7.4/10
1,327
60 user 8 critic

Porgy and Bess (1959)

A woman whose past is scorned by nearly everyone around her meets a man who'd love her regardlessly- if only everyone else would allow them to.

Directors:

Otto Preminger, Rouben Mamoulian (uncredited)

Writers:

Dorothy Heyward (play), DuBose Heyward (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:
Sidney Poitier ... Porgy
Dorothy Dandridge ... Bess
Sammy Davis Jr. ... Sportin' Life
Pearl Bailey ... Maria
Brock Peters ... Crown
Leslie Scott Leslie Scott ... Jake
Diahann Carroll ... Clara
Ruth Attaway Ruth Attaway ... Serena Robbins
Claude Akins ... Detective
Clarence Muse ... Peter
Everdinne Wilson Everdinne Wilson ... Annie
Joel Fluellen Joel Fluellen ... Robbins
Earl Jackson Earl Jackson ... Mingo
Moses LaMarr Moses LaMarr ... Nelson
Margaret Hairston 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1959 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Porgy y Bess See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,500,000, 31 December 1959
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the film's screenplay, screenwriter N. Richard Nash simply converted much of the opera's sung recitative into spoken dialogue, although he did add several lines of his own. He even retained many of the same lines word-for-word. The recitative in "Porgy and Bess" is especially easy to turn into spoken dialogue because, unlike the main musical numbers, it closely follows the pattern of ordinary conversation, and does not rhyme. See more »

Quotes

Porgy: Thank god. Thank god.
Bess: I've been sick, ain't I?
Porgy: You've been very sick. Now, I've got you back.
See more »

Connections

Version of American Playhouse: Porgy and Bess (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Here Come de Honey Man
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by DuBose Heyward
Sung by Clarence Muse
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I saw this movie when I was 6 years old. One of my lifetime favorites.
21 June 2005 | by waterhickorySee all my reviews

This was/is an incredible movie, with incredible cast, music, singing, story, etc. It is a tragedy that some arrogant families (the Gerswhins or Premingers) can keep it from being available to generation after generation. I have wanted to see it again all of my life. I just found this site and read why it has not been available. Shame on these families for their pettiness. My wife is from Germany and she has never seen the movie. Neither have my step-children or my grandchildren. It is very sad that a movie of this depth and quality is not available for them to see. Where do these families get off making such a conceited, self-important, egotistical, condescending decision to prohibit generations from enjoying this film, these stars, these performances, this music! Release the video and let them world judge and enjoy!


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