March 4, 2009

...Carmen Jones (1954)

Oscar Hammerstein II took the music from Bizet's classic opera Carmen, added his own lyrics, rewrote the book (transporting the story to Louisiana in the 1950s) and came up with a pastiche called Carmen Jones. Otto Preminger filmed the musical redux with singer/actors Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge in the lead roles only to have them dubbed by two white singers with a more operatic range. All of this stitching is very present in the movie which feels listless, has less than memorable songs and, despite a sultry performance by the aforementioned Dandridge and a funky one by Pearl Bailey, ended up putting me to sleep.

No comments: