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Show Boat

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Vibrant as color swatches in a paint-store catalog, this remastered videodisc of Show Boat bring out all the literal and thematic glitter MGM applied to the films’ backstage-romance scenario. In Show Boat, Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel harmonize tenderly (though blandly) to Jerome Kern’s score while their delicately coordinated blue-and-purple outfits make equally beautiful visual music. The circuitry in VCRs simply can’t render such strong, variegated hues and fine textures; only on disc is it clear how much these actors need meticulous games of make-believe to feel they’re in love. B-