7.3/10
1,337
60 user 8 critic
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 Gershwin Music! The Goldwyn Touch! 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

Producer Samuel Goldwyn was notorious for "playing with film" during the editing stages. Director Otto Preminger resented Goldwyn's meddling in the film editing, so he shot nearly all of it in long takes, with the camera panning in and out and the camera angles seldom changing during takes. There were also few close-ups, and none of the kinds of close-ups found in non-widescreen films. This effectively prevented Goldwyn from incorporating his own photography ideas into the film. Preminger's approach was precisely the opposite of Trevor Nunn, who shot his 1993 videotape television version of "Porgy and Bess" in the style of a non-widescreen film. 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 »

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 »


Soundtracks

Oh, I Can't Sit Down
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Pearl Bailey and The Ken Darby Singers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Should be available to the public.
5 January 2006 | by rchambers7777See all my reviews

I saw this movie when I was a kid and have been looking for it ever since.It rates up there with Cabin in The Sky, Stormy Weather and Carmen Jones as a must see in movies that showcased the awesome talent of African Americans.In the 60s the local Los Angeles TV stations would have a movie of the week and some stations would show the same movie for 5 days.Porgy and Bess was one of them and my whole family would be there all 5 nights in front of the TV and only moved on the commercials.South Pacific,Oklahoma and The Sound of Music are all musical classics that you can pick up at any video store. It would be a shame to let this collection of some of the best talent America had to offer be forgotten or locked in a vault.Please make the film available to the public.


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