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Carmen, Baby (1967)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 106 users  
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A sexy temptress no man can resist and a local police officer who falls hard for her become embroiled in a complicated intrigue of passion and jealousy in Radley Metzger's boldly original erotic update of the opera Carmen.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Uta Levka ...
Claus Ringer ...
Jose
Carl Möhner ...
Medicio
Barbara Valentin ...
Dolores
Walter Wilz ...
Baby Lucas
Christiane Rücker ...
Misty
Arthur Brauss ...
Garcia
Doris Arden ...
Darcy
Michael Münzer ...
Magistrate
Christian Fredersdorf
Nino Korda
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Storyline

A sexy temptress no man can resist and a local police officer who falls hard for her become embroiled in a complicated intrigue of passion and jealousy in Radley Metzger's boldly original erotic update of the opera Carmen.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A hip Carmen in modern undress! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carmen Baby  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Radley Metzger's first film in color and biggest box office success See more »

Quotes

Fruit Vendor: [explaining his system of barter with Carmen, who's taken an apple] We have a very good system here. She takes a dozen apples, she pays me back.
Jose: How?
Carmen: Take a dozen apples and you'll find out.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Bizet: Carmen (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Feels Like Lovin'
Written by Joey Brooks
Performed by Jimmy Radcliffe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Could Be Worse (maybe?)
30 January 2009 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Back in my Junior High years "Carmen, Baby" (1967) was hot (but forbidden) stuff in our small mid-western town. For some reason the distributor gave this film from avant-garde erotica director Radley Metzger a wide US theatrical release-with mega publicity. So teenage boys were titillated each day by newspaper ads featuring two still memorable publicity photos of German actress Uta Levka; sticking out her tongue in a close-up and displaying her curves in a long side shot. We were too young for admittance although some managed to see the film when it hit the drive-in circuit the next summer.

Finally getting to view the thing 40 years later was pretty much a prescription for disappointment and I soon found myself yearning for Rita Hayworth in "The Loves of Carmen (1948).

Metzger's modern retelling of Bizet's opera is generally faithful to the story and sometimes even inventive in its technique. There wasn't much about it that I would consider experimental, other than a slick touch toward the end where Metzger illustrates the separation between Carmen (Levka) and Jose (Claus Ringer) by filming them together at a club from an angle that places a beam between them. What was certainly an "adult" film in 1967 seems almost prudish next to typical contemporary teen films like "American Pie".

Metzger is an American who shot a film in Germany with a German cast speaking English (for a while I thought it dubbed but why dub in broken English). Subtitles would have fixed a portion of the weak acting but would have hurt profits. The film would have been better in 1967 and less dated today if Metzger had used a bit of Bizet's music in the score instead of mid-60's European lounge music.

Ringer is actually quite good nonverbally but has trouble selling his character's obsession with the title character. In part because of the extremely weak script but also because despite her great publicity photos; the on-screen Levka is totally bland and sterile.

Despite excellent and well proved source material, the screenwriter obviously struggled with its modern adaptation and Metzger meanders stylishly all over the place while managing to show nothing particularly erotic "on screen" - whenever anything begins to happen the camera pulls in for a close-up of a man's face experiencing pleasure and one is left to imagine what is happening outside the frame. There are a few good action scenes when Jose surprises his boss in the bedroom with Carmen. The traditional catfight at the start of the film is completely unconvincing; you actual feel embarrassed for the two actresses who have to participate in something this lame.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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