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60 user 7 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:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(play), (libretto) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Porgy
... Bess
... Sportin' Life
... Maria
... Crown
Leslie Scott ... Jake
... Clara
Ruth Attaway ... Serena Robbins
... Detective
... Peter
Everdinne Wilson ... Annie
Joel Fluellen ... Robbins
Earl Jackson ... Mingo
Moses LaMarr ... Nelson
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:

Introducing a new era in motion pictures! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1959 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Porgy y Bess  »

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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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dorothy Dandridge and Pearl Bailey were also reluctant to be in the film, until they heard that Poitier and Sammy Davis, Jr. were going to be in it. Sammy Davis, Jr. was the only one of the four leads who was actually eager to play his role in the movie. See more »

Quotes

[Robbins throws the dice and sees that dice is nine]
Robbins: Read 'em, nine spot! Nine right!
Sportin' Life: He made it!
[Robbins grabs the money and Crown seizes his hands]
Crown: Touch that money and meet your god.
[grabs his wrists]
Robbins: Take your hands off me, you lousy hound!
Crown: Nobody's getting away with Crown's money.
[Crown began to fighting and strangling Robbins]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Bride of the Monster (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

O Bess, O Where's My Bess
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Sidney Poitier (dubbed by Robert McFerrin)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is one you never forget.
25 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

I saw this on television more years ago than I can remember, but never forgot the performance of Sammy Davis, Jr. I just by chance thought to look for it on video. This rendition of Porgy and Bess is a treasure. I would love to see it again and introduce my son to it as well. I just can't imagine why it is not heralded as one of the greatest performances Sammy Davis, Jr. every gave. Whoever is responsible for not bringing this to audiences should be ashamed of his/her ignorance. I will continue to look for it though. Maybe the execs responsible for such things will come to realize the forgotten work of so many African American actors.


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