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SUBJECTS — U.S./1865 - 1913 & Diversity; Cinema; Drama/Musicals;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Marriage; Romantic Relationships;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Respect.
Age: 11+; Not Rated; Musical; Two versions: 1936 ( 113 minutes, B & W) and 1951 (107 minutes, Color)
This is a musical about life on a Mississippi River gambling boat. The story is interesting, but the songs are incredibly beautiful. You will sing them to yourself with delight again and again and again: "Ol' Man River," "Make Believe," "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," and "Bill."
One of the performers on the boat is a mulatto woman trying to pass as white. The story revolves around her romance with a white man. Alcohol abuse and gambling addiction are problems for the characters.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide will show teachers how to use Show Boat to introduce this slice of life on the Mississippi and race discrimination in the Southern U.S. But the best thing to do is to just listen to the music.
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Show Boat, especially the 1936 version, contains fabulous music.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to create lesson plans, we have set out below excerpts from the first two sections of the Learning Guide to Show Boat.
Description: These films are adaptations of the 1927 Broadway musical. They feature memorable songs such as "Ol' Man River," "Make Believe," "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," and "Bill." Each version of the film has a slightly different focus, and its own strengths and weaknesses. Probably best for children is the 1951 version. It is in color, the plot is tighter (focusing on the tragic life of Julie LaVerne), the dancing is excellent, and there are fewer dated scenes. However, the 1936 version is preferred by many. It makes the black characters (Joe and Queenie) into real people and features Paul Robeson singing his incomparable rendition of "Ol' Man River."
Benefits: The songs in this musical are outstanding. The movie raises the issues of dysfunctional romantic relationships, alcoholism, gambling addiction, and prejudice against interracial marriage. The musical can also serve to introduce children to the Mississippi River.
The Learning Guide to the film Show Boat contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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