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jackpickford1

The 1929 version of Show Boat

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I thank you TCM for programming the rare 1929 version of Show Boat with Laura La Plante in January. I'm not sure if I have ever seen this on TCM before. I think it might have been.

 

I've had a cruddy bootleg VHS for years I could not watch due to contorted quality and title cards in German or Russian. I've never watched it so it will be like a new movie to me.

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I'm looking forward to this. I've seen this when it was aired before but I didn't get iut recorded. This time I'll be sure to do that.

 

Kevin

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Yes it's been on TCM before and isn't bad at all. Laura LaPlante actually made a few good talkies as well but is totally forgotten now.... I remember one where she is a mousy secretary..... it was remade ..... but LaPlante was really good.... then there was that early talkie comedy with Edward Everett Horton......

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Laura LaPlante is also good in "The Love Trap" a 1929 part talkie (available on DVD).

The mousy secretary movie you're talking about would be "The Church Mouse" (1935). It's a British made film. It was made in the U.S. by Warner Brothers in 1932 titled "Beauty and the Boss". Marian Marsh plays the secretary in that on. It's a fun pre-code film! The Edward Everett Horton talkie is "Lonely Wives" (1931), it should still be available on DVD. The print was excellent too! I also liked Laura in "The Cat and the Canary" (1927).

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MGM bought Showboat and Three Godfathers from Uni, about the same time, and in each case got, as well, the previous Universal filmed version. The 1929 has been shown on TCM at least twice. I saw it abt 97, as well as the more recent run.

 

The main thing "wrong" with it is that much of the synchronized dialogue is lost -- evidently this was shot with the Vitaphone system, using records instead of sound strips on the film -- so large portions of the film play MOS and with insufficient subs, as I recall. It's similar to the 1930 Good News, which I've seen once on TCM and portions of which are lost, though what survives is OK. (But I'm prejudiced in favor of anything which features Cliff Edwards.)

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Yes those are the ones. And Laura LaPlante was surprisngly good. I guess she was never an A star during silents so I never expected much but she really was good. Warren William was in one of the Church Mouse versions, probably with Marian Marsh who I always mix up with Marian Nixon.

 

But wasn't Show Boat an odd choice for a part-talkie? I remember liking it but haven't seen it in a while. Joseph Schildkraut and Emily Fitzroy were also in it. I'll have to look for it.

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I agree. Universal should have made it all talking (or in this case singing). It's not a bad film for its time. The only thing I never understood was the Braodway cast prologue (only sound discs survive). It seems odd that you would want to show the broadway cats singing the vocal "gems" from the show, and then have a cast that had never played in the show now sing and act in it. Universal fixed that in 1936 with the much superior remake. All of the principles in this version had played in either the Broadway or raod show company verisons of the stage show. Plus James Whale's excellent direction didn't hurt either! But as a transitional film, the 1929 verison is still well worth watching.

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I agree the 1936 version of Show Boat is excellent and better than the 50s Show Bloat...... Irene Dunne is just perfect in the James Whale version, and so are Helen Morgan, Hattie McDaniel, Helen Westley, Paul Robeson, Charles Winninger, Queenie Smith, and Sammy White. Only Allan Jones is only ok.....

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The only thing that I've ever actually seen Laura LaPlante is "The King Of Jazz", the early talkie revue featuring Paul Whiteman. I thought she was great in it,especially a number called "My Bridal Veil" or something like that(I need to watch that tape again,it's just great-when is someone going to come out with "Hollywood Revue of 1929" on VHS or DVD? I just bought "Paramount on Parade"-can't wait to see it!)

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you hit on another of my favorites: Hollywood Revue of 1929... not on DVD that I know of. Nominated for best film and featuring talkie debits of most of MGM's stars. Also features Cliff Edwards with the best singing version of "Singin in the Rain," and some good routines by Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, William Haines, Jack Benny, Joan Crawford, Marie Dressler, Polly Moran, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, and Charles King.... Only Marion Davies and Buster Keaton don't come off well....

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I read somewhere that "Hollywood Revue of 1929" is on laser disc,but darned if I can find it,and I've scoured the Internet. I love Norma Shearer,and would like to own it especially for the balcony scene from "Romeo and Juliet" that she does with John Gilbert,first as written,and then in a jazz-age slang version. I've seen clips from this film,but never the whole thing,and I'd also love to see the dance and song that flapper-era Joan Crawford does. Joan Crawford-singing???!!! LOL!

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Yes Joan Crawford does a song called "Come and See About Me," or something like that.... and she's pretty good..... The balcony scene is quite good with John Gilbert doing part of it in Pig Latin: I'm Utsnay about Ouyay." Then he and Norma Shearer go and chat with director, Lionel Barrymore and ad lib a few lines.... all in good fun.... but still the part that sets to tone for all early musicals is Cliff Edwards doing "Singin in the Rain," which is reprised with Marie Dressler, Polly Moran, and Bessie Love, who do a take-off of the wonderful Brox Sisters, who had a big hit of that song. Love it!

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maybe that's the title..... it's a snappy little song and she's pretty good..... people forget Joan almost always sang or danced in her early 30s films....

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