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Carmen Jones (1954)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,827 users  
Reviews: 43 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)

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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

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

Version of Carmen di Trastevere (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

STRING ME HIGH ON A TREE
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

 
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 literally...so 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!

Lil


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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