7.4/10
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59 user 7 critic

Porgy and Bess (1959)

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 »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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:

The Goldwyn Touch!...more dramatic than ever before! See more »

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 y 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

The Gershwin family was dissatisfied with the film, largely because it was not staged as a true opera with all the recitative performed musically, and also because the two leads had their singing voices dubbed. The film's original director, Rouben Mamoulian, wanted to film on location, but producer Samuel Goldwyn refused and insisted on using sound stages. When a mysterious fire broke out and destroyed the sets, Mamoulian again requested that the film be made on location. Enraged, Goldwyn felt that Mamoulian was taking advantage of a misfortune, promptly fired him, and hired Otto Preminger, who made the film on sound stages in Hollywood. The film is currently (Nov. 2002) withheld from release because of actions by both the Gershwin and Goldwyn estates, as neither Samuel Goldwyn nor the Gershwin family were satisfied with the film. See more »


Soundtracks

A Red Headed Woman
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Brock Peters and Chorus
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User Reviews

 
Should be available to the public.
5 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie when I was a kid and have been looking for it ever since.It rates up there with Cabin in The Sky, Stormy Weather and Carmen Jones as a must see in movies that showcased the awesome talent of African Americans.In the 60s the local Los Angeles TV stations would have a movie of the week and some stations would show the same movie for 5 days.Porgy and Bess was one of them and my whole family would be there all 5 nights in front of the TV and only moved on the commercials.South Pacific,Oklahoma and The Sound of Music are all musical classics that you can pick up at any video store. It would be a shame to let this collection of some of the best talent America had to offer be forgotten or locked in a vault.Please make the film available to the public.


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