Although this Italo-Spanish version of Carmen claims to be based on the book, it actually follows the Bizet opera scene for scene, the Halévy/Meilhac dialogue (and many lines from the songs) in the intertitles. Apart that is from the very beginning. It starts with Don José obliged to leave his native village in the Basque country after a fight (a dispute over a game of pelota) and enrol in the dragoons....later too there is an interpolated scene of the mother in the basque village.
It would be interesting to see a film genuinely based on the book (it has to my knowledge never been attempted) but, even in the opera-scenes that follow, the excellent naturalstic location shooting in this film give it an ambience that is lacking in most film versions (ancient and modern). It is the co-director-writer-cinematographer Augusto Turqui's only known film.
The bad news. Only about half the film survives.....
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