Carmen Jones (1954)


“‘Scuse my dust, gentlemen. The air’s gettin’ mighty unconditioned ’round here.” – Carmen Jones

Number of Times Seen – 1 (1 Dec 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A young soldier is charged with taking a military factory worker to jail after a fight breaks out, but she is determined to escape along the way.

My Take on it – This is a film that I knew absolutely nothing about before coming across it during my recent quest to watch all films that have received Oscar nominations in the acting categories.

This film was extremely boring and makes so little sense on many levels.

The cast is led by Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte and despite both of them being great singers, their performances here are really subpar.

The way that they each play thesehhcaracters makes it much more difficult to find ways to enjoy their performances.

They lack a minimal chemistry between their characters and some of their scenes together are quite painstaking to watch.

This lack of chemistry makes it even harder to find the story plausible or believable in any way.

I’ve always been a fan of Otto Preminger’s work as a director and am a bit shocked that he helmed this film since it is so very different from the kind of films he usually makes.

The story itself drags along too much and the characters keep finding themselves in strange situations that don’t work at all.

The film has an all black cast and characters and too often it crosses the line and feels more racist than poignant in what they are trying to say.

The most notable thing about this film is that Dorothy Dandridge was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here which made her the very first African-American in history to be nominated in this category.

Bottom Line – Really boring and silly film that fails to work on any level. Dandridge and Belafonte are both great actors and singers, but neither of their characters are really enjoyable to watch as these characters. Their chemistry is terrible and don;t help make this story more plausible or believable.  I’m a bit shocked that Preminger directed this film because it seems so very different from all of his other work. The story drags along for too long and the characters constantly find themselves in strange situations that don’t work. The film’s all black cast and characters also seems a bit too racist in the way things are presented.  Dandridge was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here becoming the very first African-American female to be nominated in that category.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Otto Preminger wanted to film on location in Chicago and South Carolina, but studio records show the movie was shot entirely on the Fox lot. One notable exception was the children’s chorus scenes that were shot on location at a working dynamite factory. The parents, of course, were present, many of them sitting on boxes of explosives – idly smoking. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)

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One thought on “Carmen Jones (1954)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1954 | MovieRob

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