October 18, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

Show Boat

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
107 minutes
performer
Ava Gardner, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Joe E. Brown, Gower Champion, Agnes Moorehead
director
George Sidney
distributor
MGM/UA Home Video
Genre
Musical, Drama, Romance

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-

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