A group of gypsy smugglers are frustrated in their attempts to bring their contraband into the city by Don Jose, an incorruptible officer in the Civil Guard. In order to help her kinsmen, the sultry Carmen seduces him, persuading him to abandon his post and look the other way. When his infatuation leads him to kill a fellow guardsman in order to prevent her arrest, he becomes a wanted fugitive. The capricious, fickle Carmen resents his possessiveness and leaves him for a famous toreador in Seville. Obsessed and frustrated, a distraught Don Jose follows her to the bullring with tragic consequences. Written by
Gabe Taverney (email@example.com)
This early screen version of the famous French tragic grand opera is worth viewing, if nothing else, for the grand performance and exquisite beauty of opera diva Geraldine Farrar. However this is a worthy piece of early cinema. The great DeMille was honing his craft and his innovativeness was evidently seen in the various techniques and tinting of certain scenes. These were very effective to create a certain ambience necessary to the story. I think all these elements peaked the following year with the great epic "Joan the Woman." I would still have to count this as the best screen version of the celebrated Merimee story. Through the years there have been various adaptations, one being 1954's "Carmen Jones", with Dorothy Dandridge. This was set with a contemporary black cast of the time. But to me there is no other Carmen but Farrar. The role, the whole story just seems tailor made for her. The fine 1997 score featuring Bizet's famous compositons were ideally synchronized to accompany the appropriate scenes. I highly recommend this film. Ms. Farrar is fabulous.
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