Show Boat (1929)

Poster of Show Boat (1929 film).jpgCarl Laemmle was born on January 17, 1867. A pioneering film maker he was able to use film techniques that were unheard of back then leading a whole new generation into the art of film. His name is legendary in many film circles because of what he started with the “talkies”. Originally, a silent film directer, Carl Laemmle is said to have produced Show Boat in 1929. Based on the novel by Edna Ferber, this classic film is believed to be lost. I have only seen a couple of scenes from this film due to this film being lost. None the less, I have decided to do a blog post on this movie for it is the first film where people were able to hear words from the screen.

The film is considered to be a love story when eighteen year old Magnolia marries against her fathers wishes. From there she and her husband, Gaylord Ravenal, take their children on a boat where she is hired as a singer. Soon after her husband abandons her due to his gambling issues leaving him broke. Eventually, Ravenal and Magnolia are reunited when he comes back on the Show Boat.

CarlLaemmle.jpgUnfortunately, there is not much of this film around to gather all the information of what a great movie this was. Up until 1929, most of the films had been silent. None the less, Carl Laemmle was able to produce a film where people were able to hear the voices off the screen leading to a new type of film that we all watch today. Silent films in themselves are wonderful to watch, but hearing the voices off the screen adds a voice to the character. Carl Laemmle was able to make this possible using technology that was unheard of.

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