For this Movie Musical Challenge I’m using the AFI’s 25 Best Musicals List to try and work my way through. The challenge is throughout the year and once watched I’ll put my thoughts up on the blog.
So the first movie for the challenge is Showboat (1936), staring Irene Dunne and Allan Jones.
Having watched the 1951 version starring Howard Keele and Kathryn Grayson I was a bit dubious to watch the 1936 version. Even if it is on the top 25 list. What with is garish colours and choppy story-line. But seen the original I can see how much they changed the story and actually did a poor adaption. Sometimes a classic is better left alone. And this is on of those times.
While these songs are not ones that I instantly recognise, or ones that I could sing straight away. But they instantly hit home. Some of my favourites include ‘Ol’ Man River’, ‘Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man’ and ‘Make Believe’. Paul Robeson with his booming deep voice makes his scenes a pleasure to watch. And makes the songs he sing sound unique and special.
There was one scene that I felt was quite awkward and uncomfortable – when Irene Dunn blacks up to sing a song. I don’t see the point of this scene now. And while its part of a classic film it is still something that I don’t want to watch.
This was a beautiful version to watch. Showing that no matter how old a film it can be a timeless and enjoyable thing to watch.