- Actors: Julia Migenes, Plácido Domingo, Ruggero Raimondi, Faith Esham, François Le Roux
- Directors: Francesco Rosi
- Writers: Francesco Rosi, Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy, Prosper Mérimée, Tonino Guerra
- Producers: Alain Poiré, Daniel Toscan du Plantier
- Language: French
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Cinema Club
- VHS Release Date: 26 Jun. 2000
- Run Time: 149 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00004U8O1
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 460,071 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Carmen [VHS] 
Francesco Rosi directs this adaptation of Bizet's dramatic opera. Don José is a guard who begins an affair with the tempestuous Carmen. He is imprisoned and loses his job, then flees with her to the mountains. When the relationship starts to break down José refuses to acknowledge it, and will not leave even when he gets news that his mother is dying. Carmen meanwhile has taken up with the bullfighter Escamillo. Julia Migenes-Johnson and Placido Domingo star with Ruggero Raimondi, Faith Esham and Jean-Philippe Lafont.
This movie version of Bizet's popular opera Carmen was filmed on location, conveying a kind of atmosphere, a sense of space, movement, and presence that's hard to achieve in a staged performance. It takes the action out of doors for many scenes, with the opening titles superimposed on the bloody conclusion of a bullfight. Elsewhere the changing of the guard, the crowd scenes, the dance number that opens Act 2, and the panoramic scenery of the smugglers' mountain hideout all benefit from the freedom granted by movie cameras.
It's an exciting Carmen, too, with a young-looking Placido Domingo in top form for a role he has sung hundreds of times. For Julia Migenes, though, it was her first performance in a role she would have trouble performing in an opera house. Her voice does not fit easily into Carmen's range, and she spent months training it, very successfully, before singing the role in a recording studio where the soundtrack was taped before the film was shot. Casting her in the role was a gamble, but it worked; she is a convincing actress. Unlike most opera-house performances this movie version uses the opera's original opera comique form with some spoken dialogue rather than recitatives.--Joe McLellan, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
But now I must turn my attention to the video quality. I should say at the outset that video quality is important to me and I expect high standards from Blu-ray discs. However, there are many films of a similar vintage where the Blu-ray restoration has been far more effective. At the start of film the quality was reasonably good but it has to be said that the video quality dropped off as the film progressed and the quality soon deteriorated during the outside night scenes or where the lighting levels were lower. The video is on the soft side and the picture sharpness is only up to medium to good dvd levels - certainly not Blu-ray quality. I suspect that the fault lies with the original print rather than the restorative process. Who was the lighting engineer, I wonder? The video quality does improve quite a bit in the final 2 chapters but that does not wholly compensate for the large proportion of the film where the quality is not even up to a good modern dvd.
However, this is a historic film with fabulous performances from all the lead singers. For me it is the benchmark Carmen, despite a slight disappointment with the video quality. There is a choice of soundtracks, all of which are good although I preferred the 5.1 HD Master Sound mix.Read more ›
One word on the sound quality, currently this is really limited by the DVD player, all DVDs contain a sound track that is uncompressed and of higher quality than CD, however as far as I can see at present (Dec 2000) apart from a few high end exotica there is not a DVD player in the world capable of reproducing the sound on DVD disks at even CD quality.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The ultimate Carmen, forget the staged performances, this is lavish and lush, you can almost feel the heat of the sun, Placido Domingo at his best, Julia Migenes superb in the... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Bette Stalford
I'm not an real opera fan but love Carmen and Bizet's music. This wonderful Hollywood production does it proud. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr. P. D. Allen
This is quite, quite superb. It is a production of Carmen that I don't believe could be bettered. It features a very young slim and handsome Placido Domingo as Don Jose and the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ms. E. J. Baker
What a stuninng performance by this wonderful female lead. She is the sexiest Carmen ever!!!!Published 6 months ago by Mr. Christopher Morton