The Loves of Carmen

The Loves of Carmen

Movie: The Loves of Carmen
Director: Charles Vidor
Produced by: Beckworth
Released By: Columbia Pictures
MPAA Rating: NR

Perhaps it’s just as well that Columbia elected to film Prosper Merimee’s Carmen without Georges Bizet’s music: after all, Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford weren’t exactly Leontyne Price and Robert Merrill. The Loves of Carmen is a reasonably faithful rehash of Merimee’s story of the tempestuous gypsy cigarette-factory worker Carmen and the devastating effect she has on the men in her life. Assigned to arrest Carmen after a street brawl, handsome military officer Don Jose falls in love with her instead, renouncing his virginal sweetheart and falling in with Carmen’s smuggler cronies. So smitten is Don Jose that he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that the amoral Carmen is foredoomed to destroy herself and her lovers. Highlights include a knife duel between Don Jose and Carmen’s common-law husband Garcia and the fatal final confrontation stemming from Carmen’s flirtation with bullfighter Lucas. Dazzling Technicolor photography is the principal asset of this entertaining but uneven star vehicle.

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