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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Gerald S. O'Loughlin
A white family has had the same black maid for many years. When she tells them she wants to go back to school and will be leaving soon, the 20ish year old son decides what she needs is a ... See full summary »
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
The "Morning Sounds" scene in the film's final sequence, in which street noises are heard and gradually combine to form a dance rhythm, had previously been seen on the screen in the 1932 film "Love Me Tonight", which was directed by Rouben Mamoulian, who was the original director of this "Porgy and Bess". Mamoulian had also staged the sequence in the 1927 non-musical play "Porgy", which was the basis for "Porgy and Bess", and in the original 1935 stage version of the opera, both of which he also directed. It is the only sequence directed by Mamoulian which remains in the 1959 film. Other productions of "Porgy and Bess", although retaining the song "Good Mornin' Sistuh", have not retained the "Morning Sounds" sequence because it was Mamoulian's idea, not Gershwin's. See more »
I saw this on television more years ago than I can remember, but never forgot the performance of Sammy Davis, Jr. I just by chance thought to look for it on video. This rendition of Porgy and Bess is a treasure. I would love to see it again and introduce my son to it as well. I just can't imagine why it is not heralded as one of the greatest performances Sammy Davis, Jr. every gave. Whoever is responsible for not bringing this to audiences should be ashamed of his/her ignorance. I will continue to look for it though. Maybe the execs responsible for such things will come to realize the forgotten work of so many African American actors.
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