Carmen Jones (1954)

Based on Georges Bizet's music and Oscar Hammerstein II's lyrics, this all-black version of the classic opera Carmen starred Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte. Diahann made her Hollywood debut, playing one of Carmen's sidekicks. It wasn't a big part, but it gave Diahann experience, and here she met Pearl Bailey who she would later work with again in the musical, House of Flowers.
  When Diahann first auditioned for the movie, director Otto Preminger had her read for the title role, and she would do it with James Edwards. That made her too nervous to give a good performance, and the role went to Dorothy. Obviously, director Preminger could still see a certain quality in Diahann, so she landed a smaller role, in spite of the catastrophic audition. In her book, Diahann!, Ms. Carroll recalls,

"But for all the movie-star fantasies I carried with me to California, it became clear as the weeks went by that none of us was likely to have much of a future here.We were the only black people on the lot. The producers, production staff, and crew were all quite polite and professional, but there was absolutely no camaraderie on or off the set, no sense of shared purpose. The unspoken assumption seemed to be that we were outsiders, in town for only a short while to do our "black" feature film (there was a "black" film every few years), and when it was over we would go back to wherever we came from and no one would ever see us again. I felt that one possible exception would be Dorothy Dandridge."


Harry Belafonte ... Joe
Dorothy Dandridge ... Carmen Jones
Pearl Bailey ... Frankie
Olga James ... Cindy Lou
Joe Adams ... Husky Miller
Brock Peters ... Sergeant Brown
Roy Glenn ... Rum Daniels
Nick Stewart ... Dink Franklin
Diahann Carroll ... Myrt
Le Vern Hutcherson ... Joe (voice)
Marilynn Horne ... Carmen Jones (voice)
Marvin Hayes ... Husky Miller (voice)

Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alvin Ailey ... Dance Soloist (uncredited)
DeForest Covan ... Trainer (uncredited)
Joseph E. Crawford ... Dink Franklin (singing voice) (uncredited)
Carmen De Lavallade ... Dance Soloist (uncredited)
Bernie Hamilton ... Reporter (uncredited)
Margaret Lancaster ... Singing Voice (uncredited)
Mauri Lynn ... Sally (uncredited)
Sam McDaniel ... Waiter (uncredited)
Bernice Peterson ... Myrt (singing voice) (uncredited)
Max Roach ... Max (uncredited)
Carmencita Romero ... Dancer (uncredited)
Archie Savage ... Dance Soloist (uncredited)
Madame Sul-Te-Wan ... Hagar - Carmen's Grandmother (uncredited)
Rubin Wilson ... Kid Pancho (uncredited)

Directed by Otto Preminger
Produced by Otto Preminger
Written by Oscar Hammerstein II, Harry Kleiner

Carmen Jones was originally a Broadway musical from 1943, itself an update of the opera Carmen. The movie premiered in 1954.


Released on DVD in January, 2002. This edition is anamorphic widescreen and includes the original theatrical trailer as a bonus.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment #2001882

Previously released on VHS (pictured further to the left).


EXTERNAL LINKS (Opens in new window)

Carmen Jones on
Carmen Jones on Wikipedia

Share |