Derived from a safety fgm, Criterion's new Blu, is the best I've ever seen this film look. 4 Stars

One of the great American musicals, the 1936 Show Boat, with massive talent in the leads, including one of the finest voices ever recorded, Paul Robeson, and original cast member, Helen Morgan.

Derived from a safety fgm, Criterion’s new Blu, is the best I’ve ever seen this film look.

Gorgeous gray scale, perfect grain structure, great black levels.

Just grab a copy.

Don’t know who Paul Robeson was?

Best to find out.

While viewing, keep mind of the Showboat barge itself, and how location footage is blended and cut with partial views, overhangs, fore and background of parts of the set.

And last but not least, and fit for an interesting discussion, directed by James Whale, the top director of horror for the studio – Universal.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

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Robert Harris

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Marc Hampton

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So happy to see that "Image - 5".

I do miss my Criterion CAV laserdisc...which had so much supplementary material it took a week to get through it (It had to be thousands of stills on that disc...about the film, the stage production, history of show boats, you name it).

I was fortunate to see this in 35mm at the Senator Theater in Baltimore back in the early 90s. Paul Robeson's close-up during "Ol Man River" was pretty incredible on the big screen.
 

warnerbro

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This film is an amazing treasure. Don't miss it. There's nothing like it. Paul Robeson alone is a reason to watch it. Helen Morgan is basically playing her life out before our eyes. She died of alcoholism soon after. Irene Dunne is always fun and an amazing actress. It's like watching a time capsule of history of some of our greatest talents.
 

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I still have my Showboat LD collection (and player) and have been waiting for this for ages. I was lucky to see all 3 versions at AFI (when it was housed in JFK Center) in new 35 mm strikes hosted by Miles Krueger.
 

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Thank you for your comments, Mr. H.
I love this movie and have seen it many times (at home) over the years in varying levels of quality from television prints in the late 1970’s to very good recent WB Archive disc. Even in a poor television print this film is outstanding.
A bit of trivia on Paul Robeson; he was one of the first people to sing in what became the Sydney Opera House when he performed for construction workers with an impromptu lunch time concert when he visited Sydney during construction. By accounts he raised the (not constructed) roof!
Looking forward to the arrival of my new disc from Criterion.
 

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Thank you once again, Mr. Harris. For some reason I was on the fence about this but your recommendation has pushed me off and I've placed the order (And I'll apologize in advance for invoking your name and recommendation if my wife intercepts the delivery). Very much looking forward to seeing it.
For Canadian buyers, Unobstructed View has a great pre-order sale price of just CDN$29.99 for the blu-ray. https://www.unobstructedview.com/product/show-boat-2/
Unobstructed View also has a sale currently running of 200 selected Criterion dvds at a price of two for just Cdn$30. A great way to fill in some holes in your collection if they don't necessarily need to be blu-rays. https://www.unobstructedview.com/criterion-collection-dvd-sale-2-for-30/
 

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As wonderful as the stage version is, this film version of SHOWBOAT added two songs by Kern and Hammerstein that are classics in their own right: the beautiful "I Have The Room Above Her" and the humorous "Ah Still Suits Me" which contains one of my favorite Hammerstein lyrics, as Paul Robeson complains about his wife Hattie McDaniel nagging him:

"I may be no good, no good for your good. I may be lifeless, but with one wife less, my life would be more strife-less, yesiree. No matter what you say, ah still suits me"

Already pre-ordered the Criterion Blu-ray.
 

AnthonyClarke

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My 10- inch 78 of 'Ah Still Suits Me' with Paul partnered by Elisabeth Welch (a glorious duo) still gets regular plays on my 1928 UK Columbia wind-up gramophone (a new needle for every play!). It's on the flip-side of 'Ol Man River'. It's an even better version than the lovely one on the film.
 

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Can't wait to check this out at some point. I have the big MGM LD boxset with the other versions. Seeing this always makes me think of how shameful it was that Whale never got proper recognition during his heyday and especially afterwards to this day. Once the studio handover was complete he lost his support and then drifted out of picture making.
 

Mike Frezon

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This is one of those titles (Criterion) that I have pre-ordered without even contemplating a wait until the next B&N Criterion sale.
 

Mark Booth

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This is one of those titles (Criterion) that I have pre-ordered without even contemplating a wait until the next B&N Criterion sale.
Ditto. Plus, it's not like I'm spending money on entertainment away from the house these days. An extra $8 to watch it now is worth it because we need the entertainment now.

Mark
 

Mark Booth

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Criterion sent me a coupon for $10 off my next order. They are also having a 30% off sale right now. So, after the sale and coupon but including shipping (standard shipping) and tax, I was able to order 'Show Boat' for $27.09 delivered. That beats Amazon's price of $27.99 plus tax.

I cancelled the Amazon order and placed the order with Criterion, saving about $3. Who knows, maybe Criterion will ship it to me sooner rather than later. If it gets here before Thursday of next week it will beat Amazon's current shipping. As far as I can tell, Amazon has done away with release day delivery. My last few discs have arrived 2 days after release day. I've got '1917' on order and it hasn't even shipped yet.

Mark
 
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Mike2001

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I used the coupon too and bought two to get over the free shipping limit. Came out to an average price of ~$23 each. My two - Show Boat and Destry Rides Again. They’ll ship on Destry’s release date in order to get the free shipping.
 
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B-ROLL

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I used the coupon too and bought two to get over the free shipping limit. Came out to an average price of ~$23 each. My two - Show Boat and Destry Rides Again. They’ll ship on Destry’s release date in order to get the free shipping.
As I posted an another thread, I used the coupon and the current discount to get Show Boat and Prince of Tides.
 
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Big Gay Andy

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I pre-ordered Showboat and Prince of Tides -- can't wait for both. Criterion's Tides laserdisc was beyond wonderful but they never released it on DVD and I had given up hope for a Criterion Blu-ray. Twilight Time had the rights to Barbra's other Sony titles, which includes The Owl and the Pussycat and The Mirror Has Two Faces, but since TT seems to have discontinued its monthly Blu-ray releases I'm hoping that perhaps Criterion will pick up the slack, knowing that Barbra likes working with them since they are as detail-oriented as she is.

As for Amazon discontinuing their release-day delivery, I had pre-ordered Criterion's Leave Her to Heaven, Warner Archive's The Stalking Moon, and Kino-Lorber's My Gun Is Quick and Endless Night, all of which were released yesterday. I received them all yesterday except Stalking Moon, which arrived on Monday -- a day early!