Show Boat (1936) Script

♪ Darkie folk work While the white men play ♪

♪ Loadin' up boats Wid de bales of cotton ♪

♪ Gittin' no rest till the Judgment Day ♪

♪ Git yourself a brand-new gal ♪

♪ A lovin' baby Who's de apple of yo'' eye ♪

♪ Coal-black Rose or high-brown Sal ♪

♪ Dey all can cook de sparrer grass and chicken pie ♪

♪ Darkies all work on the Mississippi ♪

♪ Darkies all work While the white folks play ♪

♪ Loadin' up boats Wid de bales of cotton ♪

♪ Gittin' no rest till the Judgment Day ♪

♪ Cotton Blossom, Cotton Blossom ♪

♪ Love to see you growin' free ♪

♪ When dey pack you on the levee ♪

♪ You're a heavy load to me ♪

♪ Cotton Blossom, Cotton Blossom ♪

♪ Love to see you ♪ There's the showboat!

♪ Growin' wild ♪

♪ On de levee, you're too heavy ♪

♪ Fo' dis po' black child ♪

Gosh almighty, woman, what's eatin' ya?

Did you tell the band to wear their new uniforms?

Course I did. What did we get 'em for?

You'll have 'em all ruined!

Gosh almighty. Look at 'em there, waitin' for us.

That's our public.

Hi, public!

And now, folks, as soon as we tie up, I'm going to bring the entire troupe ashore, and we'll give you our monster parade!

Don't frown, Steve. Smile for your public.

If I ever catch that fellow Pete talking to you again, I'll break him in two.

Oh, don't do anything foolish, Steve.

What could a man like Pete ever mean to me?

Smile, darling.

Ain't he handsome?

That's Julie LaVerne, his leading lady.

Do you suppose he's in love with her?

Oh, I suppose so.

Get those pictures out front as fast as you can.

That's what I'm doing.

Outta my way, eight ball.

Who wants to get in your way?

Hey, you, wait a minute.

Whatcha want?

Where'd you get that gold brooch?

You mean this scrumptious piece 'a jewelry?

Yeah. Where'd you get it? It was gived to me.

Who give it to ya?

Ax me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies.

I know who give it to you, and she's going to be sorry, too.

All right, Miss Julie LaVerne, if that's how you feel about me...

Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to meet some of the greatest artists that ever played the river towns.

Miss Elly May Shipley, the toast of Cairo, Illinois.

Come on, Elly.

Now I want you to meet Mr. Frank Schultz.

Mr. Schultz is the villain in our plays.

Now, just to show you what we have in the way of comic talent, I want to call your attention to Rubber Face Smith, the funniest man in the world.

Give 'em a smile, Rubber Face.

Ain't that good?

Tell 'em much more, they won't have to see the show.

And now, folks, right over here, right over here, I want you to meet the little sweetheart of the South, Miss Julie LaVerne, our leading lady!

You all know her, you all love her. What more can I say?

And over here, we have another famous ornament of the stage, Mr. Stephen Baker, the handsomest leading man on the river.

Smile, darn ya, smile!

So here we are, folks, just one big, happy family.

Get outta here.

All right, boys, let her rip.

♪ Look what we got, look what we got ♪

♪ How can we fail? How can we fail? ♪

♪ Ya never seen a show like this before ♪

♪ We'll try and make your evening bright ♪

♪ And if you come around tonight ♪

♪ Tomorrow night You'll come around for more ♪ Cap'n Andy, you know how to make a show sound dandy.

Frank and Elly, come on, let's show 'em.

Give us a sample of the dance.

My land, he gives away a show for nothin'.

Come on, just a sample of the dance. Diddle-dee-dum.

Looking out to sea.

That was a fine thing to do, givin' my present to a colored cook.

Pete, if Steve ever knew about you sending me that brooch, I declare, he'd just about beat you to death.

Well, he'd better not try, and you better be pretty nice to me, or you'll be mighty sorry. I told you to stay away from my wife.

I reckon I won't do any more talkin' about it!

Steve! Please!


Please, get up there. Get up there!

Let go 'a me.

Well, folks, we had ya fooled that time, didn't we?

That was just a sample, just a sample.

The boys were just showing you one of the scenes from one of our plays.

That's the way they are, always skylarking, always playing pranks.

Just one big, happy family.

In case you should want me, I'll be havin' lunch at Mrs. Benson's.

All right, Parthy.

Well, Miss LaVerne, that was nice goin's on this mornin'.

It wasn't Julie's fault.

And you, protectin' her!

One thing I'm thankful fer: Magnolia wasn't there.

I don't want my daughter mixed up with you or anybody like you.

Mrs. Hawks, please don't say that.

Nola... Nola's just like a little sister to me.

Mr. Hawks, if I gotta stop seein' her, I just can't stay on the showboat.

I just can't!

Now ya done it. Now ya done it!

The best leading lady on the river.

Oh, Cap'n Andy, if Julie goes, would you give me a chance at the lead?

Why, Elly...

There ain't a funnier gal on the river than you are.

Oh, Cap'n Andy, don't!

Don't stamp your foot down on real actin' ability!

Leave go 'a my husband's knee!

And you! You think more of your showboat crew than you do of your own daughter's upbringin'.

Where I come from, no decent body'd touch this showboat riffraff with a ten-foot pole, let alone havin' their daughters mixed up with 'em.

I'll have more to say to you later.

Just one big, happy family.

♪ Who cares If my boat goes upstream ♪

♪ Or if the gale bids me go With the river's flow? ♪

♪ I drift along with my fancy ♪

♪ Sometimes I thank my lucky stars ♪

♪ My heart is free ♪ What are you lookin' at? I bet he's an aristocrat.

Yeah? Look at the cracks in his shoes.

♪ And other times I wonder "Where's the mate for me?" ♪


How do you do?

Do you live here?

Oh, no. I'm just a wayfarer along the river.

So am I. Which way are you going?

Either way. Where are you going?

Anywhere Papa gives shows.

Oh, are you a player?

You mean, like on the piano? Yes, I play a little.

Was that you I heard just now?

Yes, that was me.

What a pity.

Whadya say, mister?

When I asked if you were a player, I meant, are you an actress?

Oh! Oh, no. But I'd give anything if I could be.


Because you can make believe so many wonderful things that never happen in real life.

Oh, but wonderful things do happen.

Why, this very day, I was walking upon the levee, feeling blue, and suddenly, I looked up and...

I must go now. Oh, why?

Well, you see, you're talking to me, and I don't know you.

Does that really matter so much?

No. Not to me.

Well, if you like to make believe things, why not make believe that we know each other?

Oh, yes. And we haven't seen each other for 75 years, and you're my long-lost nephew.

There's a scene like that in a play called The Village Drunkard.

Oh, no, 75 years is too long.

Besides, you know, I don't think I'd like the idea of being your nephew.

Let's suppose we've just met.

Well, we really have.

Well... let's suppose we've fallen in love at first sight.

♪ Only make believe I love you ♪

♪ Only make believe that you love me ♪

♪ Others find peace of mind In pretending ♪

♪ Couldn't you? ♪

♪ Couldn't I? Couldn't we? ♪

♪ Make believe our lips are blending ♪

♪ In a phantom kiss ♪

♪ Or two or three ♪

♪ Might as well make believe ♪

♪ I love you ♪

♪ For to tell the truth ♪

♪ I do ♪

♪ The game of just supposing ♪

♪ Is the sweetest game I know ♪

♪ Our dreams are more romantic ♪

♪ Than the world we see ♪

♪ And if the things we dream about ♪

♪ Don't happen to be so ♪

♪ That's just An non-important technicality ♪

♪ Though the cold and brutal fact is ♪

♪ You and I have never met ♪

♪ We need not mind convention's P's and Q's ♪

♪ If we put our thoughts in practice ♪

♪ We can banish all regret ♪

♪ Imagining most anything ♪

♪ We choose ♪

♪ We could make believe ♪

♪ I love you ♪

♪ We could make believe that you love me ♪

♪ Might as well make believe ♪

♪ I love you ♪

♪ For to tell the truth ♪

♪ I do ♪


You will excuse me, ma'am.

The judge'd like to see you.

What for?

Nothing serious, but you'd better come along and have a talk with him.

If you'll excuse me, ma'am. I hope to see you again in a little while.


Joe! Where you been, slowpoke?

Why you all draggin' dem big feet like they's chunks 'a lead?

Take your time, Queenie.

Take my time? I gotta have that flour to bake the bread with.

Dey won't run away from you, Queenie.

And if it do, there'll always be tomorra'.

Gimme that flour. Gimme it!

Queenie, you got anything else for me to do?

'Cause why?

'Cause if you ain't, I got some whittlin' left over from this mornin'.

I'd like to get it finished.

Joe, I believe you da laziest man dat ever lived on dis river.

On dis river, Queenie? That's sayin' a whole lot.

Yeah, that's sayin' a whole lot.

Der'll be some taters to peel later, and when I yell for ya, you come in and make it quick!

Lazy, good-for-nothin'.


Hello, Miss Nola. I didn't know you was up there.

Did you see that young man in the sheriff's buggy?

Yep, I seen him. I seen lots like him along da river.

Oh, but, Joe, he was such a gentleman.

Have you seen Miss Julie? I gotta tell her.

I gotta ask her what she thinks.

Julie! Julie!

Ask Miss Julie what she thinks.

Better ask Ol' River what he thinks.

He knows all about dem boys.

He knows all about everything.

♪ There's an ol' man Called the Mississippi ♪

♪ Dat's the ol' man that I'd like to be ♪

♪ What does he care If da world's got troubles? ♪

♪ What does he care If da land ain't free? ♪

♪ Ol' Man River, that Ol' Man River ♪

♪ He must know somethin' But don't say nothin' ♪

♪ He just keeps rollin' ♪

♪ He keeps on rollin' along ♪

♪ He don't plant taters He don't plant cotton ♪

♪ An' dem dat plants 'em Is soon forgotten ♪

♪ But Ol' Man River ♪

♪ He just keeps rollin' along ♪

♪ You and me, we sweat and strain ♪

♪ Body all achin' and racked wid pain ♪

♪ "Tote dat barge" ♪

♪ "Lift dat bale" ♪

♪ Ya gets a little drunk ♪

♪ And ya lands in jail ♪

♪ I gets weary and sick of tryin' ♪

♪ I'm tired of livin'' And scared of dyin' ♪

♪ But Ol' Man River ♪

♪ He just keeps rollin' ♪

♪ Along ♪

♪ Darkies all work on the Mississippi ♪

♪ Darkies all work While the white folks play ♪

♪ Pullin' those boats From the dawn till sunset ♪

♪ Gettin' no rest till the Judgment Day ♪

♪ Don't look up an' don't look down ♪

♪ You don't da'st makes The white ones frown ♪

♪ Bend your knees and bow your head ♪

♪ And pull dat rope until you're dead ♪

♪ Let me go 'way from the Mississippi ♪

♪ Let me go 'way from the white man boss ♪

♪ Show me dat stream Called da River Jordan ♪

♪ Dat's the only stream Dat I longs to cross ♪

♪ Ol' Man River, dat Ol' Man River ♪

♪ He must know somethin' But don't say nothin' ♪

♪ He just keeps rollin' He keeps on rollin' along ♪

♪ The long, ol' river Forever keeps rollin' on ♪

♪ He don't plant taters He don't plant cotton ♪

♪ And dem that plants 'em Is soon forgotten ♪

♪ But Ol' Man River He just keeps rollin' along ♪

♪ The long, ol' river Keeps hearin' that song ♪

♪ You and me, we sweat and strain ♪

♪ Body all achin' and racked wid pain ♪

♪ "Tote dat barge" ♪

♪ "Lift dat bale" ♪

♪ Ya gets a little drunk ♪

♪ And ya lands in jail ♪

♪ I gets weary and sick of tryin' ♪

♪ I'm tired of livin'' And scared of dyin' ♪

♪ But Ol' Man River ♪

♪ He just keeps rollin' ♪

♪ Along ♪

Don't say anything to your mother about my meeting you here in the kitchen.

Why? Never mind.

Now tell me all about this man. Who is he?

Well, I don't know. He was standing on the wharf, and I was standing on the top deck, and he looked so different from everybody else and so ‒ so beautiful.

Julie, he said he liked me. Ya think he meant it?

I don't know.

I don't know as I like you to go falling in love with some man no one ever heard of.

Suppose he turned out to be just a no-account river fella?

Well, if I found out he was no-account, I'd stop lovin' him.

Oh, no, you wouldn't.

Once a girl like you starts to love a man, she don't stop so easy.

Well, couldn't you stop loving Steve if he treated you mean?

No, honey. No matter what he did.

Why do you love Steve?

Oh, I dunno. He's such a bad actor on the stage.

He thinks he's so good.

Maybe that's why I love him.

Ya see, Nola, love is such a funny thing.

There's no sense to it.

That's why you've got to be so careful when it comes creepin' up on you.

It's like the thing you always sing about when we take our walks.

♪ Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly ♪

♪ I gotta love one man till I die ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' that man of mine ♪ That's it.

♪ Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow ♪

♪ Tell me I'm crazy, maybe I know ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' that man of mine ♪ How come you all know dat song?

Why? Do you know it, Queenie?

Sure, I does, but I didn't ever hear anybody but colored folks sing dat song.

Sounds funny for Miss Julie to know it.

Julie sings it all the time.

Can ya sing da whole thing?

Course I can. What's so funny about that?

♪ Oh, listen, sister I love my mister man ♪

♪ And I can't tell you why ♪

♪ There ain't no reason Why I should love that man ♪

♪ It must be somethin' ♪

♪ That the angels done planned ♪

♪ Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly ♪

♪ I gotta love one man till I die ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' that man of mine ♪

♪ Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow ♪

♪ Tell me I'm crazy, maybe I know ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' that man of mine ♪

♪ When he goes away ♪

♪ That's a rainy day ♪

♪ But when he comes back ♪

♪ The day is fine ♪

♪ The sun will shine ♪

♪ He can come home as late as can be ♪

♪ Home without him ain't no home to me ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' that man of mine ♪ Dat's beautiful, Miss Julie.

Why, dat's my favorite song.

♪ Mah man is shiftless ♪

♪ And good-for-nothin' too ♪

♪ He's mah man just the same ♪

♪ He's never near me When der's work to do ♪

♪ He's never 'round you When there's workin' to do ♪

♪ Da chimney's smokin' Da roof is sinkin' in ♪

♪ But he don't seem to care ♪

♪ He can be happy with just a sip of gin ♪

♪ Why you all talkin' about gin? ♪

♪ I even loves him When his kisses got gin ♪

♪ Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly ♪

♪ I gotta love one man till I die ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' that man of mine ♪

♪ Or else she ain't my gal ♪

♪ Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow ♪

♪ Tell me I'm crazy, maybe I know ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' that man of mine ♪

♪ She's just as crazy 'bout me ♪

- ♪ When he goes away ♪ ♪ Dat's lovin' ♪

- ♪ Dat's a rainy day ♪ ♪ Dat's lovin' ♪

♪ But when he comes back The day is fine ♪ Look at dat gal shuffle.

♪ He can come home as late as can be ♪

♪ Home without him ain't no home to me ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' dat man of mine ♪ Magnolia!

Say, dealer, what was the turn?

Ace won, and king lost.

Raise you 30 more.

Fifty more on the king.

Who's that sportin' gambler over there?

Name's Gaylord Ravenal. Sounds familiar.

Yeah. He got in a little fuss here about a year ago.

Proved self-defense and got out.

The judge just told him he'd better clear outta here by nightfall.

Waiter! We'll be late for rehearsal.

One more an' we'll go.

Can I talk to you, Sheriff? Yeah, if ya got anything to say.

See that?

Why, that's Miss Julie LaVerne, ain't it?

Yeah. That's what she calls herself since she got married to a white man.

Whadya mean? Frank, come over here.

I want you to hear this. You, too, Elly.

Sit down and explain yourself.

And you make sure you know what you're talkin' about.

All right, everybody, let's go on with the rehearsal.

Good evening, Miss Lucy.

I was absorbed in meditation and did not realize night had fallen.

The days are growing shorter, Hamilton, but they're long when one is waiting.

As I came across the field, I saw the cattle being driven home by your faithful dog.

You got that, Rubber Face?

Yep. I got a cowbell.

It t'ain't a cowbell.

It says here, "a cow's moo offstage."

Have you got a moo affect? Oh, I can do that myself.


Try that again, a little deeper.


No, I guess you better ring the bell.

May I make a suggestion, Captain? Huh?

I thought it'd be a good idea if, while I was talking over there, for Frank to pass by the window and peek through, like this.

You can't do it. Room's supposed to be on the second floor.

Frank couldn't look through the window if it was on the second floor.

I don't think it'd be any good anyway.

Julie let me study her part. I know every line and all the business.

If you forget anything, ask me.

You stick to the piano, young lady. No playactin' for you.

All right, now try it.

Well, there you are! You're late.

I'll explain later. Steve, I got somethin' to tell you.

Where's Frank? He's comin'.

Is that all you're going to say to her?

She said she'd explain later, didn't she? Hmph!

Fine disciplinin' this troupe's got. Hmph!

He'll be here any second.

All right, so long as we're waiting for Frank, we'll cut right down to his entrance.

All right, Steve.

Oh. All right.

Miss Lucy, although I wear the clothes ‒ Garb.

...garb of a parson, beneath these somber vestments, there is the heart of a man that beats for you alone.


They'll be here any second.

Embrace over. Then what?

Then... and then I say, uh... I say...

Prompt her, Nolie. "Hamilton, my own, my..."

Papa, look at Julie! What's the matter?

Julie's sick. What's the matter, Julie?

Land sakes!

Ya sure ya won't be feelin' better by tonight?

No, no. Let me alone. Can't you leave me alone?

Hello, Windy. What are you doing here?

Just come over to warn ya.

Seen Pete comin' along the levee with the sheriff.

Be along any minute.

Well, let him come on board. Our license is paid.

Seems that skunk Pete's up to somethin'.

Seen him yank a picture of Julie out of a frame on the levee.

I seen him.

What are we going to do?

Stay right here. You know what I told you.

Steve! What are you doing with that knife?

I'm not going to hurt her, you fool.

Leave me be. I know what I'm doing.

It won't hurt much, darling.


Hello, Windy.

Captain Hawks, do you acknowledge to be owner of the showboat?

Why, of course I do.

What do you want? Well, Captain, I have an unpleasant duty.

I understand that you have a miscegenation case on board.

What's that mean, Mom? How's that?

A case of a Negro woman married to a white man, a criminal offense in this state.

No. No such thing on board this boat.

The name of the white man is Steve Baker.

The name of the Negress...

The name of the Negress is Julie Dozier.

Which one's them?

I'm Steve Baker. This is my wife.

Julie Dozier, my information says you were born in Mississippi.

Your pop was white, your mammy black.

Is that right? Yes, that's right.

You two better get your things and come along with me.

You wouldn't call a man a white man that had Negro blood in him, would ya?

No, I wouldn't, not in Mississippi.

One drop of Negro blood makes you a Negro in these parts.

Well, I got more 'an a drop of Negro blood in me, and that's a fact.

Are you ready to swear that in a court of law?

I'll swear to it anyplace.

I'll do more than that.

Look at all these folks here.

Every one of 'em can swear that I got Negro blood in me this minute.

That's how white I am.

Well, I've seen fairer men than you that were Negroes.

Still, you better tell that to the judge.

Ike Vallon, you known me the better part of 25 years.

I was keel-boatin' when you was runnin' barefoot round the landin'.

Now, I'm tellin' you ‒ me, Windy McClain ‒ that that there white man's got Negro blood in him.

But this fellow told me ‒ I don't care what anybody told you.

I'm takin' my oath on what I just said.

Steve's got Negro blood in him.

Do you all stand by what Windy just said?

'A course we do.

You look like a respectable woman.

I am.

Windy wouldn't tell a lie to save his own life.

You know that, Sheriff. Yes, yes, I know.

I reckon I'll have to take Windy's word for it.

But from now on, it's your business and not mine.

And I warn ya ‒ If these folks around here ever got wind that you've got Negroes acting with whites, they'll ride you outta town on somethin' that won't set so easy as a bull.

Go on! Get away from that winda'! Go on about your business. Break it up!

Now you go! Both of you!

You needn't look at us like that. We're not going to hurt you.

We're going right away. Come on, honey.

Julie! Julie! You shut up.

Julie, wait! Nola, where are you goin'?

I'm goin' to Julie! You come back here this instant.

No daughter of mine's gonna talk to that ‒ Let me go, Mother!

Well, Hawks, you see what your showboat's done to your daughter.

I think my showboat's made a darn fine gal outta my daughter.

But where do we go from here? Hanged if I know.

We can't give no more shows without a leading man.

Or a leading lady.

I can play the lead, can't I?

No. You're a comedian.

I was thinkin' maybe we'd let Nolie jump in.

She knows all the parts.

Over my dead body.

There never was an actress in my family, and there ain't going to be.

Now, if only there was anybody to play Steve's parts.

Well, what about Frank?

Fine leading man he'd make with that face and those flat feet.

I never asked to play leads, did I?

I never set up to be a beauty.

Just a minute, Cap'n!

Mercy! Something must be on fire, the way Queenie's runnin'.

Now what's the trouble, Queenie?

There's a powerful fine-lookin' fellow out here.

Wants to know if you all could accommodate him by takin' him down the river far as the next town.

We don't carry no passen ‒ Fine-lookin', did you say? Is he an actor?

Might be, but he seems more like da kind of a gentleman it's a pleasure to wait on.

Dar he is.

I thought, sir, if I could have a bed on your boat tonight, I could pay my way as far as Fort Adams.

Ya ain't an actor, are ya?

An actor, sir? No, Captain.

I'm a Ravenal.

Gaylord Ravenal is my name, of the Tennessee Ravenals.

I knew it. He looked like an aristocrat to me.

Aristocrat? Looks more like a river gambler.

Well, I'm going to take a chance.

Look here, sir.

I'm looking for a juvenile leading man.

Am I to understand you're offering me the position, sir?

That Andy Hawks will wind up in a lunatic asylum yet.

And if you can play the parts to my satisfaction, I'll give you $15 a week and a chance to see the world.

I've seen it.

We don't usually pick up actors off the wharves, but we can't be choosy just now.

Madam, your courtesy is only exceeded by your charm.

Mother! Father!

Don't let them go, please, Papa!

Don't send Julie and Steve away like this.

Nobody'll know about 'em in the next town.

Julie's my friend, Papa.

That's a nice thing to say.

Well, she is! She is!

She's been my friend ever since she's been on this boat, and if you're gonna send her away for something she can't help, I'll go too!

Nola! Now, Nola, don't talk nonsense.

You gotta stay here with your mother, no matter what.

And another thing, I'm depending on you to play the leads till we can get somebody.

See, Nola? What a chance for you. I just know you can act.

And if this young man wants to play the leads and play opposite you, I can get you both ready by tomorrow night.

Are you a quick study? Lightning.

Ready, Julie?

I didn't have time to get everything together, Captain.

If you'll bundle up our trash and leave it at the post office in New Orleans, we'll pick it up.

Ya need any money, Steve?

No. I guess we'll make out all right.

Thanks. Goodbye.

Bye, Steve.

Forget it.

Goodbye, Nola.

I'll write to you, 'n you write to me, 'n tell me all about everything.

Julie! Julie!

Don't look back, darling.

Bye, Mas'er Steve.

G'bye, Miss Julie.

Bye, Joe. Goodbye, Joe.


Elly, we ain't got much time.

Mr. Ravenal, I wanna see how you handle dialogue.

Will you read that speech right there?

Now, the idea of this character is, you're in love with her.

Now, come on. Just a sample.

What do I do, Papa? Oh, you just smile. That'll get him.

"Miss Lucy, will you be mine?"

Gosh, no. Nothin' like it.

More feelin'. More like ya meant it.

Ya love her. Gosh almighty, man, ya love her!

Go on and tell her. Oh, I understand.

Miss Lucy, will you be mine?

Did you like it, Mrs. Hewly?

Oh, I've seen Eastland four times, and I liked it better than ever before.

Don't ya think the leading man is gorgeous?

Yes. He took his part on quite good.

I liked the leading lady the best, though.

Did you understand the moral of the play, my dear?

Oh, sure, Mom. Did you see how he kissed her?

Yes. I hardly thought that was in the best of taste.

Well, that's show business.

What's show business?

I've been troupin' up and down this river for 12 years.

Nobody ever heard 'a me.

This Ravenal has been acting exactly three weeks.

They make a star out of him.

I feel the same way, Frank.

Look at Magnolia.

Her picture with Ravenal is on all the posters.

We're not in town an hour before Cap'n Andy has their faces on every ash can.

You want to know the secret of their quick success?

They're falling in love with each other. What's that got to do with it?

Well, they make love on the stage, and it rings true.

Hmph. That's why they're a hit.

Well, I've been playing opposite you for five years, and I love you.

Yeah, but maybe I don't love you.

So, you're responsible for our failure!

We'll never be stars on this showboat.

You talk as if you expected to live on this barge the rest of your life.

Ain't ya got no ambition?

Sure, I got ambition.

I wanna marry you.

You know our rules, Mr. Schultz.

No gentlemen allowed in no lady's dressing room.

He was only waitin' while I ‒ You know the rules, too, Miss Shipley.

Out, Mr. Schultz!

Hello, Frank. Hello, Ravenal.

Uh ‒

The show, uh ‒ Uh ‒ The show seemed to go well tonight. Yes, didn't it?

Yes, it did.

Hasn't the weather been fine?

Yes, hasn't the weather been fine?

Well, good night.

Good night.

It seems to me I've seen that stocking someplace.

Where could it have been?

Don't you belong to a Miss Magnolia Hawks?

I thought so.

Next time you see her, will you give her a message for me?

I can talk to you better than I can to her.

I always get flustered when I try to say anything to her.

Tell her...

Tell her you saw the young man who lives upstairs, and ‒ Well, that's just the point.

I have the room above her.

♪ She doesn't know I love her ♪

♪ How could she know I love her? ♪

♪ Sitting in her room below ♪

♪ Sitting in her room below ♪

♪ How could she dream ♪

♪ How far a dream could go? ♪

♪ Sometimes we meet ♪

♪ She smiles and, oh, her smile's divine ♪

♪ It's such a treat to hear her say ♪

♪ "Hasn't the weather been fine?" ♪

♪ I blush and stammer badly ♪

♪ My heart is beating madly ♪

♪ Then she goes into her room ♪

♪ And I go sadly up to mine ♪

♪ A lover more impetuous than I ♪

♪ Would say his say Or know the reason why ♪

♪ But when I get my chance ♪

♪ I let my chance go by ♪

♪ I have the room above her ♪

♪ She doesn't know I love her ♪

♪ How could she know I love her? ♪

♪ Sitting in her room below ♪

♪ Sitting in her room below ♪

♪ How could she dream How far a dream could go? ♪

♪ Sometimes we meet ♪

♪ He smiles and, oh, his smile's divine ♪

♪ It's such a treat to hear him say ♪

♪ "Hasn't the weather been fine?" ♪

♪ I blush and stammer badly ♪

♪ My heart is beating madly ♪

♪ Then he goes up to his room ♪

♪ And I go sadly into mine ♪

Isn't it a beautiful night?

Yes. It's so light. Where's the moon?

We could see it better if we went up on top deck.

Oh, no, I couldn't.

I'll wait up there for you.

Oh, you came. I was afraid you wouldn't.

I can't stay. Oh, but you can, a little while.

Not a minute. Mother saw me.

I told her I was coming up here to the water barrel to get a drink.

Good. Then she said she was thirsty, too.

So I'll have to hurry and take it right down to her, or she'll get suspicious.

Will you ‒ Will you come up again tomorrow night?

And every night?


Shut up and come to bed, you old...

Oh. Oh, I'm sorry. I'll fill it for you.

Will you forgive me, Magnolia?

Yes... Gay.

♪ Then she goes down to her room ♪

♪ And I go sadly back to mine ♪

Hawks, come outside.

I can't leave the box office. Yes, you can.

Frank'll take it for you. He's doin' nothin'.

There's some things more important than sellin' tickets.

Well, I'd like to know what they are.

That's what I'm going to tell you. Come out!

Oh, come on, Frank.

Oh, all right.

What do you want? What is it now?

Listen to this.

"Dear Mrs. Hawks, I know Captain Andy don't like me."

Who is it? Pete.

I don't like him.

"But I got somethin' of interest to tell him about Gaylord Ravenal."

That's the man your daughter's gallivantin' with.

Bah! "I hear The Cotton Palace comes back to Natchez next Thursday.

I can be reached at the above address in Fayette.

Faithfully, Pete Gavin."

Well, what have you got to say now?

I say forget it.

Forget it? Yes, forget it!

And when I say forget it... forget it!

Soon as we arrive in Natchez tomorrow, I'm goin' over to Fayette.

It's two hours away, but I'll make the trip.

Are you comin' along with me? I ain't.

All right. It's good someone has a sense of duty.

I like Ravenal. He's a right smart young man.

He's the best leading man we ever had.

Shifty, that's what he is.

Mark my words, if you asked around about him, you'd find something queer.

For all he says he's a Ravenal of Tennessee.

He is a Ravenal! He says he is.

Didn't he show me the church and the tombstone of his folks?

Hawks, you're a zany.

I could tell you my name was Bonaparte and show you Napoleon's tomb.

That wouldn't make him my grandfather, would it?

This the boat where they have the playactin'?

Y-Yes, sir. Two seats? Yeah.

Seein's how this is the first show we ever seed, you better give me and my friend Zebe here the best two seats in the theater.

I got two left in the stage box, 35 cents apiece.

There ya are.

Thar, Zebe. Hey, come back here.

What's a' matter?

Excuse me, sir, but this is Confederate money.

That's the kind we use in the hills. It's as good as yours, ain't it?

Better. But-But ‒ Well.

But what?

Look at this quarter. It don't ring.

It don't ‒ It don't ring!

What do ya want for two bits? Sleigh bells?

Eh! Come on, Zebe.

I want my mama!

I want my mama!

Remember, Lucy, I'm tellin' you this because I'm your sister.

This is a man's world, as I know to my sorrow, heaven help us.

Young girls like us are like flowers.

We bloom in the sunshine till plucked by a passing mule.

"Male." What?



What are we? Ornaments.

Bright nosegays to be worn in boutonnieres, then cast aside to float along on the tide of eternity like "Flokesome" and "Jokesome" on the sea.

That's pretty talk, gal. Shh!

"And remember, I'm your sister." Huh?

"And remember, I'm your sister."

Yes, I know. Don't tell me.

And remember, I'm your sister, and if any harm should come to you, I'd never forgive myself.

I wonder what can be keeping Parson Brown.

He promised to be here before dark, and the twilight is fast fading into night.

Fading into night.

Yes, the twilight is fast fading into night!

Hamilton Brown, noble soul, dare I hope that that look in your eye bespeaks the love which in my heart of hearts I long for with every fiber of my being?

Oh, love. Nolie.

Oh, love. Wait a minute, Nolie.

Excuse me, folks. Is Seth Purty in the house?

Yes, sir.

Your missus just sent a message over.

Her sister's took sick with the fever, and you got to drive her over to Centerville.

All right, Nolie.

Oh, love, love, 5:00.

Can it be he will not keep his tryst with me?


Ah, there's the bell.

It must be Parson Brown at last.

Good evening, Miss Lucy.

I was absorbed in meditation and did not realize night had fallen.

The days are growing shorter, Hamilton, but they are long when one is waiting.

As I came across the field, I saw the cattle being driven home by your faithful dog.

Moo. Moo. Moo!

Shut up!

Miss Lucy, although I wear the garb of a parson, beneath these somber vestments is the heart of a man that beats for you alone.

Oh, Hamilton. My own, my own.

Will you be my cherished bride?

Oh, Hamilton.

Will you? Yes.

Ahem. Ahem.

Ahem! Ahem!

Oh, Magnolia.

Uh, Miss Lucy ‒ Lucy, you have made me the happiest man in the world.

Little did I think I could ever be so happy again.

It's ten minutes past 5:00.

I must go now to the Ladies' Aid Society meeting.

Will you come with me and let me announce our betrothal?

We must not forget our work in our newfound happiness.

I will stay here and correct the examination papers of my little pupils.

Very well then.

Goodbye until tomorrow, beloved.

Goodbye, my own dear Hamilton.

Meet me up near the water barrel. I have something important to tell you.

To think that after my first marriage with that drunken beast, I could ever be loved by such a man as Hamilton Brown.

My husband!

I reckon you thought I was dead, gal.

Well, I'm about the liveliest corpse you ever saw.

Too bad you won't be able to marry Hamilton Brown.

Hamilton Brown!

Why don't he let her alone?

Don't spoil my one chance for happiness.

Is there no mercy in your evil soul?

Please, please, go away. Don't wreck my life again.

I'll give you a chance, girl.

A thousand dollars, and quick, or you don't walk down no aisle to no wedding march.

But I haven't got it! Where's the money?

Where's the money you've been savin' all these years?

Let that girl alone!

I haven't got a thousand dollars. I swear it!

Oh, ya haven't, ain't ya?

For years, I've waited for this chance.

At last, I have you in my power.

Oh! Oh!

I warned ya!


Schultz! That's right. Git!

Schultz! Schultz! Come back here!

Let go of her, you swine. Let go ‒ Where is he?

Let her down, Rubber Face! Curtain!

Quiet, folks. Quiet.

I'm sorry I had to ring down the curtain before the act was over, but the fact is, our heavy man, Mr. Schultz, was suddenly took sick.

He gets a spell like that every once in a while.



Take it up, Rubber Face. Take it up. Take it up.

Go on. Take it up!

Now, folks, just before Mr. Schultz was tooken with that attack, he and the parson were on the verge of going into one of the most sensational hand-to-hand struggles to the death ever seen on any stage.

Now, when Egbert sees the parson coming in through this door, he should have said...

"I'm glad ya come when ya did."

And with that... he hauls off and hits the parson.

But the parson knows a thing or two.

And he gives Egbert somethin' he ain't lookin' for.

"Take that, you cur!"

And down goes Egbert.

Egbert, realizing that he ain't going to win the fight by fair means, resorts to foul.

He grabs the parson around the waist and back-heels him.

"Let go of me, I say. Let go of me, I say!"

Ow. In the meantime, Lucy is over here, praying for her beloved.

Now comes the big dramatic moment.

Egbert, the dirty skunk, reaches in his pocket, pulls out a monkey wrench with which he hits the parson.

"Ugh!" The parson groans.


Reels and falls.

Egbert is about to beat the parson's brains out when Lucy says, "Do with me what you will, but spare my Hamilton!"

Now ‒ Now, as though Providence had heard her prayer, the door swings open, and through that door there in walks Emmy, the errant foster sister of Lucy, ready to right the wrong she'd done poor Lucy.

Quick as lightning, Emmy, looking at the prostrate form of the parson and the weeping figure of her heartbroken sister begging Egbert to spare the parson, grabs the water ‒ grabs the water pitcher ‒ Where's the water pitcher? The water pitcher!

Sneaks up on Egbert and says, "The wages of sin is death!"

And she kills the dirty rascal deader than a doornail.

Now, that's what you would have seen if it hadn't 'a been for Mr. Schultz being tooken sick when he was.

Hurry up, Miss Nola.

Cap'n Andy said he'll keep talkin' till you're ready.

All right.

Set her down, Rubber Face. Set her down.

And now, folks ‒ Folks, I want you to know, I want you to know I always put on strong moral plays.

I've been 20 years on this here river, and I ain't never put on a show yet where virtue ain't won out.

Of course, I had some tight squeezes sometimes.

And now we'll go right on with the olio.

The first number on the program will be a little Southern song solo with banjo by Miss Magnolia Hawks.

Take it away, Rubber. Take it away.

Give 'em a smile, Nolie. Give 'em a smile.

♪ Liza Matilda Hill ♪

♪ Visited friends in Louisville ♪

♪ Then came back home ♪

♪ Her man was waitin' at her front door ♪

♪ Jealous and sore ♪

♪ Askin' questions ♪

♪ "Liza Matilda Hill ♪

♪ What did you do in Louisville ♪

♪ So far from home?" ♪

♪ She said, "Hon, I had fun ♪

♪ Here's all that I done done" ♪

♪ Been gallivantin' around ♪

♪ Just gallivantin'' around ♪

♪ My feet been off of the ground ♪

♪ Been gallivantin' around ♪

♪ Been dancin' all night long ♪

♪ Gettin' home to bed I don't know when ♪

♪ There's no tellin' All the times I fell in love ♪

♪ And out again ♪

♪ Been gallivantin' around ♪

♪ But now I reckon I'm through ♪

♪ 'Cause now I reckon I found ♪

♪ It's more fun lovin' you ♪

Rubber Face. How are you, Cap'n Andy?

Almost time for the moon effect.

Is everything set? Are ya ready?

I'm ready's brother.

Looks kinda complicated.

I better do this myself.

♪ Been gallivantin' around ♪

♪ Just gallivantin'' around ♪

♪ My feet been off of the ground ♪

♪ Been gallivantin' around ♪

♪ Been dancin' all night long ♪

♪ Gettin' home to bed I don't know when ♪ That always gets 'em.

♪ I fell in love and out again ♪

♪ Been gallivantin' around ♪

♪ But now I reckon I'm through ♪

♪ 'Cause now I reckon I found... ♪

♪ It's no fun lovin' you ♪

Oh, I can't stand these stolen seconds any longer, these secret meetings.

I want you all to myself, forever.

Nola, dearest, I want to take you away with me.

I want to show you a world you've never dreamed of: cities, theaters, restaurants, people, and you and I together, enjoying all those things.

Gay, don't be angry, but can you afford ‒ Magnolia, it's not the place of a gentlewoman to share her husband's business worries.

Now, I will provide for you.

You must trust me, dear. Oh, I do. I do.

And, Nola, I want you to marry me here in Natchez tomorrow.

But Mother.

We won't tell her till after we've done it.

But Father.

I spoke to him tonight. He gave me the idea himself.

Father gave you the idea of marrying me?

No, goose.

Doing it after the parade in the morning at that lovely little church at the other end of town without your mother knowing.

You say Father thought of that?

Did you hear anything?

It sounded like someone on the stairs. Suppose it's Mother.

What'll we say we're doing up here?


Rehearsing, here?

To get the right atmosphere. Moonlight on the water and everything.

Come. Put your arm around me.


Remember how your father directed us?

He said, "Look up in his eyes like you loved him."

That's it.

♪ You are love ♪

♪ Here in my arms ♪

♪ Where you belong ♪

♪ And here you will stay ♪

♪ I'll not let you away ♪

♪ I want day after day ♪

♪ With you ♪

♪ You are love ♪

♪ Bud of romance unfurled ♪

♪ You taught me to see ♪

♪ One truth forever true ♪

♪ You are love ♪

♪ Wonder of all the world ♪

♪ Where you go with me ♪

♪ Heaven will ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ Be ♪

Faster! Faster!

Gosh almighty, it's Parthy.

He's a murderer.


You're letting my daughter marry a murderer.

Who's a murderer? That Ravenal.

He killed a man! Gay!

Then why ain't he in jail or hanged?

The jury figured the gentleman he killed oughta have went anyhow.

Andy Hawks, are you going to stand there and let your only child marry a murderer?

Oh, don't be so narrow-minded, Mrs. Hawks.

I killed a man meself once.

You killed? Yes, me.

Now, are ya comin' with us, or ain't ya?

They're going to be married.

Married to a murderer. Oh!

She's fainted!

Are ya sure? She's out.

Good! Now we'll go on with the wedding.

I now pronounce you man and wife.

♪ He just keeps rollin' ♪

♪ He keeps on rollin' along ♪

Dere you go again.

Look at dem peas all over da flo'.

River done it. Da river done it?

That ol' river can do most anything, Queenie.

Look out dere what it's doin' now.

Won't let us give no show tonight.

Show? Dat don't worry me none.

Dere's somethin' else on this old boat worries me more.

Miss Nola? Dat's what.

She'll be all right.

Dat's what you say about everything.

You don't get excited. Why? 'Cause you don't do nothin'.

You don't cook like me. You don't act like da show folks.

You don't work on da towboat. What do ya do?

Well, I just shell them peas.

You ain't pickin' 'em up.

No, but I could've if you didn't do it.

I could do a lot of things if it was necessary.

Den why don't you?

'Cause it ain't necessary.

♪ Keep on naggin' ♪

♪ And bullyraggin' and criticizin' ♪

♪ And call me pizen ♪

♪ I ain't apologizin' ♪

♪ No, sirree ♪

♪ No matter what you say ♪

♪ Ah still suits me ♪

♪ The rag you're chewin' must be a ruin ♪

♪ Keep right on knockin' ♪

♪ Keep right on mockin' ♪

♪ My rockin' chair ain't rockin' ♪

♪ No, sirree ♪

♪ No matter what you say ♪

♪ Ah still suits me ♪

♪ Does you ever wash the dishes? Does you do the things I wishes? ♪

♪ Does you do 'em? No, you don't ♪

♪ Will ya do 'em? No, ya won't ♪

♪ When there's any workin' to it ♪

♪ I'm the one that's gotta do it ♪

♪ When it's rainin', who's the fella ♪

♪ Uses up da whole umbrella? ♪

♪ Selfish as a man can be ♪

♪ No matter what you say ♪

♪ Ah still suits me ♪

♪ You don't make money ♪

♪ I know dat, honey ♪

♪ Ah never see none ♪

♪ Ain't gonna be none ♪

♪ But that don't worry me none ♪

♪ No, sirree ♪

♪ Shiftless, lifeless, no good! ♪

♪ No matter what you say ♪

♪ Ah still suits me ♪

♪ I may be no good No good for your good ♪

♪ I may be lifeless But with one wife less ♪

♪ My life would be more strifeless ♪

♪ Yes, sirree ♪

♪ No matter what you say ♪

♪ Ah still suits me ♪

♪ "Does ya ever wash da dishes? Does ya do the things I wishes? ♪

♪ Does ya do them? No, you don't ♪

♪ Will ya do them? No, you won't" ♪

♪ Always imitatin' me And always aggravatin' me ♪

♪ Then, in spite of everything In spite of all the grief you bring ♪

♪ Expectin' me to love you, too ♪

♪ No matter what you say ♪

♪ I thinks you do ♪

Queenie? Queenie!

Mrs. Hawks wants you to bring some hot water up to Miss Nola's room.

My goodness!

You and me and Mrs. Hawks will have to do all we can.

There's no way to get a doctor out here tonight.

I'll get a doctor.

You'll get a doctor?

Well, I never seen Joe move dat fast before.

Where's Gay? Where's my Gay?

Suppose he's drowned.

He ain't drowned.

Gay and Frank probably couldn't get back to the boat.

Most likely, they're stayin' at a hotel till the mornin'.

And his baby bein' born.

Gay didn't know it.

We didn't think that...

It's much sooner.

How could Gay know it?

Of course he couldn't. Now, now, don't get excited, deary.

Ah, lie back. That's a girl.

Three jacks.

He wins again.

Beats tens and deuces.

By George, it's 2:30.

Aw, come on. You've got nothing else to do.

No. I'm cleaned out.


Cap'n Andy! Any news?

Not yet.

♪ Keep on rowing ♪

♪ Don't let dat river ♪

♪ Get da better of you ♪

♪ Come on, you, Joe ♪

♪ Come on, you good old Joe ♪ Fine time to sing.

Dragging me out of bed in the middle of the night, telling me the river had calmed down.

Lying son of Satan.

♪ No matter what you say ♪

♪ Ah still suits me ♪ Cootchy cootchy cootchy...

Cootchy cootchy cootchy!

Go away, Hawks. You're just making a nuisance of yourself.

I got an idea what to call her. I don't care to hear it.


Kim? That ain't no name.

I made it up.

"K" for Kentucky, "I" for Illinois and "M" for Missouri, being as how she was born on the river inside of three states.


Cootchy cootchy cootchy cootchy!

Hello. You're up early, Mrs. Hawks.

Good morning, madam.

I knew this was comin'.

I knew from the first minute I set eyes on ya that you was the kind to bring trouble to them that loved ya.

I knew you'd go carousing the first chance you got and break my girl's heart, and I wished the Lord had kept ya from ever settin' foot on this boat.

Indeed? Then you'll be glad to know that I'm leaving it forever, and I'm taking my wife with me.


Today, the minute the river goes down enough to make it possible for us to take our things ashore.

You will not go today, Gaylord Ravenal.

Why not? And what have you to say about it, anyway?

She'll not leave her home till you've money enough to care for her proper, and I guess you know how long before that'll be.

Suppose I was to tell ya that I had money, and plenty of it?

I still say you can't take a girl that's been layin' close to death all night and a five-hour baby off this boat today.

A baby?

A baby!


Nola. Shh!

Gay! Surprised you.

Who? Who surprised me? You?

No. She did.

She's sleeping. That's what her mother should be doing.

Try to sleep, darling.

Cootchy cootchy...

Now, I want you to be good and get well quickly so I can take you to Chicago with me, just we three together.

You'd like that, wouldn't you?

Good morning. Good morning.


How do you do?

Darling, is my hat on straight?

You look enchanting.

Gay, you're wonderful.

Twenty-to-one. How do you pick 'em, Ravenal?

Gay just can't lose.

What have ya got good in the next race?

There isn't anything in the world I haven't got, nothing left to wish for.

We've been through some pretty hard times together, darling.

Might just as well enjoy the good times.

Something must be wrong, darling.

"We are thinking of moving to a large apartment.

We need more room," and so and so and so.

What was all that?

Oh, nothing. Just that they don't like it at the Palmer House anymore.

Go on. Ain't ya gonna read it to me?

Oh, yes, yes. "We're placing Kim in a convent school."

Convent school? It'll cost them a fortune. Why'd they do that?

"Gay thinks Kim will have a chance to form better social connections."

Public school is the best, but not for Gay and Nola.

Nothin's any good for them unless it costs a lot.

Did he buy her any new diamond bracelets or automobiles?

She don't say.

Well, what does she say?

She says, "I hope you and Mother are well," and so and so and so.

"Give my regards to Joe and Queenie, and don't forget..." so and so and so.

"Hasn't the weather been fine?"

So and so and so and so.

"Your loving daughter, Nolie."

Very interestin'.

You know what I'd like to do, Parthy? No.

After we put up the showboat for the winter, how about you and me making a trip up there?

Chicago? You must be crazy.

Well, I've got a kind of a feelin' I'd like to see Nolie and Gay.

Gay? I don't care if I ever see him again as long as I live.

He's a wastrel, an adventurer, a cheap river gambler with a high and mighty air.

And mark my words ‒ Shh!

We ain't seen Kim in a long while.

She must be gettin' kinda big.

Smart as a whip, too, I guess.

Did I show you those crayon pictures she sent me last week?

Teddy Roosevelt and the one of the battleship?

I seen 'em.

Oh, she's smart, all right. Yes.

Come on. Let's you and me make the trip.

You can bake a cake and bring it to her up to the school.


Well... maybe.

You'll walk far before ya find a room like this at the price.

Well, anyway, it's Chicago, kiddo.

Looks like somebody's livin' in it.

Well, they won't be after this mornin'.

Twelve solid weeks gone by, and not a penny paid.

No, ma'am. I have me own bills.

Is that you, Nola?


That's right.

Elly! Oh!

Hello, Nola. And Frank!

Oh, Nolie.

How did you know where I lived? Well, as a matter of fact ‒ They came to look for rooms.

I told 'em you were leavin'.

Oh, yes. Yes, of course.

You see, these are only temporary quarters until we move into our new home on the lakeshore.

Meanwhile, we stop here.

It's near Gay's business, and then... we like to help out Mrs. O'Brien.

Great help.

I'll be going downstairs. You can let me know about the room.

Huh! Helpin' out Mrs. O'Brien!

Yeah, after everything I give her.

She's a dear old thing.

Why, Nola, is this your little girl's picture?

Yes, that's Kim. Isn't she a darling?

She's at the convent, Saint Agatha's.

Gay insisted on giving her every possible advantage.

Gay doing well, Nolie?

Oh, yes, yes.

He's a big success.

Well, sit down. Tell me something about yourselves.

Oh, we're doin' pretty good.


We're kind of breakin' in a new act.

We open New Year's Eve at the Trocadero.

I was just thinkin', maybe if you needed a little money, I could fix ya up a job.

Maybe fix ya up a little act, singin' and playin' the banjo, like you used to.

Oh, that would be fine, Nola.

I'm afraid Gay would never hear of it.

Of course, I'd like to ‒ just as a lark, I mean.

I don't need the money.

No, of course not.

Come in.

A boy left this for you, Miss Ravenal.

Thank you, Ethel.

Oh, yes. Gay was to have stopped at the bank.

Excuse me a minute, folks. I've gotta see what Gay says.

He may want me to meet him somewhere.

Nola, dear, what's the matter? Is Gay hurt?


Elly, you read it.

I may believe it if I hear somebody else say it.

"Dearest, by the time this letter reaches you, I shall be on a train bound heaven knows where.

There's nothing left to pawn and no more friends to borrow from.

I am enclosing $200.

This will let Kim finish her term at the convent.

Then you can both go to your parents'.

I am doing this because I love you.

Please believe I will always love you, my dear little wife.


Your own, Gay."

Oh, Nola. Is there anything we can do, Nola?

I don't think so, Elly.

I don't know. I never thought of living without Gay, no matter what happened.

I can't imagine it now.

He seems to think you and Kim will be better off.

Better off? I never complained.

I've lived like this half the time.

One room, one bed, washing clothes in a basin, cooking food over a gas jet.

But I loved him.

And if all that went with him, I was willing to take it.

I thought he knew that.

Look, deary, you and Kim can have a good home on the showboat.

Good home?

Living on charity and having my mother tell me she always knew it would be like this.

The whole showboat troupe whispering about me in their dressing rooms.

No. I'll do anything but that.

Won't it cost ya somethin' to keep the kid at the convent?

This money will help me for a month or so.

Meanwhile, I'll look for work.

Well, uh, don't forget what I said about the Trocadero.

The Troca...

Oh, yes. I might try that, Frank.

I'll think it over.

You'd like us to go, wouldn't you, dear?

Sure. Sure, Nolie.

Elly and I ‒ 23, we skidoo.

You can get us over at Forbes Hotel if you want us, dear.

All right, dear.


Your daughter's class will be coming through next.

Kim. Daddy!

Where's Mom?

Mother couldn't come today, dear.

Now listen, Kim, dear.

Daddy's in a great hurry. He must catch a train.

Where are you going?

Away for a little while on business.

I just had a few minutes to rush in and see you.

Can I go with you?

No, darling.

Not this trip.

And when I'm gone, I want you to think of me once in a while.

Will you?

Yes. I think of you all the time.

And when I miss you, I always do what you told me.

What was that?

Don't you remember? Make believe.

Oh, yes. That's right.

I gave you a system for having everything you want.

♪ Only make believe ♪

♪ I'm near you ♪

♪ Only make believe ♪

♪ That you're with me ♪

♪ Girls and boys find it fun ♪

♪ Just pretending ♪

♪ Couldn't you? ♪

♪ Couldn't I? ♪

♪ Couldn't we? ♪

And if I'm a little late in coming back... you just remember and pretend that I've never been away.

Will you, sweetheart?

♪ Best of all ♪

♪ Make believe I love you ♪

♪ For to tell the truth ♪

♪ I... ♪

Her class has gone in.

Goodbye, darling.

Goodbye, Daddy.


Be sure to tell your mother that I came to see you.

Will you, sweetheart?

All right, Daddy. I'll tell her.

Say, where're you goin'?

I wanna see Mr. Green. Can't see him now. Rehearsal.

So I'm not lettin' anybody in.

Can we wait out here?

Sure, but don't walk on the wet floor. Oh.

Come on, Nolie. Sit down over here.

All right, Jake. Call 'em at 12:00.

Okay, girls, 12:00 tomorrow.

Come on, Julie. Let's hear the new song.

I don't feel like singing.

Oh, don't you? What do you feel like doing, Duchess?

I feel like going off on a tear.

Come on, Julie. Let Mr. Green hear the song.

Come on, Julie.

It's a good one, Mr. Green.

♪ I used to dream that I would discover ♪

♪ The perfect lover someday ♪

♪ I knew I'd recognize him ♪

♪ If ever he came round my way ♪

♪ And I always used to fancy then ♪

♪ He'd be one of the godlike kind of men ♪

♪ With a giant brain and a noble head ♪

♪ Like the heroes bold ♪

♪ In the books I've read ♪

♪ But along came Bill ♪

♪ Who's not the type at all ♪

♪ You'd meet him on the street ♪

♪ And never notice him ♪

♪ His form and face ♪

♪ His manly grace ♪

♪ Are not the kind that you ♪

♪ Would find in a statue ♪

♪ Oh, I can't explain ♪

♪ It's surely not his brain ♪

♪ That makes me thrill ♪

♪ I love him ♪

♪ Because he's wonderful ♪

♪ Because he's just my Bill ♪

♪ He can't play golf or tennis or polo ♪

♪ Or sing a solo or row ♪

♪ He isn't half as handsome ♪

♪ As dozens of men that I know ♪

♪ He isn't tall or straight or slim ♪

♪ And he dresses far worse Than Ted or Jim ♪

♪ No, I can't explain why he should be ♪

♪ Just the one, one man ♪

♪ In the world for me ♪

♪ He's just my Bill ♪

♪ An ordinary man ♪

♪ He hasn't got a thing That I can brag about ♪

♪ And yet to be ♪

♪ Upon his knee ♪

♪ So comfy and roomy ♪

♪ Seems natural to me ♪

♪ Oh, I can't explain ♪

♪ It's surely not his brain ♪

♪ That makes me thrill ♪

♪ I love him ♪

♪ Because he's ♪

♪ I don't know ♪

♪ Because he's just ♪

♪ My Bill ♪

Use it tomorrow night. And listen ‒ be sober.

I'll be sober.

If you want me, I'll be in my dressing room.

Queer how a woman goes all to pieces over a man.

Yeah. She was the best bet in Chicago till that big, curly haired tramp threw her down.

Wanna go to O'Riely's for a drink? Yeah. Thanks, boss.

Okay, kids! See ya tomorrow!

Mr. Green, can I see ya a minute? Who are you?

I'm Frank Schultz of Schultz & Schultz, a well-known comedy team.

Ah, the new act, huh? Yeah.

I'll see ya later.

Mr. Green, I wanna see ya a minute. What do you want?

I got a girl I want ya to hear sing.

I don't need nobody. I ain't seein' no more people today.

I know, but I thought ‒ So ya thought wrong!

Ya thought wrong!

Who do you wanna see?

Well, I ‒ That's the girl I mean, Mr. Green.

I'd like to sing for you, Mr. Green.

Yeah? What kind 'a singin'?

I do Negro songs.

Oh. Coon shouter, huh?

All right, let's see what you can do.

Okay. Come on, Nolie.

All right!

Couple 'a chairs.

Take off your hat.

♪ Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly ♪

♪ I gotta love one man till I die... ♪ Here ya are, Miss Julie.

Ya got 15 cents comin' to you.

Keep it. Thank you.

Wait, Sam. Who is that girl singing?

Don't know. Must need a job awful bad.

Was sittin' on those steps most of the morning.

♪ Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow ♪

♪ Tell me I'm crazy, maybe I know ♪ Nola.

Do you know her? I used to.

She's singing one of the songs I taught her.

♪ When he goes away... ♪ She was the sweetest kid I ever knew.

Dat her? Shall I tell her you're here?

No, no, no, Sam, no.

Well, if she gets the job ‒ She can't!

Green only uses one singer in the show, and that's me.

♪ That day is fine... ♪ I wonder...

I wonder how bad she needs a job.

♪ He can come home as late as can be ♪

♪ Home without him ain't no home to me ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' ♪

♪ Dat man of ♪

♪ Mine ♪ Whadya say, boss?


Why, that song is the most beautiful song I know, and if you don't like it, I'm sorry for you!

Mr. Green. Well, whadya want?

Got a message for you from your prima donna.

She told me to tell ya that she's leaving your show flat.

Where is she?

Just went off in a cab.

Looks like she's gone off on one 'a her sprees.

Well, I'll be a...

She won't be fit for anything for a week, let alone tomorrow night.

Ah, why didn't ya stop her?

Sir, I'm a doorman, not a nursemaid.

It's enough to drive a man crazy.

That settles it. She's through!

Said to tell ya, if ya want a girl to fill her place, ya better grab the one that just sung.

Can't ya use her? I can't afford to take chances with amateurs on a $2,000 production.

Now, wait a minute, will ya? Let me think.

Her personality is all right.

If we could only teach her some up-to-date numbers.

That song she sang ain't bad, boss.

Well, we could trick that like this. Look, look.

♪ Wot dot da, da dot dot da ♪

♪ Da dot dot da, da dot dot da ♪ You mean rag it?

Yeah. 'A course, we gotta change the words, too, see, and then near the finish, put in a couple 'a gags like this.

♪ Dot dot da, da dot dot da ♪ Catch line.

Then-- ♪ Ba da da, da dot dot da ♪ Another catch line. See what I mean? Say, that's all right.

Come on, Nolie, try it this way. How do ya mean?

Follow Jake.

♪ Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly ♪ No, no! Raggedy means...

Rag it, honey. Look.

♪ Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly ♪ Oh, I know. All right, go ahead.

♪ Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly ♪

♪ I'm gotta love one man till I die ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' that man of mine ♪

♪ Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow ♪

♪ Tell me I'm crazy, maybe I know ♪

♪ Can't help lovin' that man of mine ♪

♪ When he goes away, that's a rainy day ♪ Whadya say, boss? Whadya say, boss? All right.

Does she get the job? Sure.

Good. - ♪ Home without him ain't no place to be ♪

Hmm. Nice New Year's, I must say.

They ain't here, nobody knows where they went.

You and your surprises.

You're a nitwit, Hawks, and always will be.

Well, haven't you a word to say?

Will ya listen? No, I won't.

I thought you won't.

Well, what are you gonna do, stand here all night?

Gimme the key. I'm going to my room. I'm all tuckered out.

Oh, Parthy, always...




It's New Year's Eve. Let's go out.

I'll bet you Nolie and Gay are celebratin' in some restaurant.

Come on. Let's go out and find 'em.

Like looking for a needle in a haystack.

You go out and look for 'em if you want to.

Gimme that key.

Oh, yes, here's the key, Parthy.

Now, you go up and have some sleep while I have a look around for the children.

Sleep! A lot of sleepin' I'll do wondering where that good-for-nothin' scamp has dragged Nola.

Hawks, it's 8:00.

You be back by 9:00.

Ya understand?

One hour.

All right, Parthy.

Hello, Pop.


Who was that you were just talking to?

That was Parthenia, my wife.

Oh, my mistake.

No, mine.

Well, it's New Year's Eve.

Yes, it is.

Four quarts of Mumm's Extra.

And while you're gone, I'll be lookin' at the menu.

Yes, sir. By cracky, I ain't done that in years!

Say, Pop, what's mistletoe?

By cracky, I ain't done that in years!

♪ So you're going away ♪

♪ Because my heart has gone astray ♪

♪ And you promised me ♪

♪ That someday you'll come back to me ♪

♪ Goodbye, my lady love ♪

♪ Farewell, my turtledove ♪

♪ You are the idol And darling of my heart ♪

♪ And, lovely, you will come back to me ♪

♪ And love me tenderly ♪

♪ Goodbye, my lady love, goodbye ♪

Cap'n Andy! Frankie Schultz!

Andy Hawks!

Happy New Year!

Girls, I want you to meet an old friend of mine, Mr. Frank Schultz.

This is Miss So-and-so, Miss Thingamabob, and this little devil is Lottie.


Cap'n Andy, how'd ya happen to come here?

Oh, just dropped in.

Parthy and me came up to surprise Nolie and Gay, but they ain't stoppin' at the Palmer House no more.

No. But I'll find them.

I left Parthy at the hotel at 8:00.

Told her I was gonna take a walk.

Ever since 10:00, I've been tryin' to think of an excuse for not being back by 9:00!

Cap'n Andy, Nolie's here.

Where? Where? She's actin'.

Actin'? Whadya you mean, actin'?

Gay wouldn't let her. Gay is gone.

Gone? He went broke and quit.

I'm tellin' you this 'cause Nolie opens here tonight, and we want everything to go smooth.

And it'll be tough if she don't make a hit.

What do you mean, don't make a hit?

My Nolie will stand this crowd on their ears!

Didn't she always do it?

My daughter's singin' here tonight.

Are you old enough to have a daughter?

No, but I got one!

Ladies and gentlemen!

I regret to announce that Miss Julie Wendel is indisposed and unable to appear this evening.

Now, wait, please, please!

We are fortunate in obtaining the services of Miss Magnolia Ravenal, who'll sing you an old favorite.

Magnolia Ravenal! Who's she?

I'll show you who she is!

♪ A little maiden ♪

♪ Climbed an old man's knee ♪

♪ Begged for a story ♪ Shh. Quiet! - ♪ Do, Uncle, please ♪

♪ Why are you single? Why live alone? ♪ Quiet! Get the hook!

♪ Have you no babies? Have... ♪

♪ I had a sweetheart ♪ Nola!

♪ Years, years ago ♪

- ♪ Where she is now, pet ♪ Nolie!

♪ You will soon know ♪

- ♪ List' to my story ♪ Smile, Nolie.

- ♪ I'll tell it all ♪ Smile!

♪ I believed her faithless ♪

- ♪ After ♪ Smile.

♪ The ball ♪

♪ After the ball is over ♪

♪ After the break of morn ♪

♪ After the dancers leaving ♪

♪ After the stars are gone ♪

♪ Many a heart is aching ♪

♪ If you could read them all ♪

♪ Many the hopes that have vanished ♪

♪ After the ball ♪


♪ After the ball is over ♪ Everybody sing!

♪ After the break of morn ♪ Smile! Smile, Nolie! - ♪ After the dancers leaving ♪ Sing, everybody!

♪ After the stars are gone ♪

♪ Many a heart is aching ♪

♪ If you could read them all ♪

♪ Many the hopes that have vanished ♪

♪ After the ball ♪

Happy New Year!

Hawks, I think your daughter is the finest artist I've seen on the New York stage.

Thank you very much, Sir Arthur.

I must have her in my new play in London next spring.

I'll give her £200 a week.

You'll have to do better than that.

They don't know her in London, lad.

But they will.

How much? Four hundred.

Out of the question.

♪ Best of all ♪

♪ Make believe I love you ♪

♪ For to tell the truth ♪

♪ I... ♪

♪ I want to be a good little wife ♪

♪ In a good old-fashioned way ♪ Kim, darling, don't you think you're pressing just a little bit too hard?

How do you mean, Mother?

Don't throw it at 'em.

Let the audience feel the sentiment of the song for themselves.

Remember the folks in the gallery.

So many things to learn.


All right. Rest a minute.

This newspaperwoman's been waiting all day for an interview.

Better grab her quick. They'll be calling her back any minute.

My paper's interested in the family angle.

Your folks all started on a showboat, didn't they?

Yes. Did they help you?

Taught me everything I know.

Do they still help you much? Too much.

This time I packed 'em all off to Europe.

That's marvelous.

Miss Ravenal! Sorry. We gotta have you now.

Come on, kids. So sorry.

Aren't you the new stage doorman?

Every time I come in here, I see you watching the rehearsal.

Why don't you watch the stage door? That's what you're paid for.

Yes, sir.

Good night, Pop.

Hey, Pop, I'm from the office. What's your name?

I believe it's "Pop."

Isn't that what all stage doormen are called?

Yeah, but I wanna list ya on the payroll. What's your real name?

Oh, uh...


Hamilton Brown.

Hamilton Brown, huh?

Night, Pop. Good night.

No mail for me? No, Miss Ravenal.

If a wire comes for me, will you have it sent right over to my hotel?

Yes, Miss Ravenal.

Thanks. Good night, Pop. Good night.

Good night, Kim.

Don't worry, Miss Ravenal. The boat will dock on time.

It's such awful luck.

They were supposed to be here early this afternoon.

Oh, why did that fog have to come up just at this time?

I know.

The curtain will be going up any minute.

Oh, don't fret, Parthy. It won't take us long to get uptown.

We'll be in time for most of the show anyway, Mother.

We won't see Kim's entrance!

Well, I didn't put this fog on. Who said you did?


Oh! We shall never get there alive!

I thought we'd never get here! Good evening.

Come this way. It was such dreadful fog, but not as bad as it is in Europe, you know...

Oh, my. There's Kim.

Go on, go on. Closer. Oh! Isn't it a lovely scene?

Come this way.

What are you doing here?

I just wanted to see the one number, sir.

Why, that's the most outrageous thing I ever heard. Go back to the stage door.

And come to the office in the morning to get your pay. You're fired.

Here, sir. Come right in here.

This is your box. Yes.



Don't you recognize me?

You haven't changed much, Nola.

Well, I've got to go. I'm minding the stage door.


Wouldn't you like to come in here with us?

I think we...

Well... this is our daughter's big night.

Sure. Why don't you?

I didn't mean to come back into your life.

I don't want you to forgive me, because I don't deserve it.

Just let me... slip out.


There's another Ravenal in the house tonight:


Nolie. Nolie.

Maybe she'll take my encore for me. How about it, Mother?

Please play "You Are Love."

Give 'em the smile, Nolie. Give 'em the smile.

I think she likes this better than any song she knows.

♪ You are love ♪

♪ Here in my arms ♪

♪ Where you belong ♪

♪ And here you will stay ♪

♪ I'll not let you away ♪

♪ I want day after day ♪

♪ With you ♪

♪ You are spring ♪

♪ Bud of romance unfurled ♪ There's another Ravenal here tonight:

Gaylord Ravenal, my first leading man.

♪ Where you go with me ♪

♪ Heaven will ♪

♪ Always ♪

♪ Be ♪

♪ That Ol' Man River ♪

♪ He just keeps rollin' ♪

♪ Along ♪