Tag Archives: Showboat

Paul Robeson – Ol’ Man River

An evening pause: From the 1936 movie adaptation of the Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein Broadway musical Showboat. While some of the visuals are a bit overstated and feel a bit preachy, this is still the best movie version of this song I have seen. Rather than strut about with big visuals, the film focuses on Robeson, who sings the song introspectively, as if it is something he is thinking.

A bit of trivia: The film’s director was James Whale, the man who made the 1935 classic The Bride of Frankenstein.

Hat tip Edward Thelen.

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