The Great Ziegfeld Blogathon – Show Boat (1951)


This is the final of 3 reviews for The Great Ziegfeld Blogathon being held this weekend over at Hollywood Genes.

Thanks for letting me take part Zoe!

“Pride is smaller than kindness.” – Julie

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 May 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A gambler falls in love with the daughter of a river boat captain.

My Take on it – When I heard about this blogathon, I knew very little about the Ziegfeld cast and story and chose three different aspects of things in order to learn more about the entire system.

My final choice was a musical that I’d always heard about yet never had a chance to see.

It was original produced as a stage play by Ziegfeld in 1927.

I have heard some of the songs before, but knew absolutely nothing about the plot of the story.

They find a way to keep this film fun throughout and the great performances and powerful songs help make it even more enjoyable to watch unfold.

What is quite impressive is the way that the movie is able to juggle moments of humor, music and a few very poignant messages dealing with love and racial issues.

The most memorable part of this film is the final rendition of Ol’ Man River towards the end of the film because it is so powerful and moving.

Check it out here:

Howard Keel is able to once again show how great a leading actor he can be in a musical and the way that they develop and establish his character and unique personality works so well here in helping the story move along.

In addition to Keel the supporting cast is also really entertaining to watch since each of them is able to add so much to how the story itself moves along at a great pace.

Bottom Line – Really fun film that is loaded with some great performances and a powerful group of songs.  The film does a nice job juggling the humor, music and some very poignant messages about race and love.  The rendition of Ol’ Man River at the end is quite moving and is by far the most memorable part of this film. Keel once again is able to show how powerful a leading man he can be in a musical and things work really well in establishing his character and personality as things move along. The supporting characters are also fun to watch because they all add so much more to the way that the story unfolds. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Director George Sidney was forced to leave for a few days because of illness, so uncredited associate producer Roger Edens directed the beautifully shot, fog-enshrouded “departure” sequence, including the performance by William Warfield of “Ol’ Man River.” It is the one scene in the film that has been praised even by critics who detest this version of “Show Boat.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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5 thoughts on “The Great Ziegfeld Blogathon – Show Boat (1951)

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