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Carmen Jones (1954)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,987 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) (as Oscar Hammerstein 2nd) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Carmen Jones (1954)

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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 »
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  »
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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. Catherine 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

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

Connections

Referenced in Movies of Color: Black Southern Cinema (2002) 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

 
A powerful display of Dandrige's appeal...

Dorothy Dandrige's roles went beyond that of sex symbol to being a parody of female sexuality… Carmen Jones is a powerful display of her appeal…

Based on Bizet's operatic masterpiece, Otto Preminger's film is the story of a GI about to go to flying school (Harry Belafonte), a noble young man who loves the cigarette-maker Carmen very dearly…

Filled with passionate songs and a first-rate supporting cast, the movie is filled with exciting musical numbers that are necessary to the film… But as impeccable and skillful the supporting cast is, this is Dandrige's magnetic star of enduring international appeal… Her Carmen is a flame of fire, isolating in a few moments the essence of her attraction… Her enigma sustained throughout a career notable for its startling changes of tempo and direction…Her shapely figure, blazing eyes, with the air of the unexpected add up a touch of melancholy to even the most routine sequences… Her performance was a parable of love and its power to destroy if misused…


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