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Playing the Bitch

Carmen Jones

Bizet’s opera gets a sexy, feisty twist in this musical starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte.

Image from Carmen Jones

USA 1954
Dir Otto Preminger
With Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey
105min
Digital
Certificate U

In this modern take on Bizet’s opera, with an all-black cast, Dandridge plays Carmen Jones, a tempestuous factory worker in a military base who sets her eyes on do-gooder Joe (Belafonte), an officer who’s already engaged. Carmen is a seductive siren, who seemingly relishes destroying men for the fun of it, and Dandridge’s take on the infamous character still remains one of the most extraordinary.

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