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Ava Gardner Loves That Man: Show Boat

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 27, 2011 at 2:45AM

For your pleasure, here's Ava Gardner (dubbed by Annette Warren) singing Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine" from the 1951 musical Show Boat. Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Lena Horne and Judy Garland all covered this, and Helen Morgan made it famous in the original 1927 Broadway show. But Gardner singing in the context of the movie is sublime. (Gardner's voice wound up on the soundtrack album of the film Show Boat, but not in the film itself.) She's playing a character passing for white who could have been played by Horne, but wasn't.
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For your pleasure, here's Ava Gardner (dubbed by Annette Warren) singing Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine" from the 1951 musical Show Boat. Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Lena Horne and Judy Garland all covered this, and Helen Morgan made it famous in the original 1927 Broadway show. But Gardner singing in the context of the movie is sublime. (Gardner's voice wound up on the soundtrack album of the film Show Boat, but not in the film itself.) She's playing a character passing for white who could have been played by Horne, but wasn't.

This article is related to: Production , Video, Genres, Classics, Musical, Sound and Score


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.