Carmen Jones (1954)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Musical, Romance  |  28 October 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,117 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 34 critic

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



(book) (as Oscar Hammerstein 2nd) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
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)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Musical | Romance


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Release Date:

28 October 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Oscar Hammerstein's Carmen Jones  »

Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Carmen fixes Joe's belt, but in doing so she skips a belt loop. In the next scene the belt is worn correctly. See more »


Joe: Thanks, but I don't drink.
Carmen Jones: Boy, if the army was made up of nothin' but soldiers like you, war wouldn't do nobody no good.
See more »


Version of Carmen (1918) See more »


Music by Georges Bizet
Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by Olga James
See more »

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User Reviews

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Use'ta
10 December 1999 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

In school I heard of Natalie Wood but not Dorothy Dandrige. I heard of James Dean, but not really Sidney Portier. So how nice it is to see such a film on my own to know that it existed and is as worthy of favorable acclaim as the rest.

I saw this on A&E and was blown away! I am so disappointed to not see films of this caliber nor actors getting work to really challenge their skills like these actors did. This all star cast was superb and intense. They sweat, they cried, they had veins sticking out of their heads into their roles. The opera singing is something I don't think will be seen in black cinema today. If so, it'll probably be ostracized. "Carmen Jones" represents the missing link in black films today, the true element of quality, character and story.

I MUST buy this and have it for other to see, even if it is 15 years later!


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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