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 »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Carmen Jones (1954)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey
Bright Road (1953)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Based on the story "See How They Run," which ran in the June 1951 issue of "The Ladies' Home Journal" and subsequently won that year's Christopher Award. The story was written by Mary ... See full summary »

Director: Gerald Mayer
Stars: Dorothy Dandridge, Philip Hepburn, Harry Belafonte
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A dramatization of the American general and his court martial for publically complaining about High Command's dismissal and neglect of the aerial fighting forces.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gary Cooper, Charles Bickford, Ralph Bellamy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A travelling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann
Fantasy | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A melancholy poet reflects on three women he loved and lost in the past: a mechanical performing doll, a Venetian courtesan, and the consumptive daughter of a celebrated composer.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Moira Shearer, Robert Rounseville, Ludmilla Tchérina
Certificate: Passed Musical | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Ethel Waters, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Lena Horne
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two newlyweds buy a small private island in the British Virgin Islands and live a happy life without the comforts of modern society.

Director: Pat Jackson
Stars: John Cassavetes, Virginia Maskell, Sidney Poitier
The Big Trail (1930)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Breck Coleman leads hundreds of settlers in covered wagons from the Mississippi River to their destiny out West.

Directors: Raoul Walsh, Louis R. Loeffler
Stars: John Wayne, Marguerite Churchill, El Brendel
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A famous jazz trumpeter finds himself unable to cope with the problems of everyday life.

Director: Leo Penn
Stars: Sammy Davis Jr., Louis Armstrong, Ossie Davis
Leadbelly (1976)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The life of Blues and folk singer Huddie Leadbetter, nicknamed Leadbelly is recounted. Covering the good times and bad from his 20s to 40s. Much of that time was spent on chain gangs in the... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Parks
Stars: Roger E. Mosley, Paul Benjamin, Madge Sinclair
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This movie shows the idealized career of the singer Al Jolson, a little Jewish boy who goes against the will of his father in order to be in showbiz. He becomes a star, falls in love with a... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Larry Parks, Evelyn Keyes, William Demarest
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1959 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Porgy y Bess See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's renditions of "Summertime" by Loulie Jean Norman (dubbing Diahann Carroll) and Adele Addison (dubbing Dorothy Dandridge) have placed at #52 in the AFI's (American Film Institute) list of the 100 Best Movie Songs of All Time. See more »

Quotes

Sportin' Life: Tell me, Bess. Do you like the little present I sold the Crown for you?
Bess: I like it.
[Bess and Crown began to kiss]
Crown: Give me a franc, make it quick.
Sportin' Life: All right, Crown.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Frank Sinatra's Welcome Home Party for Elvis Presley (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Sammy Davis Jr.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
This is one you never forget.
25 November 2004 | by armoth-1See 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.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 60 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed