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Carmen Jones: The Original Funny Valentine

Features
by Abdul Ali
February 14, 2013 2:55 PM
1 Comment
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Valentine’s Day means movies in heavy rotation with juicy romantic plots, but none come close to “Carmen Jones.”

The 1954 musical film has a long lineage.

Otto Preminger’s adaptation of Oscar Hammerstein’s 1943 stage production was inspired by a French adaptation of the 19th-century novella “Carmen.” However, it’s Preminger’s cast -- Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Diahann Carroll, and Pearl Bailey -- that makes this version so memorable. Dandridge and Belafonte have remarkable chemistry; nearly 60 years later, it’s hard to think of another film that can hold a match to this portrayal of Black love (albeit the dysfunctional and murderous kind.)

This wartime story follows a classic love triangle chock full of jealousy, temptation and that achy-breaky old-timey love. Carmen, the ill-fated femme fatale who incites trouble wherever she goes, made Dandridge the first Black woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Lead Role. And Belafonte is Joe, the naïve soldier who aspires to pilot school... but becomes enthralled by the fiery Carmen.

Carmen Jones airs on XFINITY On Demand™. Here’s a little tease.

What’s your favorite film featuring Black love?

Editor’s Note: Throughout Black History Month and beyond, Shadow and Act will partner with XFINITY to celebrate Black entertainment. XFINITY is creating a unique digital community built around the love of Black entertainment at xfinity.com/celebrateblacktv. Shadow and Act hopes to enrich this community and provide a launching pad for insightful discussion. Look to Shadow and Act for features and content examining and exploring key themes and topics that run throughout the history of Black entertainment.

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1 Comment

  • urbanauteur | February 14, 2013 3:16 PMReply

    NOTHING BUT a MAN
    SOUNDER
    LOVE JONES
    AARON LOVES ANGELA
    GET ON THE BUS[budding love teaser# between roger(gary) smith & gina(gina) ravara;the smoldering chemistry was off the chain, only if? spike lee had explore its potential, what a miss opportunity;-[

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