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64 Ratings

Show Boat

Directed by James Whale
United States, 1936
Comedy, Drama, Musical


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.

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Show Boat Directed by James Whale

Critics reviews

Whale was a showman but he possessed the virtues of economy and focus, and he applies both to Show Boat, which manages, with the considerable aid of its screenplay by the original librettist, Oscar Hammerstein II, to tell a sprawling four-decade story—a romantic melodrama that begins in 1887, in the heyday of the Southern show boats—with a rolling sweep.
September 07, 2016
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The movie showcases some of the most ambitious filmmaking by director James Whale.
July 30, 2012
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Skeptics of SHOW BOAT’s historic relevance should observe closely as the pentatonic melody of “Ol’ Man River” (brilliantly sung here by Paul Robeson in an unforgettable performance) becomes a continually quoted leitmotif for this hydrological transduction of both African-American and European tradition into what is now known as “Broadway.”
July 27, 2012
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