7.3/10
1,362
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
Saint Joan (1957)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1456, French King Charles VII recalls the story of how he met the seventeen-year-old peasant girl Joan of Arc, entrusted her with the command of the French Army, and ultimately burned her at the stake as a heretic.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Richard Widmark, Richard Todd, Anton Walbrook
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
The Cardinal (1963)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young Catholic priest from Boston confronts bigotry, Naziism, and his own personal conflicts as he rises to the office of cardinal.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Tom Tryon, John Huston, Romy Schneider
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State, gives light to a secret from the past, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President's character as well.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Henry Fonda
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When a leak of information in the African Section of British Intelligence is discovered, security man Daintry is brought in to investigate.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Nicol Williamson, Derek Jacobi
No Way Out (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A black doctor is assigned to treat two white racist suspects who are brothers, and when one dies, it causes tension that could start a race riot.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally
Bright Road (1953)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Certificate: M/PG Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two aging playboys are both after the same attractive young woman, but she fends them off by claiming that she plans to remain a virgin until her wedding night. Both men determine to find a way around her objections.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: William Holden, David Niven, Maggie McNamara
Angel Face (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman
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
Parrish (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Parrish McLean lives with his mother Ellen on Sala Post's tobacco plantation in the Connecticut River Valley. His mother winds up marrying Sala's rival Judd Raike, ruthless planter who ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Troy Donahue, Karl Malden
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:

Introducing a new era in motion pictures! 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

Two days before filming was slated to begin, a fire broke out and destroyed most of the costumes, props, and sketches. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Although this film has never been officially released on any home media format, numerous bootleg copies, running 115 minutes, are available on VHS and DVD-R. The full-length original version runs 138 minutes, not including overture and entr'acte music. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Saturday Night Live: Cicely Tyson/Talking Heads (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

They Pass By Singin'
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by DuBose Heyward
Sung by Sidney Poitier (dubbed by Robert McFerrin)
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

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed