Blu-ray, DVD Release: Show Boat

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 31, 2020
Price: DVD $21.99, Blu-ray $27.99
Studio: Criterion

Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s immortal musical adaptation of Edna Ferber’s sprawling novel Show Boat receives its most faithful and enduring cinematic adaptation under the elegant direction of James Whale (The Old Dark House).
A rich portrait of changing American entertainment traditions and race relations, Show Boat spans four decades and three generations as it follows the fortunes of the stage-struck Magnolia (Irene Dunne), an aspiring actor whose journey takes her from her family’s humble floating playhouse in the 1880s South to the height of fame in the 1930s North.
The cast of show-business legends includes Helen Morgan (Glorifying the American Girl), Hattie McDaniel (Gone with the Wind) and the great Paul Robeson, whose iconic, soul-shaking rendition of “Ol’ Man River” is one of the crowning glories of the American stage and screen.
Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of the 1936 classic contain the following:
* New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Audio commentary from 1989 featuring American-musical historian Miles Kreuger
* New interview with James Whale biographer James Curtis
Recognizing Race in “Show Boat,” a new interview program featuring professor and author Shana L. Redmond
Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist (1979), an Academy Award-winning short documentary by Saul J. Turell, newly restored
* Two performances from the sound prologue of the 1929 film version of Show Boat, plus twenty minutes of silent excerpts from the film, with audio commentary by Kreuger
* Two radio adaptations of Show Boat, featuring stage and screen cast members Allan Jones, Helen Morgan, and Charles Winninger; actor Orson Welles; and novelist Edna Ferber
* An essay by critic Gary Giddins
Buy or Rent Show Boat

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.