By far the best film version of Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern’s landmark stage show.
Dir James Whale
With Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Hattie McDaniel, Paul Robeson, Helen Morgan
Adapted from the landmark stage show – the first musical to have a narrative and where black and white actors were given equal prominence – Show Boat takes place on and around the Mississippi, and like several of Oscar Hammerstein’s works it addresses racial prejudice. This is by far the best of three film versions, and Paul Robeson, with his deep velvety tones, performs the definitive version of ‘Old Man River’.
Also available on BFI Player.