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Show Boat is a 1951 American musical romantic drama film, based on the stage musical of the same name by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, and the 1926 novel by Edna Ferber. It was made by MGM, adapted for the screen by John Lee Mahin, produced by Arthur Freed and directed by George Sidney.


  • The basic plot remains the same as in the stage play and the 1936 film version. When the Cotton Blossom, Cap'n Andy Hawks' showboat, arrives in a Mississippi town to give a performance, a fistfight breaks out between leading man Steve Baker and Pets, the boat's engineer who has been making passes at Steve's wife, leading lady Julie La Verne.
  •  Cap'n Andy pretends to the assembled crowd that the two were really previewing a scene from one of the boat's melodramas. But Pete knows a dark secret about Julie, and he runs off to tell the local sheriff.
  • Riverboat gambler Gaylord Ravenal has gambled away a boat ticket, so he drops by the Cotton Blossom pretending to be an actor so that he can get passage on the boat, but is rejected. However, he meets Magnolia, the captain's 18-year-old daughter, and the two are instantly smitten.
  • That night, during the performance of an olio on the show boat, Pete shows up with the town sheriff.
  •  But when Julie and Steve hear that the sheriff is coming to arrest them, Steve takes a sewing pin, pricks Julie's finger, and sucks blood from it.
  •  The Sheriff enters and announces that there is a case of miscegenation on board, a negro woman married to a white man, which is illegal. Julie is the woman, and Steve is the man.
  •  Julie admits that she is part negro, but Steve, having sucked some of Julie's blood, tells a misleading truth by stating that he also has negro blood in him.
  •  Pete is fired by Cap'n Andy. However, Julie and Steve must still leave the acting company—blacks were not allowed onstage alongside whites in the South of the 1880s.
  • After Magnolia, who is Julie's best friend, tearfully says goodbye to her, she and Steve leave the company. Ravenal shows up and offers help.
  •  This time, Cap'n Andy takes him on, makes him the acting company's new leading man, and makes Magnolia the new leading lady, over the strong objections of his wife Parthy, who is also Magnolia's mother.
  •  Within a matter of weeks, Magnolia and Ravenal are a hit on the river and have fallen in love. They become engaged, marry, and move to Chicago, where they live off Ravenal's gambling winnings.
  •  A year passes and Ravenal loses all his money gambling. After he goes broke, Magnolia tells him off for being so obsessed with gambling. Feeling guilty after Magnolia's tirade, Ravenal walks out on her.
  • Ellie Shipley and Frank Schultz, the dance team on the show boat, suddenly show up in Chicago, having also left the boat and been booked into a nightclub called the Trocadero.
  •  They take Magnolia to audition there, but before she arrives, we see that the club already has a singer. It is Julie, who has become a hopeless alcoholic now that Steve has left her.
  •  From her dressing room, she overhears Magnolia audition, learns from the nightclub manager that Ravenal deserted her, and silently quits so that he will have no choice but to hire Magnolia.
  •  On the night of her debut, Cap'n Andy arrives to visit and ends up at the nightclub, where he gives Magnolia confidence after she experiences stage fright.
  •  Here, the plot changes drastically from the stage original and the 1936 film: Magnolia not only tells Cap'n Andy what has happened, but reveals that she is pregnant with Ravenal's child.
  •  She did not have the heart to tell Ravenal because of their financial situation, and she returns to the show boat with Cap'n Andy, where she gives birth to a daughter, Kim.
  • About five years pass. Ravenal is gambling on board a packet boat, on which a drunken Julie is trying to sing.
  •  After punching her escort because he slapped Julie, Ravenal goes out on deck. Julie, who has been keeping track of Magnolia, finds out who Ravenal is, and not realizing that he knew nothing of Magnolia's pregnancy, tells him off.
  •  Ravenal is overcome with guilt and returns to the show boat the next day, where he meets his little daughter Kim for the first time and returns to Magnolia, with whom he is reconciled.
  • As Ravenal and Magnolia walk back onto the boat, the stevedore Joe begins his reprise of "Ol' Man River" and Cap'n Andy and Parthy embrace.
  •  On the dock, Julie emerges out of the shadows, and blows a kiss towards Magnolia as the ship sails to its next destination.

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    Watch Show Boat Online | Show Boat Full Movie Online Watch Show Boat Online | Show Boat Full Movie Online Reviewed by Sampath on April 13, 2019 Rating: 5