Tuesday, March 14, 2006


The Otto Preminger Centennial

Director Preminger was always on the look out for projects that were groundbreaking and unusual, and he certainly found one in Oscar Hammersteins all-black adaptation of the opera Carmen. Carman Jones depicts the ill-fated romance between straight-laced corporal Joe (Harry Belafonte) and the temptress Carmen (Dorothy Dandridge). Ms. Dandridge is by far the strongest thing that this film has going for it, an engaging personality who landed an Academy Award nomination for her performance here, she unfortunately never again in life achieved the acclaim and attention this film brought her. Dorthys story is really much more interesting then this film and I would highly recommend the excellent cable movie about her life Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, in which she is played by Halle Berry. Preminger had an affair with Dandridge while making this film but broke it off in part do to racial pressures after the movies release, although he did use her again five years later in the similar Porgy and Bess. Most significant as the first all-black major studio picture Carman Jones is otherwise pretty boring and not a good film for those just starting out on Preminger movies.


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