The Loves of Carmen is based upon the hugely successful 1875 opera Carmen by Georges Bizet. This film version places Rita Hayworth into the title role, as the wild, unpredictable and irresistible gypsy Carmen. The plot is set in historical Spain, with a strong military presence and bands of lawless roving gypsies, accompanied by a soundtrack from master composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (whose many Hollywood pupils included John Williams, Henry Mancini and Jerry Goldsmith). Glenn Ford plays the soldier who abandons his career and destroys his life in pursuit of Carmen's love, only to realise too late his folly.
Back in 1875 this was a genre-changing revelation in emotional betrayal. Although the storyline may now seem achingly familiar, it's still got the ability to pack a punch when done well. Here, Hayworth is mesmerising and fully convincing in her role. Ford was one of those ever-reliables who never quite reached the upper-echelons of superstardom, but was always a contender - his soldier is educated aristocracy with no real worldliness, and he does a good job in portraying that. There are some nice flamenco dance scenes, brawls and sword fights, some good bandit chases and plenty of dialogue and close-ups. It looks like it was probably all filmed on the studio back lot, rather than any locations, but doesn't suffer for that. Enjoyable.