in about 100 words or less
US 105m, Colour
Director: Otto Preminger; Cast: Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Olga James, Joe Adams
Inspired by the opera Carmen, Carmen Jones is a lively but decidedly strange musical based on a stage production of the same name. The making of this film during a period of American history which was still dealing with racial segregation was an admirable effort, and with its all-black cast, continues to serve as a reminder of these issues. Despite the fine performances, there is, as has been widely noted, an incongruity between the folksy dialogue and the operatic style of the music. It is also unfortunate that Preminger felt it necessary to dub the singing of its two lead characters, as the natural voices of this talented company would likely have enhanced the playful charm of the operatic adaptation (Klaus Ming January 2015).