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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Show Boat (1936) Irene Dunne, Helen Morgan, Allan Jones, Hattie McDaniel, Paul Robeson

Show Boat is a 1936 film. Directed by James Whale, it is based on the musical play by Jerome Kern (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (script and lyrics), which the team adapted from the novel by Edna Ferber.

This film version of the famed stage classic from Universal Pictures, which in 1929 had filmed a part-talkie version of Ferber's original novel, is, unlike most film versions of stage musicals at the time, for the most part an extremely faithful adaptation, and retains the interracial subplot so important to both the novel and the show.

Carl Laemmle, head of Universal, had been deeply dissatisfied with the 1929 film, and had long wanted to make an all-sound version of the hit musical. It was originally scheduled to be made in 1934, but plans to make this version with Russ Columbo as the gambler Gaylord Ravenal fell through when Columbo was killed that year in a shotgun accident, and shooting of the film was rescheduled. The film, with several members of the original Broadway cast, was begun in late 1935 and released in 1936.

In addition to the songs retained from the stage production, Kern and Hammerstein wrote three additional songs for the film. Two of them were performed in spots previously reserved for songs from the stage production.

Starring Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Charles Winninger, Paul Robeson, Helen Morgan
Helen Westley, Hattie McDaniel, Queenie Smith, Sammy White
Directed by James Whale
Produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr.
Written by Oscar Hammerstein II (also wrote lyrics)
Based on Show Boat
by Edna Ferber, and the Kern-Hammerstein musical adapted from the novel
Music by Jerome Kern
Cinematography, John J. Mescall
Editing by Bernard W. Burton, Ted Kent
Universal Studios
Release date: 1936
Running time: 113 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English

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