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-
Genre: Musical, Drama, Romance; Starring: Ava Gardner, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Joe E. Brown, Gower Champion, Agnes Moorehead; Director: George Sidney; Runtime (in minutes): 107; Distributor: MGM/UA Home Video
Posted January 17 2015 — 1:02 PM EST
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