There are people who love (and I mean LOVE) Carmen Jones, 20th Century Fox’s 1954 film with Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Bellafonte (with Pearl Bailey and a very very young Diahann Carroll as well) and directed by the great Otto Preminger
So I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful news to a lot of people’s ears that word came out today that a restored and remastered version of the film will be released on blu-ray from Fox Home Video.
But don’t get too excited yet. I’ll to that in a minute
Based on the hit Broadway play from the early 1940’s, Carmen Jones has a clever concept. Take George Bizet’s classic 1874 French opera Carmen make the characters black and set in mainly in the South among the black community. Then take Bizet’s music and .write new English lyrics to replace the original French lyrics for the arias and.. VOILA a classic!
But people who don’t know the opera may be surprised to find out just how closely the play and film follow Bizet’s opera. With the exception of a few things, such as the film Carmen works in a parachute factory while in the opera she works in a cigarette factory, it’s basically same. Even the English lyrics pretty much closely follow what the characters are singing in the French opera version.
(You’ve been listening and humming to 19th Century grand French opera all this time and didn’t know. You see, It’s not that bad after all)
But enough of history, as for the DVD, Fox until recently for several weeks running ran a online contest in which they asked film lovers to vote for their favorite Fox film, one from each decade form the 1930’s to the 1960’s, that they would most like to see released on blu-ray and Carmen Jones won hands won as the 1950’s pick.
So Fox has announced that they will be releasing the film on blu-ray
One problem though You’ll have to wait until DECEMBER for it to come out.
Why such a long delay? They did not reveal the reason why, but most probably it’s due to the restoration work that needs to be done for the film which is a process that always takes a lot of time and patience.
So are you willing to wait?