MovieChat Forums > Show Boat (1936) Discussion > Can anyone clarify what happened to Juli...

Can anyone clarify what happened to Julie afterwards?


I wanted to know what happened to her afterwards, at first I thought did Her husband die or they get caught or something?
Obviously something must have happened if she became a drunkard. I read on the wiki of Showboat that He abandoned her. Is that true?

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While Julie sings "My Bill," someone mentions her fella abandoned her. It isn't specified why- Julie's African roots eventually becoming too much, Julie's alcoholism, etc? Who knows?

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In case you missed it on the main page,
one of the user reviews posted below the credits, etc, states that Julie was in a house of prostitution, according to the book.

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But that's one of the things they change in the musical. Hammerstein didn't like writing about prostitution, so he changed it so that Julie would eventually be abandoned by Steve.

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Exactly. So the fate of the Julie in the movie is different than in the book. There is nothing explained. If it's not in the script, it didn't happen.

All we can guess is that she left and did something to make ends meet...whether a singing gig elsewhere, prostitution, or becoming a homeless hag (like is suggested in the 51 version).

But, in the universe of the musical, we don't know. You just have to let your mind fill in the blanks.

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I read the book and that little bit was inordinately disturbing, only a few brief sentences. There was Julie, working as an assistant to the madame (NOT a prostitute), maybe doing the books, and they saw each other and each got a rude shock. Then Julie scurried away, and that was that. There was no conversation, no explanation as to how or why she ended up as she did....Myself, I think her husband died, was killed, or in jail and unable to protect and provide for her any more, so she took what work she could find. But she was not a prostitute, just worked in the bordello.

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I was giving examples of things that might have happened to a woman in her situation.

However, threads like this are rampant on IMDB and make absolutely no sense. How can anyone clarify what happened to Julie after if Hammerstein didn't write it? It's not defined so there are no specifics. That stuff happened to book Julie. But movie Julie's fate is an question mark and no one can answer it. And book Julie and movie Julie are two different characters.

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Steve's fate is never stated, although it's hinted in the song "Bill" that he abandoned her. Why? We'll never know.

What happens to her? Again, as others have pointed out, there's nothing really there to say. The best guess, from a theater historian who was writing notes for a soundtrack release, is that Julie proceeded to drink herself to death. She was a truly tragic character.


"Value your education. It's something nobody can ever take away from you." My mom.

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