Musical Monday: Porgy and Bess (1959)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Porgy and Bess (1959) – Musical #601

Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Studios

Director: Otto Preminger, Rouben Mamoulian (uncredited)

Starring: Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters, Diahann Carroll, Clarence Muse, Claude Atkins

Plot:
Set in 1912 Charleston, SC, in a black fishing community, Crown (Brock) kills a man and when he flees, his girlfriend Bess (Dandridge) is left behind. Scorned by most of the community because of her past with drug abuse, Porgy (Poitier), who is a crippled beggar, takes Bess in. Bess and Porgy fall in love and she tries to turn her life around, but is tempted by Crown and drug dealer Sportin’ Life (Davis Jr).

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Musical Monday: Carmen Jones (1954)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Carmen Jones (1954) – Musical #585

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Otto Preminger

Starring:
Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters, Diahann Carroll, Olga James, Joe Adams, Roy Glenn, Nick Stewart, Alvin Ailey (uncredited), Carmen De Lavallade (uncredited), Bernie Hamilton (uncredited)

Plot:
Set during World War II in North Carolina, the plot is a modern version of the opera “Carmen.” Joe (Belafonte) is in the Army and is about to be sent to flight school to become a pilot and officer. His girlfriend Cindy Lou (James) comes to see him off and wants to get married before he leaves. All of these plans are thwarted when Carmen Jones (Dandridge) sets her eyes on Joe. Carmen works in a parachute factory on base and gets in a fight with another worker and is sent to jail. Joe has to take her to jail, but she escapes, which cause Joe to be thrown in the brig and be demoted in rank. When he gets out of jail, Joe tells Dorothy he’s still going to flight school, but she is angry that Joe would think of leaving her. The two run away to Chicago, making Joe A.W.O.L. With Joe in hiding from the military police, Carmen starts to see boxer Huskey Miller (Adams).

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