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Show Boat

Released Jul 13, 1951 1h 47m Musical List
83% Tomatometer 12 Reviews 70% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings When it comes to music on the Mississippi river, the Cotton Blossom show boat is the place to go. When musical main attraction Julie Laverne (Ava Gardner) and her husband are suddenly forced to leave the show, Cotton Blossom owner Andy Hawks' (Joe E. Brown) own daughter, Magnolia (Kathryn Grayson), takes center stage. She soon falls madly in love with roguish gambler Gaylord Ravenal (Howard Keel), and the two leave the Cotton Blossom on a honeymoon -- only to enter into a tumultuous marriage. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

View All (12) Critics Reviews
B.R. Crisler Christian Science Monitor Above all, Show Boat represents the fine, artificial flower of America's golden age of professional competence in the popular arts. Aug 16, 2022 Full Review Mattie Lucas From the Front Row It piles on the Technicolor spectacle, with each number feeling like a finale, making for an experience that feels bloated and over-stuffed, full of flash and visual pizazz but lacking any real stakes or sense of emotion. Rated: 2/4 Mar 25, 2021 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy A showcase for some eye-popping Technicolor dreams. Rated: 3/4 Feb 26, 2021 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews A much weaker Show Boat version than the 1936 one by James Whale. Rated: C Feb 2, 2006 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 3/5 Jul 15, 2005 Full Review Philip Martin Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Rated: 3/5 Feb 11, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (145) audience reviews
Joel H Show Boat isn't much of a showstopper. Almost all the musical numbers in this movie are sleepy, slow songs. Ava Gardner, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, and William Warfield all have beautiful singing voices, and the dancing is enjoyable to watch, but this movie is lacking in energy. The plot is also fairly bland, with no real character arcs and no big surprises. The story just kind of meanders along, like a paddleboat drifting down the river. Watching Show Boat isn't an unpleasant experience, it's just not as impressive as it could have been. And yet it's the second highest-grossing movie of 1951. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 11/03/23 Full Review steve d really dull musical. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review david f While the talent behind this movie and the production values are top-notch, I found the plot, characters, and music to be very dated and not very entertaining. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member So much better than what could be done today -- hence, a good rating -- but there are many flaws here. The William Warfield rendition of "Old Man River" is the only redeeming virtue of the needed black influence MGM edited out. But the show still works, although never approaching the brilliance of the 1936 version. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review Audience Member Well shot, but dated. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Audience Member MGM's loving, lovely Technicolor adaptation of the groundbreaking stage musical retains most of Jerome Kern's music and strengthens the role of Julie, poignantly played by Ava Gardner; William Warfield also does well singing "Ol' Man River." Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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Movie Info

Synopsis When it comes to music on the Mississippi river, the Cotton Blossom show boat is the place to go. When musical main attraction Julie Laverne (Ava Gardner) and her husband are suddenly forced to leave the show, Cotton Blossom owner Andy Hawks' (Joe E. Brown) own daughter, Magnolia (Kathryn Grayson), takes center stage. She soon falls madly in love with roguish gambler Gaylord Ravenal (Howard Keel), and the two leave the Cotton Blossom on a honeymoon -- only to enter into a tumultuous marriage.
Director
George Sidney
Producer
Arthur Freed
Screenwriter
Edna Ferber, John Lee Mahin
Distributor
Warner Home Vídeo, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
Production Co
Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Loew's Inc.
Genre
Musical
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Jul 13, 1951, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Apr 1, 2009
Runtime
1h 47m
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