Thursday, July 28, 2016

Dvd/150: SHOW BOAT (James Whale, 1936)

The year after James Whale directed BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN he made something totally different but equally memorable, his adaptation of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's 1927 landmark musical SHOW BOAT.

The musical, based on Edna Ferber's novel, was the first to mesh a plot and fully integrated score and had already been filmed in 1929 with a couple of sound scenes and music from the show included in it's prologue.

Whale cast several actors who had appeared in stage versions of the show: Irene Dunne as Magnolia, Helen Morgan as Julie, Charles Winninger as Cap'n Andy, Sammy White as Frank Schultz and the mighty Paul Robeson as Joe.

Also cast were Allan Jones as Gaylord Ravenal, Hattie McDaniel as Queenie and Helen Westley as Parthy.  They all give sparkling, memorable performances - a particular joy is to see Robeson and McDaniel effortlessly stealing the film with their larger-than-life personas. 

Shelf or charity shop?  My friend John went to such efforts to get me this Spanish dvd I have to keep it (I would anyways...)

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