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John Phillip Law
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
"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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