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Porgy and Bess (1959)

 -  Drama | Musical | Romance  -  24 June 1959 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 995 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 »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(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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...
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Maria
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Leslie Scott ...
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Ruth Attaway ...
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Detective
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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 and 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally bought as a film property by Columbia Pictures in 1942 to star an all-white cast in blackface: Al Jolson as Porgy, Rita Hayworth as Bess, and Fred Astaire as Sportin' Life. When that proved unrealistic, the property was sold to 20th Century Fox, where it was hoped to have been a follow-up to Stormy Weather (1943). Rouben Mamoulian (who directed the original Broadway play) was announced as director and the following cast was announced: Paul Robeson as Porgy, Lena Horne as Bess, Hattie McDaniel as Maria, Canada Lee as Crown, Cab Calloway as Sportin' Life and Fredi Washington as Clara. When Horne proved to be unavailable after 'Stormy Weather' and Robeson clashed with Darryl F. Zanuck due to his political beliefs following the filming of Tales of Manhattan (1942), the film was shelved until 1957 when it was bought by Samuel Goldwyn. See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Masters: Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Sidney Poitier (dubbed by Robert McFerrin) and Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Porgy And Bess (1959)
23 August 2000 | by See all my reviews

I was a young boy in Houston when this motion picture was first released.It was one of,or perhaps maybe the first,to be filmed entirely in stereophonic sound.

I have no idea why there have been issues about this film.Whatever objections some groups may have or may still have to the showing of this film are just flat groundless.This film is beautiful.I do hope some kind people would think of the public and give this film back to us,be it on broadcast television or video.

I am sure that if this movie were to be released on videotape or DVD the public would just eat it up.Especially those of us with surround-sound systems.I can just imagine what a pleasure it would be to see and hear this movie at home on a big-screen and in surround sound.


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