TJPC

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I love the musical Show Boat, but there were gigantic protests here in Toronto from the black community when it played here a few years ago. The leaders refused an invite to see the show. I wondered what they were talking about and then read the original novel. The musical is not racist, but boy is the original novel by modern standards. I wonder what her other books are like?
 

Rob W

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I love the musical Show Boat, but there were gigantic protests here in Toronto from the black community when it played here a few years ago.
More than a few years.. :) it was 1993 - before it went to Broadway to huge success.
 

lark144

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I just got this Blu-Ray in the mail today. As far as I am concerned, there are no words in the English language to describe how this looks. (That's intended as a positive statement). I've only watched half an hour, and I've already burst into tears twice. The experience is similar to the last time I saw a 35mm print--I think at the Regency, which would make it more then 30 years ago--but even more startling, finer and crystalline. (All these words pale in comparison to what's on the Blu-Ray.) Unlike some films on Blu-Ray that appear as if they were shot today, this manages to take 1936 and place it in a continuum with this very moment, so everything we see has a double image; then and now. Somehow the rhythm of one's breathing matches the flow of the grain. Though this was taken from a safety fine grain (struck from the original nitrate neg) it has the glow and transubstantiation of nitrate, where the quality of light seems to be hyper-real as well as painterly (esp. the light in Dutch landscapes of the 17th Century). This is probably John Mescall's finest moment, and I am so happy to have this. And yes, though I don't really have to say this at this particular forum, I have the Warner Archive MOD which I can now toss in the garbage. This is a different experience entirely. Wow! I mean, when Mr. Harris gave the Blu-Ray a 5, I expected it to be marvelous, but not like this.
 

B-ROLL

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Good lord! So many of her books and plays were made into films. A sampling: So Big, Ice Palace, Cimarron, Come and Get It, Saratoga Trunk, Dinner at Eight, Stage Door, The Royal Family along with those previously mentioned.
I was reading a book the other day ...
;) ...
 

RichMurphy

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I just got this Blu-Ray in the mail today. As far as I am concerned, there are no words in the English language to describe how this looks. (That's intended as a positive statement). I've only watched half an hour, and I've already burst into tears twice. The experience is similar to the last time I saw a 35mm print--I think at the Regency, which would make it more then 30 years ago--but even more startling, finer and crystalline. (All these words pale in comparison to what's on the Blu-Ray.) Unlike some films on Blu-Ray that appear as if they were shot today, this manages to take 1936 and place it in a continuum with this very moment, so everything we see has a double image; then and now. Somehow the rhythm of one's breathing matches the flow of the grain. Though this was taken from a safety fine grain (struck from the original nitrate neg) it has the glow and transubstantiation of nitrate, where the quality of light seems to be hyper-real as well as painterly (esp. the light in Dutch landscapes of the 17th Century). This is probably John Mescall's finest moment, and I am so happy to have this. And yes, though I don't really have to say this at this particular forum, I have the Warner Archive MOD which I can now toss in the garbage. This is a different experience entirely. Wow! I mean, when Mr. Harris gave the Blu-Ray a 5, I expected it to be marvelous, but not like this.
I couldn't agree more. I watched this Blu-ray last night, and the picture quality is jaw-dropping. Even projected as a 94" diagonal image.
 

Big Gay Andy

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I received Showboat and The Prince of Tides yesterday, right on time. But the next Criterion I've ordered is Destry Rides Again, and I received an email today advising me that it may arrive a couple of days late.

P.S. Prince of Tides looks and sounds faaaaabulous on Blu-ray!!! And Dame Barbra's commentary is excellent.
 

Roger Grodsky

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I also completely agree with Mark. Something I haven't seen mentioned is the inclusion of all four prologue songs from the 1929 version (the laserdisc only contained Tess Gardella's numbers). Seeing Helen Morgan sing "Bill" up close and live is pretty mind-blowing. And Jules Bledsoe's "Ol' Man River" is pretty wonderful, too.
 

bujaki

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I just got this Blu-Ray in the mail today. As far as I am concerned, there are no words in the English language to describe how this looks. (That's intended as a positive statement). I've only watched half an hour, and I've already burst into tears twice. The experience is similar to the last time I saw a 35mm print--I think at the Regency, which would make it more then 30 years ago--but even more startling, finer and crystalline. (All these words pale in comparison to what's on the Blu-Ray.) Unlike some films on Blu-Ray that appear as if they were shot today, this manages to take 1936 and place it in a continuum with this very moment, so everything we see has a double image; then and now. Somehow the rhythm of one's breathing matches the flow of the grain. Though this was taken from a safety fine grain (struck from the original nitrate neg) it has the glow and transubstantiation of nitrate, where the quality of light seems to be hyper-real as well as painterly (esp. the light in Dutch landscapes of the 17th Century). This is probably John Mescall's finest moment, and I am so happy to have this. And yes, though I don't really have to say this at this particular forum, I have the Warner Archive MOD which I can now toss in the garbage. This is a different experience entirely. Wow! I mean, when Mr. Harris gave the Blu-Ray a 5, I expected it to be marvelous, but not like this.
Alas, my only and only time I viewed a 35mm print of Show Boat was at MoMA (you were there) on 27 December 1977, the 50th anniversary of the B'way opening of the musical. Miles Kreuger was there to introduce the film. What a day that was, with the screening of all 3 versions!
 

lark144

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Alas, my only and only time I viewed a 35mm print of Show Boat was at MoMA (you were there) on 27 December 1977, the 50th anniversary of the B'way opening of the musical. Miles Kreuger was there to introduce the film. What a day that was, with the screening of all 3 versions!
Yes, I was there. Miles Kreuger also programmed a history of the Hollywood Musical at MOMA sometime in the early 70's which began with a beautiful 2 color Technicolor print of WHOOPEE. There were some amazing films in that series. I'm assuming you were around for that.

In terms of SHOWBOAT I'm pretty sure I saw it again in 35mm sometime in the 80's. I know it wasn't MOMA, so I think it was at the Regency or one of Frank Rowley's other venues. He was pretty consistent about booking musicals as well as rarities. Have no idea where he got his prints from, but they were generally pristine. When he had the Bombay Cinema, he programmed an IB Technicolor series that began with SUMMERTIME(now that was another print that was so mind-boggingly beautiful it's impossible to describe) and ended with THE GODFATHER (again with a quality and purity of color I had never before seen & if my memory is any guide very close to what Mr. Harris produced.)
 

Mike Frezon

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Mine is scheduled to arrive from Amazon Friday. You guys are getting me ALL excited for this (like I needed an excuse to ratchet up the anticipation)!
 

B-ROLL

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GlennF

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Does the ‘51 need restoration?
The DVD of the '51 Show Boat is also pretty grim - much worse than other MGM titles like TIL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY, ROYAL WEDDING, GOOD NEWS, ETC. I think the problem is there might be some registration problems and we know they are expensive to fix. At least that is my understanding.
 

TJPC

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The old 3 cd set of the complete Show Boat music (John McGlinn) had many cut out songs and the original Bill. Hammerstein actually did a massive retooling to the point that his version is very different. The booklet says that he really had no reason to credit P.G. Wodehouse.
 
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Big Gay Andy

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TJPC, thank you very much for mentioning ye olde 3-cd set. I didn't know about it before and I just now went on Amazon and ordered it from a third-party seller. I should receive it in about a week.
 

RichMurphy

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The old 3 cd set of the complete Show Boat music (John McGlinn) had many cut out songs and the original Bill. Hammerstein actually did a massive retooling to the point that his version is very different. The booklet says that he really had no reason to credit P.G. Wodehouse.
I too have that 3 CD set, so I'll have to go back and check that out. I said "apparently" because I was referencing other sources than McGlinn.
 

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