Show Boat

75
Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s immortal musical adaptation of Edna Ferber’s sprawling novel receives its most faithful and enduring cinematic treatment under the elegant direction of James Whale. A rich portrait of changing American entertainment... read more
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Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s immortal musical adaptation of Edna Ferber’s sprawling novel receives its most faithful and enduring cinematic treatment under the elegant direction of James Whale. A rich portrait of changing American entertainment traditions and race relations, Show Boat spans five decades and three generations as it follows the fortunes of the stagestruck Magnolia (Irene Dunne), an aspiring actor whose journey takes her from her family’s humble floating playhouse in the 1880s South to the bright footlights of the 1930s North. The cast of show-business legends includes Helen Morgan, Hattie McDaniel, Charles Winninger, and the great Paul Robeson, whose iconic, soul-shaking rendition of “Ol’ Man River” is one of the crowning glories of the American stage and screen.

Original Release

05/17/1936

US Release

05/17/1936

Links

Cast

Irene Dunne Magnolia / Magnolia Hawkes
Allan Jones Gaylord Ravenal
Charles Winninger Cap'n Andy Hawks / Cap'n Andy Hawkes
Paul Robeson Joe
Helen Morgan Julie / Julie LaVerne
Helen Westley Parthy Ann Hawks / Parthenia "Parthy" Hawkes
Queenie Smith Elly May Chipley / Ellie May Chipley
Sammy White Frank Schultz
Donald Cook Steve Baker
Hattie McDaniel Queenie
(see additional cast & crew)

Directors

James Whale

Writers

Edna Ferber, Oscar Hammerstein II, Zoe Akins

Cast

Irene Dunne Magnolia / Magnolia Hawkes
Allan Jones Gaylord Ravenal
Charles Winninger Cap'n Andy Hawks / Cap'n Andy Hawkes
Paul Robeson Joe
Helen Morgan Julie / Julie LaVerne
Helen Westley Parthy Ann Hawks / Parthenia "Parthy" Hawkes
Queenie Smith Elly May Chipley / Ellie May Chipley
Sammy White Frank Schultz
Donald Cook Steve Baker
Hattie McDaniel Queenie
Francis X. Mahoney Rubber Face
Marilyn Knowlden Kim (as a Child) / Kim as a Child
Sunnie O'Dea Kim (at Sixteen) / Kim - at Sixteen
Arthur Hohl Pete
Charles Middleton Vallon / Sheriff Ike Vallon
J. Farrell MacDonald Windy / Windy MacLaine
Clarence Muse Janitor / Sam
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson Young Black Man / Boonville man speaking film's first line
Grace Cunard Mother
Stanley Fields Backwoodsman with Gun

Producers

Editors

Bernard W. Burton, Ted J. Kent

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