SHOW BOAT (James Whale, 1936)

The top musical tear-jerker of all time, and infinitely better than the next version (George Sidney, 1951) of the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein play based on Edna Ferber’s 1926 novel, James Whale’s melodious Show Boat covers a poignant stretch of years beginning in the late nineteenth century. Cap’n Andy Hawks operates a show boat presenting musical […]

BORN TO DANCE (Roy Del Ruth, 1936)

An amalgamation of elements from three recent films—Morning Glory (Lowell Sherman, 1933), 42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon, 1933), Follow the Fleet (Mark Sandrich, 1936)—and an anticipation of another hit, On the Town (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, 1949), Roy Del Ruth’s Born to Dance sings and dances and charms—except when it doesn’t. At 109 minutes it wears […]