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Carmen Jones (1954)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,883 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 34 critic

Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast.

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(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Carmen Jones (1954)

Carmen Jones (1954) on IMDb 7/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Joe
...
...
Frankie
Olga James ...
Cindy Lou
Joe Adams ...
...
Sergeant Brown (as Broc Peters)
Roy Glenn ...
Rum Daniels
Nick Stewart ...
...
LeVern Hutcherson ...
Joe (voice) (as Le Vern Hutcherson)
Marilyn Horne ...
Carmen Jones (voice) (as Marilynn Horne)
Marvin Hayes ...
Husky Miller (voice)
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Storyline

At an all-black army camp, civilian parachute maker and "hot bundle" Carmen Jones is desired by many of the men. Naturally, she wants Joe, who's engaged to sweet Cindy Lou and about to go into pilot training for the Korean War. Going after him, she succeeds only in getting him into the stockade. While she awaits his release, trouble approaches for both of them. Songs from the Bizet opera with modernized lyrics. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 October 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Oscar Hammerstein's Carmen Jones  »

Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording) (magnetic prints)| (optical prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the original Broadway production had used a standard pit orchestra with Georges Bizet's orchestrations for the opera "Carmen" slightly altered by orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett, the film score was created by Herschel Burke Gilbert, the Music Director (a term he always insisted was the correct one, not "Musical Director), using a full symphony orchestra (ranging from about 90 to over 105 pieces), which enabled him to present the music with the sensibility of most of Bizet's original 1875 orchestrations as they were meant to be heard, although modified to fit the story line and transitions of the film. Because of Marilyn Horne's coming into the singing cast quite late in the production, and because of a number of unrelated delays, Gilbert had to leave the production shortly before it was completed, as he had a commitment for an original score of another film. Dimitri Tiomkin, a Fox Studio senior, as it were, stepped in to put together the last bits of recording and supervising the last music editing. Technically, especially given his seniority at Fox and his stature in the industry, he could have insisted his name be added to the credits. Graciously, he acknowledged Gilbert's responsibility for over 95% of the work and chose to not have himself officially credited. Given his much larger fame, his name in the credits would have overshadowed the younger, less known Gilbert's, and would have left the impression that Gilbert was more of an assistant, which was far from the case. See more »

Goofs

Reflected in a window as Carmen is walking through town. See more »

Quotes

Carmen Jones: 'Scuse my dust, gentlemen. The air's gettin' mighty unconditioned 'round here.
See more »

Connections

Version of Pride and Vengeance (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

CARD SONG
Music by Georges Bizet
Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on "Card Song" from Act 3 of the opera
Performed by Dorothy Dandridge (dubbed by Marilyn Horne (as Marilynn Horne)),
Pearl Bailey, chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Memorable Melodrama With A Standout Performance By Dorothy Dandridge
23 February 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This memorable melodrama is an interesting adaptation of the classic "Carmen" story and music with a new setting and new song lyrics. Most of it works quite well, but it is remembered most of all for Dorothy Dandridge's impressive performance as "Carmen Jones".

The basic Carmen story itself is a perceptive and tragic look at the elemental passions and emotions that drive so much of what happens in human relationships. For the story to work most effectively, it takes a Carmen who not only has plenty of energy, but who also can be convincing in dominating all of the other characters. Dandridge excels at both, and she makes it easy to believe that she could get practically anything that she wanted from anyone.

Except for Pearl Bailey, who makes her character lively and entertaining in her own right, most of the rest of the cast is solid but is clearly - as is no doubt meant to be the case - overshadowed by Dandridge and Carmen. One exception, though, is Olga James as Cindy Lou. Although her character is very meek, and has no chance against Carmen, James does a fine job of making her sympathetic without becoming overly weepy or maudlin, and her performance adds some additional depth to the drama of relationships.

Most of the musical numbers work well, and there is good variety in them, as there is also in the settings and the material. The climactic sequence in the arena is nicely crafted, with the prizefight taking place in full view while, hidden from sight, the characters' passions are reaching the boiling point. It caps off an effective and interesting movie.


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