YEAR: 1954


The art direction for this adaption of the opera “Carmen” was helmed by John DeCuir and Edward L. Ilou. The film features an all African-American cast starring Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge. Featured sets include an all-black army camp, a forest, and a boxing arena. All of the film’s sets were built and filmed on the Fox studio backlot with one exception: a children’s chorus scene which was filmed in a working dynamite factory. It is said that the parents of the children were sitting on boxes of dynamite idly smoking during filming.


At an all-black army camp, civilian parachute marker and “hot bundle” Carmen Jones is desired by many of the men. Naturally, she wants Joe, who’s engaged to sweet Cindy Lou and about to go into pilot training for the Korean War. Going after him, she succeeds only in getting him into the stockade. While she awaits his release, trouble approaches for both of them. Songs from the Bizet opera with modernized lyrics.


Won 2 Golden Globes:

Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, Most promising Newcomer - Joe Adams

Nominated for 2 Oscars:

Best Actress in a Leading Role; Best Music, Scoring


Otto Preminger


John DeCuir Sr.

Edward L. Ilou

Claude E. Carpenter

Saul Bass