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    Carmen Jones

    Carmen Jones Poster
    Carmen Jones Poster

    Released

    1954

    Runtime

    105

    Carmen Jones

    What's it About

    Updating Bizet's tragic romance to the black culture of the 1940s, Preminger's film tells the story of Carmen (Dandridge), a sultry factory worker who ensnares the affections of Joe (Belafonte), a soldier who's been ordered to accompany her to a court hearing. Smitten, Joe sacrifices everything — including the army — to escape with the temptress. Given their tricky predicament and Carmen's fiery nature, can this couple survive?

    Why we love it

    One of the first films with an all-black cast targeted to white as well as black audiences, "Carmen Jones" reflects a seamless transference of Bizet's tale and music to the mid-twentieth century. The movie stands out for Dandridge's searing, Oscar-nominated portrayal (with her singing voice dubbed by Marilyn Horne), and for the platform it provided African-American performers Pearl Bailey (as fortuneteller Frankie) and Diahann Carroll. Sadly, Dandridge would die in obscurity of a drug overdose in 1965, but "Carmen" remains a testament to her striking beauty and prodigious talent.