Show Boat (1929) - Rotten Tomatoes

Show Boat (1929)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Show Boat Photos

Movie Info

Show Boat was a part-silent, part-talkie adaptation of the book by Edna Ferber. The film traces the life of Magnolia Hawkes (Laura La Plante), daughter of Captain Andy of the Cotton Blossom, a 19th century show boat. Magnolia's head is turned by handsome gambler Gaylord Ravenal (Joseph Schildkraut), 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. While the immortal "Ol' Man River" was retained, the rest of the Broadway version's songs were jettisoned in favor of several forgettable tunes written by entrepreneur Billy Rose, who convinced the movie's producers that the public had grown tired of hearing the Kern-Hammerstein score! Show Boat would be remade twice, with most of the original songs intact and without Rose's "improvements," in 1936 and 1951.


Otis Harlan
as Capt. Andy
Emily Fitzroy
as Parthenia
Elsie Bartlett
as Elly [Story]
Jane La Verne
as Magnolia/Kim
Neely Edwards
as Schultzy
Ralph Yearsley
as The Killer
Helen Morgan
as Julie (in the prologue)
Jules Bledsoe
as Joe (in the Proluge)
Max Asher
as Utility Man
George Cheseboro
as Steve [Story]
Jim Coleman
as Stagehand
Carl Herlinger
as Wheelsman
Claude Collins
as (uncredited)
View All

Critic Reviews for Show Boat

There are no critic reviews yet for Show Boat. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for Show Boat


Great film despite the fact the film was not well-kept. There are some silent parts, that were presumably supposed to be part of the talk part. Despite the in/out sound of the version that I watched, it's a highly entertaining version of Show Boat.

nefnie lee
nefnie lee

Super Reviewer

Show Boat Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features