Show Boat

Show Boat is a 1951 American musical romantic drama film, based on the 1927 stage musical of the same name by Jerome Kern (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (script and lyrics), and the 1926 novel by Edna Ferber. It was made by MGM, adapted for the screen by John Lee Mahin, produced by Arthur Freed and directed by George Sidney.


When the show boat Cotton Blossom arrives in a Mississippi town to give a performance, a fistfight breaks out between leading man Steve Baker and Pete, the boat's engineer who has been making passes at Steve's wife, leading lady Julie La Verne. Pete knows a dark secret about the couple: Julie is part black and therefore their marriage is illegal. When Pete shows up with the town sheriff, Baker pricks Julie's finger and sucks blood from it, meaning he now has "negro blood" in him as well. Unfortunately, since black and white actors are not allowed onstage together, Cap'n Andy is forced to dismiss the Bakers along with Pete.