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Carmen Jones [1954] [DVD]

Harry Belafonte , Dorothy Dandridge , Otto Preminger    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
Price: 8.06 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Few actresses have dominated the camera as powerfully as Dorothy Dandridge in Carmen Jones. Her polished beauty plays in irresistible contrast to her title character's leonine sexuality and fluid emotions; a man can't decide from moment to moment if he wants to save her from doom, build her a castle, or never let her out of bed. Of course, that's the problem with the boys in this semi-experimental adaptation of Bizet's opera, Carmen.

Straight-arrow Joe (a strapping Harry Belafonte), an obedient corporal on a southern military base during World War II, is all set to go to flight school and marry his hometown sweetie, Cindy Lou (Olga James), when his troublemaking sergeant orders him to accompany Carmen to a civilian court. In short order, Joe is swept up in Carmen's carnal anarchy and her craving for release from lousy options in life. An impulsive act of violence ensures that Joe's future is gone forever, putting Carmen in the difficult position of destroying their relationship to save him.

Oscar Hammerstein II took Bizet's music in 1943 and rewrote the book and lyrics. The result is largely a smashing success with a few missteps (the bullfighter in Bizet's piece becomes a heavyweight boxer here, which breaks up a certain grace in the story) and a couple of perfect stretches (the long prelude to Carmen and Joe's first embrace, set on Carmen's hoodoo-ish home turf).

Despite the fact that both Dandridge and Belafonte were singers, their vocal performances were dubbed by LeVern Hutcherson and Marilyn Horne. (Yes, it is a little disconcerting to hear another voice coming out of the more familiar Belafonte's mouth.) Otto Preminger directed with his usual eye on economy of action and production, as the numerous musical numbers tend to be shot in lengthy, single, carefully choreographed takes. The result can be a little visually static at times, but the passion behind the singing pulls everything through.--Tom Keogh

Product Description

CARMEN JONES
A film by Otto Preminger

This sizzling screen version of Bizet's opera Carmen updated for an all-black cast, stars Dorothy Dandridge, whose vibrant performance resulted in the first Oscar® nomination for a black actress. She stars in the title role as a passionate sexy creature who lures handsome GI Joe (Harry Belafonte) away from his sweetheart (Olga James).

Following a brawl with his sergeant, Joe deserts his regiment with the sultry femme fatale. Carmen soon tires of him and takes up with a heavyweight prize-fighter (Joe Adams), triggering Joe's tragic revenge.

Helping to set the screen on fire are Pearl Bailey and Diahann Carroll, part of the sensational troupe that makes Carmen Jones essential viewing.

DVD extras include theatrical trailer and biographies of Otto Preminger, Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte and Saul Bass (credits designer)

USA | 1954 | colour | silent with music | Optional hard-of-hearing subtitles | 105 minutes | Ratio 2.35:1 (letterboxed) | Region 2 DVD

Product Description

The story of Bizet's Carmen updated for an all black cast. Carmen works on a parachute packing line and seduces straightarrow soldier Joe with tragic results. 1954. Theatrical trailer. Biographies of Otto Preminger Dorothy Dandridge Harry Belafonte and Saul Bass (credits designer. Updated for an all-black cast Carmen Jones stars Dorothy Dandridge whose vibrant performance resulted in the first Oscar nominated for a black actress. She stars in the title role as a passionate sexy creature who lures handsome GI Joe (Harry Belafonte) away from his sweetheart (Olga James). PLEASE NOTE: This is a REGION TWO DVD coded for viewing in the UNITED KINGDOM EUROPE the MIDDLE EAST &amp JAPAN. It may not be viewable in other countries unless you have a player designed to play REGION TWO or ALL REGIONS. If in doubt check with the manufacturer of your DVD player before ordering.
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