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A Few Words About A few words about…™ Show Boat (1951) – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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One of the Great Technicolor M-G-M musicals, the George Sidney / Arthur Freed Show Boat, has come to life in a huge way via Warner Archive's new Blu-ray.

Based upon new scans of the original camera negatives, color literally jumps off the screen. This is one of those productions that cry out for a huge screen. And when I tell you the color and resolution is off the charts gorgeous, just believe.

Everything is absolutely perfect.

And then, there's the audio, with a bit of major history behind it. Early jacket inserts may note DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono, but the new release actually has two tracks, the original mono, as well as a stereo track produced from music stems for the 1994 laserdisc release, and apparently unheard since that time.

But the history is something that those with higher end systems will easily hear.

Show Boat was a major step forward in audio recording in 1951. When you get to William Warfield's majestic rendition of Ol' Man River, you'll be hearing the very first experimental magnetic music recording at M-G-M.

Don't give this one a second thought. Just grab a copy.

Pictorially magnificent, with great audio, it's a cinephile's necessity.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 

compson

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So is Lawrence of Arabia. And quite a few others. I was wondering when someone would bring up the ‘36.

And how about that part talkie version?
I haven’t watched LOA in awhile, but I’m pretty sure it tells a different story. It was definitely set in a different location. From the clips I’ve seen of the 1929 movie, I’d judge the 1951 movie to be superior, so it does clear that bar.
 

ColbyCo82

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So is Lawrence of Arabia. And quite a few others. I was wondering when someone would bring up the ‘36.

And how about that part talkie version?
Hopefully the 1929 version will follow soon...at least on DVD if they dont think it can justify a Blu-ray. All three are worth owning for different reasons.
 

David_B_K

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I have never been a fan of any of the versions of Showboat, and I was not going to order this. I guess I've also never been a fan of Edna Ferber's sprawling multigenerational stories, either. However, the recent rash of stunning MGM musicals from Warner Archive has gotten me addicted to the Technicolor eye candy. It looks like this one will pop off the screen, and have great sound to boot. So, I have pre-ordered it and am actually looking forward to it. (At least it is a shorter version of the story).
 

Mark B

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(At least it is a shorter version of the story).
Shorter because they eliminated the meat and condensed the confection resulting in a flashy film with little substance or emotional impact. But, in spite of that Marge and Gower have a couple of great routines and William Warfield's warbling is moving.
 

warnerbro

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Ava Gardner's voice is just fine. I'm not sure why they dubbed it. What is left of the 1929 version has been cobbled together on the Criterion 1936 version. It's interesting. Looking forward to seeing and hearing this one.
 
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RobertMG

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Off topic but the sweeping King Solomon's Mines has always suffered from shoddy video releases - wonder if the OCN was lost at the Eastman fire? But back to SHOWBOAT have a Super 8 print and the color is great - but this blu along with The Great Caruso will have places on my top shelf of classics!
 

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