Show Boat was a part-silent, part-talkie adaptation of the book by Edna Ferber. The film traces the life of Magnolia Hawkes, daughter of Captain Andy of the Cotton Blossom, a 19th century show boat. Magnolia’s head is turned by handsome gambler Gaylord Ravenal, who woos and weds her. He turns out to be a poor husband and provider, eventually deserting Magnolia and her daughter. But Magnolia, harking upon her performing experiences while on her father’s show boat, becomes a successful stage star and raises her daughter all by herself. Though filmed just two years after the Broadway debut of the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein Jr. musical Show Boat, this film is more closely based on the source novel than the stage play.
Director: Harry A. Pollard & Arch Heath (uncredited).
Stars: Laura La Plante, Joseph Schildkraut, Emily Fitzroy, Otis Harlan, Alma Rubens, Jack McDonald, Jane La Verne, Neely Edwards, Elise Bartlett, Stepin Fetchit.
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