Show Boat - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Show Boat Reviews

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½ June 18, 2016
MGM's loving, lovely Technicolor adaptation of the groundbreaking stage musical retains most of Jerome Kern's music and strengthens the role of Julie, poignantly played by Ava Gardner; William Warfield also does well singing "Ol' Man River."
May 16, 2016
Ava Gardner is the most convincing nigress. Ol' Man River steals the show! Extremely flawed, but some well-intended heart.
May 1, 2016
Mostly a mediocre musical film, but there are some moments of absolute brilliance. The cinematography deserves some recognition, particularly the scene with William Warfield singing "Ol' Man River". It wasn't too far from being a good movie, but I got bored at times. (First and only viewing - 10/9/2013)
½ December 14, 2014
ava gardner steal the show
November 7, 2014
Solid musical-romance and iconic, although not one of the best of its genre.
May 14, 2014
Sad, sweet, toe-tappingly musical, and armed with a nice sense of reality for that time, Show Boat is a bittersweet film from the era of musicals. Stronger performances from the cast would have made this movie amazing but it does not stop it from still being enjoyable.
June 20, 2013
Not one of my favorites, but for it's time it's a great film.
May 7, 2013
This film just screams bloated. Every thing about this film is over the top. I haven't even seen the entirety of the 1936 film and I like it better. I give it two stars for Howard Keel and that the material itself is so good that it shines through the circus.
December 7, 2012
Would like to see at some stage.
½ September 29, 2012
Too meandering for its own good. The characters are intriguing and the songs are good, but they don't really form a consistent plot.
August 21, 2012
The stunningly to look at not so impacting overall third filmed version of the musical Show Boat.

This film was made for the masses and in it's own right is a good film & has fantastic colors & sensational musical numbers. By far the stand out performance was Joe singing 'Old Man River' quite an impacting performance.

Ava Gardner is also a screen sensation has a undeniable beauty on screen & just electrifies when singing. Overall it's good for what it is but does a drag a little & the weak script really shows & in between songs is a lot of filler. Worth a watch but I hear the 30's version directed by James Whale is far more better.
½ July 8, 2012
Fantastic songwriting and serious topics that are covered in this musical about the lives of people on a boat. It's actually a sad movie when you think about it.

Grade: B+
May 14, 2012
Pretty good musical, but timelss for the "Old Man River" rendition.
½ May 6, 2012
Saw it to see the story behind the song "Can't Help Loving Dat Man Of Mine"...but I think "Old Man River" stole the show.
April 12, 2012
Wonderful production. Ava Gardner is a revelation,
½ December 7, 2011
I think the 50's were the worst years in entertainment...
November 6, 2011
This is the one musical both I and my mom absolutely love. The music is amazing. Ava Gardner is a revelation. I always cry during that last scene.
½ August 21, 2011
A disgustingly made-up version of an intentionally rugged musical.
½ July 25, 2011
Another of the great musicals I have seen so many times, and wish to comment on it and compare with the original made in 1936 with Irene Dunne and Alan Jones. Although the original is in black and white, the 1951 version is so colorful and story and acting so good and more developed and three-dimensional, that I had a few tears myself. Dancing by Marge and Gower Champion were truly champions. Joe E. Brown as Capt. Hawks plays a much funnier role than Charley Winninger did in 1936. He has such a rubbery face, and I can still hear him saying "Happy New Year". There are eight wonderful songs by Kern and Hammerstein and the best were "Make Believe" and "You Are Love" and "Old Man River" but there were other old goodies, too, like "After The Ball".
July 25, 2011
Wow, does Ava Gardner ever looked mixed race.
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