IMDb > Carmen Jones (1954)
Carmen Jones
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Carmen Jones (1954) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

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7.0/10   2,868 votes »
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Down 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for Carmen Jones on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 October 1954 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the classics of African-American cinema See more (44 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Harry Belafonte ... Joe

Dorothy Dandridge ... Carmen Jones

Pearl Bailey ... Frankie
Olga James ... Cindy Lou
Joe Adams ... Husky Miller

Brock Peters ... Sergeant Brown (as Broc Peters)
Roy Glenn ... Rum Daniels
Nick Stewart ... Dink Franklin

Diahann Carroll ... Myrt
LeVern Hutcherson ... Joe (voice) (as Le Vern Hutcherson)
Marilyn Horne ... Carmen Jones (voice) (as Marilynn Horne)
Marvin Hayes ... Husky Miller (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Alvin Ailey ... Dance Soloist (uncredited)
DeForest Covan ... Trainer (uncredited)
Joseph E. Crawford ... Dink Franklin (singing voice) (uncredited)
Carmen De Lavallade ... Dance Soloist (uncredited)
Bernie Hamilton ... Reporter (uncredited)
Margaret Lancaster ... Singing Voice (uncredited)
Mauri Lynn ... Sally (uncredited)
Sam McDaniel ... Waiter (uncredited)
Bernice Peterson ... Myrt (singing voice) (uncredited)
Max Roach ... Max (uncredited)
Carmencita Romero ... Dancer (uncredited)
Archie Savage ... Dance Soloist (uncredited)
Madame Sul-Te-Wan ... Hagar - Carmen's Grandmother (uncredited)
Rubin Wilson ... Kid Pancho (uncredited)

Directed by
Otto Preminger 
 
Writing credits
Oscar Hammerstein II (book) (as Oscar Hammerstein 2nd)

Harry Kleiner (screenplay)

Prosper Mérimée  novel (uncredited)

Produced by
Otto Preminger .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Sam Leavitt (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Louis R. Loeffler 
 
Art Direction by
Edward L. Ilou 
John DeCuir (co-art director) (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Claude E. Carpenter 
 
Costume Design by
Mary Ann Nyberg 
 
Production Management
Herman E. Webber .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Silver .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Saul Bass .... poster designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Arthur von Kirbach .... sound (as Arthur L. Kirbach)
Gene Previdi .... sound editor (uncredited)
Sam Woodward .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Albert Myers .... camera operator
Robert Willoughby .... special still photographer (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Lina Abarbanell .... casting consultant
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leon Birnbaum .... music editor
Georges Bizet .... music: based on "Carmen"
George Brand .... music editor
Ted Dale .... associate musical director
Herschel Burke Gilbert .... musical director
Billy Rose .... producer: Broadway musical play "Carmen Jones"
Murray Spivack .... music recordist
Vinton Vernon .... music recordist
Jester Hairston .... choral director (uncredited)
Jester Hairston .... vocal coach (uncredited)
Dimitri Tiomkin .... co-musical director (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Saul Bass .... title designer
John Indrisano .... fight stager
Otto Preminger .... presenter
Max Slater .... production assistant (as Maximilian Slater)
Herbert Ross .... choreographer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Oscar Hammerstein's Carmen Jones" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
105 min | Argentina:108 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording) (magnetic prints) | Mono (optical prints)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (re-rating) | USA:Approved (PCA #17140) | West Germany:16 (f)

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:
Crew or equipment visible: Reflected in a window as Carmen is walking through town.See more »
Quotes:
Frankie:We'll be livin' off the fatheads of the land.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
CARMEN JONES IS GOIN' TO JAILSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
29 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
One of the classics of African-American cinema, 2 April 2000
Author: mctheimer from Bellevue, Washington, USA

This film shows just how much talent existed and was mostly unused because of the small number of pictures made with African-American casts during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

It's a remake of Bizet's "Carmen", and was originally performed on Broadway in the 1940's. Otto Preminger filmed the play during the 1950's. The songs all retain Bizet's original music, but the lyrics have been updated to English. If you've never seen the opera, and are intimidated by opera in general, this film would actually be a good introduction to the topic.

The plot is moved from a Spanish village during the late 1800's to the American South during WWII. The cigarette factory is now a parachute factory, and the bullfighter is now a prize fighter. Generally, I thought the update was done well, just as some Shakespearean updates work well. The only part which doesn't work for me is that some of the dialogue and lyrics are in what I think of as "Porgy and Bess Ebonics", e.g. "dees", "dem", "dat", etc.

Carmen is played by Dorothy Dandridge, who is known as the African-American Marilyn Monroe. The two women's lives sadly parallel each other, although Dandridge could find even fewer scripts to show off her acting talents. Harry Belafonte plays the seduced male lead. Both are stunning beautiful, and at their prime.

All of the singing voices are dubbed by first rank operatic voices; the songs for Carmen Jones are dubbed by Marilyn Horne, for example.

The tragedy is realizing how many great actors and actresses could have had brilliant careers except for their skin color. It was interesting and sad to watch the Movietone Newsreel coverage of the premiere, which came attached to the copy of the tape I had. It features all of the white movie stars attending the premiere, the white studio heads -- and just happens to have a second or two of Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge at the end.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (44 total) »

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