Friday, April 15, 2011
Carmen Jones (1954)
Nominated for two Oscars and winner of the Golden Globe for best musical, this is the first musical themed after an Opera that I think I have seen. It is an interesting concept, and one I don't see being copied much today, and if you aren't familiar with the music can seem just plain strange. It is no secret that all of the singing in this film is dubbed, it is pretty clear from the first song that the talking voices do not match the singing voices. The film is directed by Otto Preminger and the music is by Oscar Hammerstein II who took the songs from Bizet Opera "Carmen" and re-wrote the lyrics to fit the modern theme.
The story is about a girl on a military base who gets what she wants, men that is. Careless and carefree with how she goes about getting her guys, and quick to jump from man to man regardless of how she ditches the previous one. Starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte, I found the acting above average but nothing special, and the music bothered me. I love the music from Carmen, so it was fun to hear it re-written for this film, but the dubbing bothers me. You can't expect the actors to be able to sing opera, which is why a film like this just didn't work very well.
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046828/