Greatly enhanced by its deft use of color, this third film version of Hammerstein and Kern's classic musical is nearly as good as the superlative second and much better than the lackluster first (1936 and 1929, respectively). Yet, as was the case with the 1936 version, the Motion Picture
Academy barely acknowledged the film's excellence, nominating only Charles Rosher's cinematography and Adolph Deutsch and Conrad Salinger's musical direction. This time out the story is considerably altered and compressed, with Kathryn Grayson in the role of Magnolia and Ava Gardner as Julie, the
much-wronged mulatto who helps save Magnolia's marriage to gambler-turned-entertainer ...