Scores of films have been inspired by Georges Bizet's opera Carmen, but here is one with a difference. The director Luigi Bazzoni (working with Italy's most illustrious script-writer, Suso Cecchi d'Amico) chose to ditch the opera, go back to Prosper Merimee's original novella - and shoot it in the style of a Spaghetti Western!
Bazzoni's camerawork is more frenetic than inventive, and his film never quite works. Still, it does boast a wondrous cast. Franco Nero, blue eyes blazing in his dark-bronzed face, is the naive young soldier Jose. Klaus Kinski, teeth gnashing and lips curling in his usual manner, is the sadistic bandit Garcia. And lovely Tina Aumont enjoys a rare leading role as Carmen - the amoral and seductive gypsy who drags both men to their doom.
Aumont may not be the world's greatest actress. (In fact, she can barely act at all!) But like her mother, Maria 'Cobra Woman' Montez, she seems to have the words FEMME FATALE emblazoned in bright scarlet letters across her forehead. Her enormous dark eyes are wells of untold depravity. Her pouting, voluptuous mouth would lure any man to his ruin. If you remember anything in this film, it will be her.
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