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Show Boat U rating

By far the best film version of Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern’s landmark stage show.

Period drama 1936 114 mins

Director: James Whale


Adapted from the landmark stage show – the first musical to have a narrative and where black and white actors were given equal prominence – Show Boat takes place on and around the Mississippi, and like several of Oscar Hammerstein’s works it addresses racial prejudice. This is by far the best of three film versions, and Paul Robeson, with his deep velvety tones, performs the definitive version of ‘Old Man River’.