See the Show Boat, on Film

PlayBlog   See the Show Boat, on Film
A piece of film and theatre history will flicker at Film Forum in Manhattan Dec. 9, with three screenings of the 1936 movie version of the musical "Show Boat."

Amy Asch, a Playbill staffer and editor of "The Complete Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II," will introduce one screening of the picture (the musical's film version preferred by diehard fans).

Asch said that she'll talk about changes that librettist/screenwriter Hammerstein made between the 1927 stage script and the screenplay, and touch on the three new songs written for the film. Asch's comments with be heard at the 6:20 PM screening. There are also screenings at 2:35 PM and 10:05 PM.

Directed by James Whale, who is the focus of a retrospective at Film Forum, this "Show Boat" is not yet on DVD. It boasts arresting images (African-American stevedores and workers, who toil to the music of "Ol' Man River"), original Broadway cast members (Helen Morgan and her piano) and three new songs ("I Have the Room Above Her," "Ah Still Suits Me" and the blackface number for Magnolia, "Gallivantin' Aroun'").

The movie stars Irene Dunne (Magnolia), who played the part during a national tour; Paul Robeson (Joe), who was not able to appear in original Broadway production, but played the part in London and in the 1932 Broadway revival; Allan Jones (Ravenal) and Hattie McDaniel (Queenie), plus original Broadway cast members Helen Morgan (Julie), Charles Winninger (Cap'n Andy) and Sammy White (Frank).

Film Forum is at 209 W. Houston St. For details see or call (212) 727-8110.

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