[youtube rGOyycNqiWA nolink]
5am PST - Show Boat (1951) - Riverboat entertainers find love, laughs and hardships as they sail along "Old Man River." Cast: Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel, Joe E. Brown Dir: George Sidney C-108 mins, TV-G
"Show Boat” is all about Ava Gardner, who was so much more than just a pretty face. Here, as the victim of racial prejudice, or films such as “On the Beach” and “Night of the Iguana,” she was able to put across a tragic-laced melancholy that transcended her beauty and added an entire dimension to a character without a word of exposition.
The above clip is a perfect example. Ava’s singing voice may be dubbed but she sells the moment like few others could. I gotta love one man till I die...
YouTube’s removed the audio from their clips, but on the “Show Boat” DVD you can watch the same scene with Gardner’s original singing voice, and for my money it’s much better than the dub. A rare misstep by MGM.
“Show Boat” is also a reminder that wayyyy
back in 1951, stuffy old, white-shoe Hollywood was both concerned with and handling matters of racial prejudice with a maturity, and yes, a nuance, Big Hollywood can’t seem to grasp. Classic Hollywood wanted to change hearts. Big Hollywood wants to strut their supposed superiority.