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Showboat 1936-1951, which is best.

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Lucky Vassall
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Re: Showboat 1936-1951, which is best.

Postby Lucky Vassall » April 30th, 2014, 8:24 pm

RedRiver wrote:I prefer Whale's film, though neither is a great favorite. I heard Mrs. Oscar Hammerstein was at a party, and somebody said Jerome Kern wrote "Ol' Man River." Mrs. H said, "No. My husband wrote 'Ol' Man River'. Jerome Kern wrote DUM-DUM-DUM-DUM!"

Dear Mrs. H: "You Can't Have One Without the Other!"
AVATAR: Billy DeWolfe as Mrs. Murgatroid, “Blue Skies” (1946)

“My ancestors came over on the Mayflower.”
“You’re lucky. Now they have immigration laws."

Mae West, The Heat’s On” (1943)

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Lucky Vassall
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Re: Showboat 1936-1951, which is best.

Postby Lucky Vassall » April 30th, 2014, 8:35 pm

Fossy wrote:I have three versions of Showboat in my collection.

Thanks for the info. I assume the 3rd version is the 1929 silent. Would be interesting to learn your reaction to that version, either compared to the other two or standing by itself.
AVATAR: Billy DeWolfe as Mrs. Murgatroid, “Blue Skies” (1946)

“My ancestors came over on the Mayflower.”
“You’re lucky. Now they have immigration laws."

Mae West, The Heat’s On” (1943)

:–)—
Pinoc-U-no(se)

RedRiver
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Re: Showboat 1936-1951, which is best.

Postby RedRiver » May 1st, 2014, 3:34 pm

I like that the character Kim was born on the border of Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri. KIM!

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Fossy
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Re: Showboat 1936-1951, which is best.

Postby Fossy » May 1st, 2014, 9:40 pm

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.

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Lucky Vassall
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Re: Showboat 1936-1951, which is best.

Postby Lucky Vassall » May 2nd, 2014, 1:01 am

Greatly appreciate the summary, Fosse. It sounds like a version I would very much enjoy.
AVATAR: Billy DeWolfe as Mrs. Murgatroid, “Blue Skies” (1946)

“My ancestors came over on the Mayflower.”
“You’re lucky. Now they have immigration laws."

Mae West, The Heat’s On” (1943)

:–)—
Pinoc-U-no(se)

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Re: Showboat 1936-1951, which is best.

Postby Lzcutter » May 2nd, 2014, 10:28 am

According to a variety of sources, George Feltenstein at WBros has long wanted to put out a deluxe set of Showboat featuring all three versions.

The hold up is said to be the condition of the 1951 elements. One of the Technicolor reels has badly deteriorated and restoration of that version is proving more difficult than originally anticipated.

Here's hoping they are able to restore it!
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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Showboat 1936-1951, which is best.

Postby Rita Hayworth » May 2nd, 2014, 10:57 am

I prefer the 1936 version over the 1951 version and ... I did not know about the 1929 version that Fossy talked about earlier on this thread. 1931 version was more believable and the 1951 version had more star power - but some reasons that the 36 version is more fun, original, and I'm more in tune with Irene Dunne than Kathryn Grayson of both played Magnolia. That's was the main reason why I like the 36 version better than the 51 version.

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Re: Showboat 1936-1951, which is best.

Postby RedRiver » May 3rd, 2014, 4:06 pm

In the book, Edna Ferber's love of theatre shows through and through. One of the characters suggests an impressionistic method of set construction. In real life, the idea revolutionized theatrical scene design!


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