Show Boat | Chicago Reader

Show Boat

James Whale's brilliant and surprisingly delicate 1936 rendition of the Kern and Hammerstein musical, which was based on an Edna Ferber novel, is infinitely superior to the dull 1951 MGM Technicolor remake and, interestingly enough, less racist. The rendition of “Old Man River” by Paul Robeson, magnificent throughout, is a high point, occasioning a montage sequence that shows Whale at his most expressionistic and inventive. With Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Helen Morgan, and Charles Winninger.

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