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Porgy and Bess (1959)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,099 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 5 critic

In this legendary Gershwin opera set among the black residents of a fishing village in 1912 South Carolina, Bess - a woman with a disreputable history - tries to break free from her brutish... See full summary »

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, (uncredited)

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(play), (libretto), 2 more credits »
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Title: Porgy and Bess (1959)

Porgy and Bess (1959) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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Maria
...
Leslie Scott ...
...
Ruth Attaway ...
...
Detective
...
Peter
Everdinne Wilson ...
Annie
Joel Fluellen ...
Earl Jackson ...
Moses LaMarr ...
Margaret Hairston ...
Lily
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Storyline

In this legendary Gershwin opera set among the black residents of a fishing village in 1912 South Carolina, Bess - a woman with a disreputable history - tries to break free from her brutish lover Crown after he becomes wanted for murder. The only person willing to overlook her past and offer her shelter is the crippled Porgy. Their relationship is threatened by the disapproval of the townspeople, the presence of her old drug supplier Sportin' Life - and the threatened return of Crown. Written by scgary66

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Introducing a new era in motion pictures!

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 June 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Porgy und Bess  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the film's screenplay, screenwriter N. Richard Nash simply converted much of the opera's sung recitative into spoken dialogue, although he did add several lines of his own. He even retained many of the same lines word-for-word. The recitative in "Porgy and Bess" is especially easy to turn into spoken dialogue because, unlike the main musical numbers, it closely follows the pattern of ordinary conversation, and does not rhyme. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Sidehackers (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

A Red Headed Woman
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Brock Peters and Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Musical. It begs to be on DVD.
29 December 2004 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

"Porgy and Bess" is an outstanding production of George Gershwin's masterpiece. It is tastefully done in muted colors. The voices are outstanding. Although Sidney Portier's voice is dubbed for his singing portion, he gives a very touching performance. There is a remarkable performance by Sammy Davis Jr. as Sportin Life. There is yet no DVD available for viewing, and this piece begs for one. All intelligent movie goers who enjoyed it in 1959 will appreciate the release of this masterpiece on the new medium. The screen is filled with a dynamic presentation that rivals all other musicals including the outstanding ones by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Be sure to ask for it an your video supplier. Like "Songs of the South" by Walt Disney, it may be the assumption of racial overtones that is preventing the marketing of this cinema.


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