 film version of Edna Ferber's 1926 novel which then was adapted as a Broadway musical in 1927. This is only my second 5 star KCLS movie rating; the first was the highly recommended 'Our Vines Have Tender Grapes'.
Show Boat director James Whale does a fabulous job integrating newly evolving film camera technology (and more) into the terrific story setting.
Not sure how/why I'd never seen this fabulous film before - but I'm glad I finally did. And I will be checking out (ha, ha) for completeness the not as well regarded 1951 film version of Show Boat also available from KCLS.
The setting for the film is a theater showboat The Cotton Blossom that traveled up and down the Mississippi River from 1880's to 1920's stopping at small towns to bring them it's song and dance clown/circus flavor.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much (and well done) the film incorporated rural Southern 'blackness' into the movie. And not just he fabulous Paul Roberson singing 'Old Man River'. There's lots more, including the street scene Cakewalk Dancing group dancing number.
At one point, Irene Dunne who plays lead role Magnolia/Nollie, even does do a blackface number. The Robeson (Joe) and Hattie McDaniel (Queenie) duet 'Ah Still Suits Me' number is also great.
I particularly enjoyed new to me Sunnie O'Dea as daughter Kim doing the final dance cut.
What a terrific two hour older movie - I'm having a lot of fun in my retirement years exploring art, film and music from the 30's and 40's - thanks KCLS!

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