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filmnoirguy

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I've always preferred this version to the Universal, which I also own. Production values are bar none exceptional. And Ava Gardner is heartbreaking here. I think Grayson was a tad too old to reprise Magnolia, she did it first in Till The Clouds Roll By, and looked the part of the ingenue then. She's still in fine voice, but much too adult to be believed as the naive 'green' girl whose heart is captivated by the scandalous Gaylord. Otherwise, this Show Boat's a comin' to my home video on a day one purchase!!!! Can't wait.
Grayson was 29 when she played Magnolia in 1951. Irene Dunne was 38 when she played the same role in 1936. It never occurred to me that either one was "too old." Maybe that's the mark of two great performances.
 

Nick*Z

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Grayson was 29 when she played Magnolia in 1951. Irene Dunne was 38 when she played the same role in 1936. It never occurred to me that either one was "too old." Maybe that's the mark of two great performances.

Grayson's age isn't in question here. It's how she looks - not, like a naive ingenue fawning over her first stud in harness. I think MGM tried to make her look 'too young'. Compare her makeup and hair in the '51 version to that which she sports in Till The Clouds Roll By, playing the same role. The version in 'Clouds' fits Grayson better than does the 'look' she sports in the '51. That said - I love Grayson as a talent - respect her too - and can get over this hump and enjoy her performance for what it is.

I just don't think it's all that successful at convincing us her age and the character's age are reconcilable. As for Irene Dunne - ageless. Even at 50, Dunne had a quality that made her alluring and fresh. Few stars have it. Dunne had it in spades. So, at 38 she does Magnolia proud. Remember, Magnolia is supposed to be 18. Dunne, at 38, looks about 21 and plays to the part of youth. Grayson at 29, looks 29 but exudes an aristocratic flavor much older than her years, accomplished and self-assured - not assets feeding into that character.
 

PMF

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I wish they had put the 1936 version on there as a bonus. the 1936 is widely accepted as the best and most faithful of three screen versions of the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical. As the DVD market shrinks, seems like putting "alternate" versions on the release would sweeten the pie.
Warner Archives may not have been able to put together this ideal package, as the original Showboat was originally distributed by Universal. Do note, I have no idea if Universal is still holding the rights.
 

Matt Hough

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Warner Archives may not have been able to put together this ideal package, as the original Showboat was originally distributed by Universal. Do note, I have no idea if Universal is still holding the rights.
MGM bought the rights to the 1936 Show Boat (and the 1929 one) before they made their film. I'm sure they didn't want Universal re-releasing their movie to ride on the coattails of their big hit.
 

PMF

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Showboat (1929). It seems to me that there would be an interest in our having a BD of this first version, as well. So, will it be WAC or Criterion? Indeed, who of the two will make it happen?
 
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David Weicker

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Showboat (1929). It seems to me that there would be an interest in our having a BD of this first version, as well. So, will it be WAC or Criterion? Indeed, who of the two will make it happen?
Portions of this were included with the Criterion '36 version.

I don't think all of it still exists
 
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John Skoda

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It's very good; to my ears it's far superior to the mono audio which is present on the DVD. From what I remember reading of the liner notes of the laserdisc, they did use original audio stems to fashion that stereo track.

Rhino put out a soundtrack CD in 1996 and all the musical numbers are stereo. The only CD tracks in mono are the "Main Title" music and 4 background score tracks. They may have found additional stereo since then.
 

B-ROLL

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I wish they had put the 1936 version on there as a bonus. the 1936 is widely accepted as the best and most faithful of three screen versions of the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical. As the DVD market shrinks, seems like putting "alternate" versions on the release would sweeten the pie.
I think it would be better if they included the Showboat sequence from 'Til the Clouds Roll By - as that film was "restored" by Turner/Warner Bros and released as part of a set of Musicals by WB on DVD'
1610610007136.png

- as it it generally thought of as being Public Domain, it probably would not get a release on it's own on blu-ray.
 

lark144

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I think it would be better if they included the Showboat sequence from 'Til the Clouds Roll By - as that film was "restored" by Turner/Warner Bros and released as part of a set of Musicals by WB on DVD'
View attachment 85921
- as it it generally thought of as being Public Domain, it probably would not get a release on it's own on blu-ray.
It's listed in the press release above:

Special Features: Commentary by Director George Sidney;
Till the Clouds Roll By - Show Boat (1946) Sequence; "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" and "Bill"
 

Drew Salzan

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I'm very excited about this and am sure it will be amazing. 'Just wondering why the stereo track is 2 channel and not 5.1.
 

Vern Dias

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It was 2 track PCM on the LD. I will check it out to see how the LD does with DTS-X decoding in a little bit.

Update: I checked it out, and it seems to help the sound field some, but the mix is still pretty heavily biased toward the center channel.
Of course, the LD was released many years ago, so we will have to wait to see if WB has done any audio enhancements for the new release.
 
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Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

 

Ronald Epstein

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Question:

As someone who has heard about how great SHOW BOAT is over the years, but knows nothing about it...

Which version is the "definitive" one? The version you guys recommend the most?

I see this one from Warner and another from Criterion. I am assuming both not the same version.
 
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richardburton84

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I cannot judge as far as which version is better as I have yet to see this version outside of the clips in That’s Entertainment, but no, the versions released by Warner and Criterion are not the same. The version released by Criterion was initially released by Universal in 1936 (MGM later bought the rights to it when they made the version under discussion) and was directed by James Whale and is quite good.
 
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Matt Hough

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The Criterion (Universal's 1936 black and white version) is closer to the original stage version of the show; the MGM/Warner Archive version is in color, has a bigger budget and is a slicker production, and is lusher to the eye and ear but minimizes some of the characters and changes the ending to give it a happier mood. I love both of them but for different reasons.
 

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