St. Louis Blues
Film poster
Directed byRaoul Walsh
Produced byJeff Lazarus
StarringDorothy Lamour
Lloyd Nolan
CinematographyTheodor Sparkuhl
Edited byWilliam Shea
Music byCharles Bradshaw
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • February 3, 1939 (1939-02-03)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States

St. Louis Blues (retitled as Best of the Blues)[1] is a 1939 American musical film directed by Raoul Walsh and set on a Mississippi River showboat. Though the song "St. Louis Blues" is performed, the film's plot is not based on the song. Artists appearing in the film include jazz singer Maxine Sullivan and composer/singer/actor Hoagy Carmichael. The film stars Dorothy Lamour, Lloyd Nolan, Tito Guízar, Jerome Cowan and Mary Parker.

Lamour sings "I Go for That"[2] by Matt Malneck, Jr. and Frank Loesser[3] in the film, and it became a hit recording.


A Broadway performer befriends a showboat skipper and they stage a musical revue. Competition from a carnival owner soon becomes a threat to their dreams.


George Raft was offered the lead role, but he refused and was replaced by Nolan.[4]


  1. ^ Brooks, Tim (2004). Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919. University of Illinois Press. p. 430. ISBN 9780252028502.
  2. ^ St. Louis Blues (1939) - Soundtracks
  3. ^ University of New Hampshire Library - Milne Special Collections and Archives - Alvah Sulloway Sheet Music Collection (MC 127) [Popular Sheet Music, I-K]
  4. ^ Vagg, Stephen (February 9, 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: George Raft". Filmink.