Show Boat

The week of August 8, 2010:

For the first time the movie of the week will be a musical! 1951’s Show Boat stars Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, and Ava Gardner. To help make MGM’s big musical picture a success Kathryn Grayson was casted for her truly breathtaking vocals and the A-listed star Ava Gardner was ideally signed to help bring publicity to the film. Today, Show Boat remains one of the greatest musicals for its beautiful tale of family and friends and of course for its soundtrack.

Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, & Ava Gardner
Directed by: George Sidney
Released in: 1951

Cotton Blossom is a show boat which provides musical entertainment to the public as it travels along the rivers of the south. Julie LaVerne and her husband Stephen Baker are the musical stars of the entertainment act on the boat. But when rumors that LaVerne and Baker are accused of miscegenation turn out to be true, the owner of the Cotton Blossom, Captain Andy Hawks, sadly must ask them to leave his business as interracial marriage is illegal in the south during this time. Captain Hawk then asks his talented and beautiful daughter Magnolia and Gaylord Ravenal to take LaVerne and Baker’s places. In short time, Magnolia and Ravenal fall in love with each other and get married. The newlyweds then move to Chicago and live in a luxurious hotel. But  Ravenal’s addiction to gambling consumes the couple’s savings and he completely leaves his marriage without knowing Magnolia is pregnant. Magnolia struggles to survive on her own, until she decides to return to her father’s boat/business and raise her young daughter with her parents. Years later, LaVerne accidentally meets Ravenal and tells him about the daughter he never knew.

Fact: The original production of Show Boat opened in the Ziegfeld Theater on December 27, 1927 and ran for 572 performances.

Fact: The original choice for the role of Julie LaVerne was Judy Garland.

Awards: Show Boat received two nominations at the Academy Awards: Best Cinematography – Color and Best Music – Scoring of a Musical Picture.

To view the trailer of Show Boat visit:

As well, Show Boat will air on the Turner Classic Movie channel on Tuesday, August 10 at 8PM. Be sure to double-check your local listings and times at

And as always, feel absolutely free to leave your comments:)


~ by discoveringtheclassics on August 8, 2010.

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