Show Boat (1929)
This film was originally part silent, part talkie and part singing. It begins with an overture of a couple of songs by stars from the Ziegfeld stage show, including Hey Fella by Aunt Jemima and her Jubilee Orchestra, Bill, sung by Helen Morgan. Old Man River sung by Jules Bledisloe was announced but not sung. (just one of the deletions).
Basically the story is the same as in the later versions, but with a few exceptions. Magnolia (Jane La Verne) as a little girl is overheard by Parthenia (Emily Fitzroy) telling Julie that she wished Julie was her mother. Julie is sacked on the spot.
As an adult Magnolia (Laura La Plante) meets her new leading man Gay (Joseph Schildkraut) and it is love at first sight. Against Parthenia`s wishes they marry. Their daughter Kim (Jane La Verne in a dual role) is born during a storm. During the same storm Captain Hawks is drowned. After a few years Gay decides he cannot stand his mother-in-law any longer. Magnolia sells her share in the Show Boat to her mother for $20000.00 and leaves with Gay and Kim. Gay loses the money gambling and eventually dumps his family.
Kim is placed in a convent, and Magnolia returns to the stage where she is a great success.
On her retirement, she is told that Parthenia has died, Kim is overseas with her husband, and a lonely Magnolia is standing on the upper deck of the Show Boat. Gay arrives and they are reunited.
This movie was a pleasure to watch.