Friday, November 25, 2011

Carmen Jones (1954) "You Go For Me!"

Carmen Jones (1954) / Twentieth Century FOX
Directed By: Otto Preminger
Starring: Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey & Diahann Carroll

~ Oscar Hammerstein II also wrote the lyrics to music composed by George Bizet for his 1875 opera Carmen.
~ Nominated for 2 Academy Awards in 1955 - Best Actress (Dorothy Dandridge) & Best Musical Score.
~ Won Berlin International Film Festival Award in 1955 the Bronze Award for Otto Preminger
~ Won Golden Globe in 1955 for Best Motion Picture - Musical/Comedy.


"Carmen Jones" is set during World War II on an army camp where Carmen Jones (Dandridge) struts around in her eye catching outfits and a flower in her hair. Carmen works in the parachute factory in the camp base and does not fit in with the rest of the women who hate her since their men stare and she seems to walk, talk, dress sex. Daily there are unkind words thrown at Carmen about the type of woman the other ladies think she is and she pays no mind.

One day Carmen is arrested for fighting with a co-worker who also reported her on arriving late to work (lateness is an occurance that happens often with Carmen). Carmen has her eye on Sgt. Joe (Belafonte) who though is engaged to another Cindy Lou. Cindy Lou comes up to visit and finds this Carmen who is a threat and does not like her that close to her sweet soon to be husband.

Carmen is then going to be arrested and needs to be delivered to the authorities and St. Joe Brown is assigned to take her. Carmen is needless to say thrilled that she is going to finally spend time with the man she has had her eye on and it will be only the two of them on this trip into the city of Masonville. During the trip Carmen applies her seduction towards Joe who is not taking any until an unfortunate accident of the army jeep lands in the river during on of their verbal battles getting hot and heavy. Carmen mentions an idea to head to her grandmother's home which is closeby and stay there overnight and to take the train the rrest of the trip. They both head to the grandmother's home and stay there where finally all the seduction and passion finally sweeps over Joe and kisses ignite between them both. Joe finds that he is truly attracted to Carmen and can not deliver her to the authorities. Though the next day he awakes to a note from Carmen who has left and ranaway not wanting to deal with what was in store for her (the jail time) though loves Joe.

With all of this occurring Joe is now in trouble with the army and is put into the stockade for allowing his prisoner to escape free with no idea where she went. A visit from Cindy Lou and one red rose is delivered  as a gift from Carmen to Joe - Cindy decides to leave fast knowing what is going on. Carmen found work at a Louisiana Nightclub and is now waiting her time until Joe is relased and they can be together.

A dashing prizefighter Husky Miller enters with entourage on toe and see the beauty of Carmen and introduces homself to Carmen who does not send any mix messages toward him about interest since she was witrh Joe. Rum Daniels who is Husky's manager offers diamond jewelery, furs, fine clothing and a hotel suite if Carmen along with  friends Frankie and Myrt (Carroll) come along to Chicago. Carmen thwarts him and declines the offer. Then Joe enters and sees Carmen and they leave together thoough has to report back for flight school. Now we see the next big issue the young couple Carmen and Joe now dating see a Major who is going to get Joe and Carmen into trouble and says some choice words so Joe bunches him. One big problem is that he is a superior to the Sgt. Joe so there will be a lot of ramification to happen so the young couple run away together to Chicago.

The couple start to experience many troubles in Chicago where Joe is unable to work or do much since fearing being court martialed so needs to hide inside their small apartment while Carmen does all errands and makes money for them. They are running out of money fast and so Carmen goes to see her friends Frankie (Bailey) for some assistance and gets some from her and Husky. Joe is stunned that with the little money they had that Carmen came back with a new outfit and a lot of food that their moeny could not have done. Carmen decides to push Joe away and tell him that she can not live like this and neds to go out and dress nicely so she goes out and spends time with Husky and Frankie and Myrt. Carmen gets the lovely outfits and items she needs and then Joe enters shocked and angry seeing Husky and Carmen kissing. Carmen says she is over with him and wants Joe to leave which he does and they are through. Carmen is back in the lush life of diamonds and finery provided by Husky.  

Will, Carmen find her love back with Joe or is the diamonds and finery for what she has dreamed of all her life with Husky going to reign supreme? The qusetions will be answered in watching this classic musical.

A great song list performed in "Carmen Jones:"

  • "Send Them Along" ..... Chorus
  • "Lift 'Em Up an' Put 'Em Down" ..... Children's Chorus
  • "Dat's Love"  ..... Carmen
  • "You Talk Jus' Like My Maw" ..... Joe and Cindy Lou
  • "You Go For Me" ..... Carmen
  • "Carmen Jones is Going to Jail" ..... Chorus
  • "There's a Cafe on the Corner  ..... Carmen
  • "Dis Flower ("Flower Song") ..... Joe
  • "Beat Out Dat Rhythm on a Drum ("Gypsy Song") ..... Frankie
  • "Stan' Up an' Fight ..... Husky Miller
  • "Whizzin' Away Along de Track ("Quintet") ..... Carmen, Frankie, Mert, Dink, and Rum
  • "There's a Man I'm Crazy For" ..... Carmen, Frankie, Mert, Rum, and Dink
  • "Card Song" ..... Carmen, Frankie, and Chorus
  • "My Joe ("Micaëla's Prayer") ..... Cindy Lou
  • "He Got His Self Another Woman" ..... Cindy Lou
  • "Final Duet" ..... Carmen and Joe
  • "String Me High on a Tree" ..... Joe

  • from left to right Pearl Bailey, Dorothy Dandridge & Diahann Carroll


    1. What a true classic 1950's musical with an excellent cast - worthy of watching!!!!

    2. Love it! I give away will be up soon on my blog concering this movie, so drop by!