Show Boat

Not the classic, authentic, and lovely 1936 James Whale version, but the inert and racist MGM color remake of 1951, directed by George Sidney. Most of Sidney’s musicals tend to be vulgar but energetic; this one, it appears, was done in his sleep. Still, Jerome Kern’s music and Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics provide fine accompaniment to the sleepwalking. Derived from an Edna Ferber novel; with Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel, Joe E. Brown, Marge and Gower Champion, Agnes Moorehead, Robert Sterling, and William Warfield. 107 min. (JR)

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