6.9/10
3,251
47 user 35 critic

Carmen Jones (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 28 October 1954 (USA)
Trailer
2:44 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(book) (as Oscar Hammerstein 2nd), (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In this legendary Gershwin opera set among the black residents of a fishing village in 1912 South Carolina, Bess - a woman with a disreputable history - tries to break free from her brutish... See full summary »

Directors: Otto Preminger, Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr.
Angel Face (1952)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Set on a fictitious island in the Carribean during colonial British rule, it focuses on the life of a young charismatic and handsome black male with political aspirations. He finds himself ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge
Silver Lode (1954)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Dan Ballard, a respected citizen in the western town of Silver Lode, has his wedding interrupted by four men led by Ned McCarthy, an old acquaintance who, as a US Marshal, arrests Ballard ... See full summary »

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: John Payne, Lizabeth Scott, Dan Duryea
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best... See full summary »

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Halle Berry, Brent Spiner, Klaus Maria Brandauer
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At Maria Vargas' funeral, several people recall who she was and the impact she had on them. Harry Dawes was a not very successful writer/director when he and movie producer Kirk Edwards ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Lola Montès (1955)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The film tells the tragic story of Lola Montès, a great adventurer who becomes the main attraction of a circus after being the lover of various important European men.

Director: Max Ophüls
Stars: Martine Carol, Peter Ustinov, Anton Walbrook
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Mexican workers at a Zinc mine call a general strike. It is only through the solidarity of the workers, and importantly the indomitable resolve of their wives, mothers and daughters, that they eventually triumph.

Director: Herbert J. Biberman
Stars: Juan Chacón, Rosaura Revueltas, Will Geer
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State, gives light to a secret from the past, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President's character as well.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Henry Fonda
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

China's first horror film, this is loosely based on The Phantom of the Opera. A disfigured musical genius roams a traditional Chinese opera house, punishing those who offend him.

Director: Weibang Ma-Xu
Stars: Menghe Gu, Ping Hu, Shan Jin
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

This was the first movie produced in Israel. It deals with the outbreak of hostilities during the war for independence in 1947. The message of this film was the sadness and stupidity of ... See full summary »

Director: Thorold Dickinson
Stars: Edward Mulhare, Haya Harareet, Michael Shillo
Edit

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)
Edit

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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The singing voices of Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge were dubbed by LeVern Hutcherson and Marilyn Horne respectively, even though Belafonte and Dandridge were both accomplished singers. However, neither had the training nor the range to sing operatic roles.Katherine E. Hilgenberg, a soloist with the Roger Wagner Chorale (morphed later into the Los Angeles Master Chorale), was originally signed to sing the Carmen role, and a number of the arias were already recorded (with piano, on a separate track), when director Otto Preminger's bullying behavior became too much for her and she quit. Horne ("Jackie") was a 19-year-old music student at nearby USC. She auditioned for the part and was immediately hired - for $300. But it was a terrific break for her, and she grabbed it, and did an outstanding job, re-recording what Hilgenberg had already sung, plus the balance of the music. It's also fun to note that Horne was a singer for Tops Records, a company that made sound-alike recordings of hit records with identical arrangements (in those days arrangements could not be copyrighted) and "stand-ins" who could mimic the artists who made the hit record. Jackie Horne, later to become a major 20th-century opera star, was funding her college expenses, in part, by recording Kay Starr's hits. Starr was famous for belting out her songs with a certain razzmatazz style, and Horne's rendition was a dead-ringer. The Tops Records offices, it should be noted, were within walking distance from the USC campus. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Frankie: Somethin' tells me Chicago's gonna be real good for you.
Myrt: Somethin' tells me you gonna be real bad for Chicago.
See more »

Connections

Version of Carmen (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

YOU TALK JUS' LIKE MY MAW
Music by Georges Bizet
Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Harry Belafonte (dubbed by LeVern Hutcherson (as Le Vern Hutcherson)),
Olga James
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The worse music in any musical Mercikal
Ten Classic Black Movies mstie68
African American Musicals a_spike_lee_joint
Toreador Song/'Stand Up and Fight' clivy
Tisha Campbell of 'Martin' looks just like Cindy Lou in Carmen Jones MPin917522
Dorothy Dandridge beating-drum-1
Discuss Carmen Jones (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?