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Carmen Jones (1954)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Musical, Romance  |  28 October 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,099 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


Approved | See all certifications »




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?


Joyce Bryant and Elizabeth Foster also did screen tests for the role of Carmen Jones. Dorothy Dandridge did her screen test working opposite veteran actor James Edwards in the role of Joe. Edwards, whose career was on the decline, was never considered for the role. 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 »


Frankie: We'll be livin' off the fatheads of the land.
See more »


Version of Neco z Carmen (1991) See more »


Music by Georges Bizet
Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on "Duet and Final Chorus"
Performed by Harry Belafonte (dubbed by LeVern Hutcherson (as Le Vern Hutcherson)) and Dorothy Dandridge (dubbed by Marilyn Horne (as Marilynn Horne))
See more »

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User Reviews

Bizet's tragic and passionate opera is updated and still maintains the opera's passion, thanks to the wonderful music and a sexy Dorothy Dandridge
9 February 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

You may guess that I love Bizet's opera Carmen, it is somewhat tragic but very passionate. While updated, this film directed wonderfully by the talented Otto Preminger is a wonderful contemporary version of the opera, still maintaining Bizet's wonderful music and inspired lyrics from Oscar Hammerstein II. Whether it is the definitive film version of the opera I am not sure, I absolutely adore the 1984 film with Placido Domingo and Julia Mignes-Johnson. That aside, this film is really handsomely shot, with beautiful crisp cinematography and stunning scenery. And of course the music is outstanding "Dat's Love", "Dis Flower", "Stan' Up an' Fight" and "Dere's a Cafe on de Corner" really do stand out. The story is a beautiful, tragic, compelling one, not at all confusing. And the performances are marvellous, Dorothy Dandridge is superb as Carmen Jones. She is gorgeous, flirtatious and sexy, everything Carmen in the opera should be. Harry Belafonte does a great job as Joe, the man consumed for the passion of Carmen, so much so he is driven to murder. Olga James is heart breaking as Cindy-Lou, Pearl Bailey is a delightful Frankie, Joe Adams is a great Husky Miller and Brock Peters is effective as Sergeant Brown. I have heard complaints that the singing was awful, and I disagree completely. Marilyn Horne has a beautiful singing voice and she did well as Carmen. She has been better though, she has a much stronger voice than what was heard here. And LeeVern Hutcherson has a lovely tenor voice, quite lightweight and sensitive when it needs to be. And Marvin Hayes has a very resonant voice that is needed for his character. If the singing was a little quiet at times, do bear in mind sound and technology wasn't as good then than it is now. My real complaint was that the lip-synching was a little behind the singing at times, but other than that, this is a great film. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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