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Carmen Jones – 1954

Quick Facts:
* Carmen Jones (1954) was the first All Black Musical released by a major studio.

* There was controversy surrounding the film because Carmen Jones represented the Jezebel Stereotype of Black women, however after the NAACP approved and Dorothy Dandridge agreed to the movie, it went to the big screen.

* Dorothy Dandridge received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of Carmen. She didn’t win, but she was the first Black actress to ever be nominated for the category of Best Actress.

* Carmen Jones was originally a musical that played on Broadway in 1943. It is an updating of the Georges Bizet opera, Carmen. (Bizet’s opera was, in turn, based on the 1846 novella by Prosper Mérimée.)

* The story of Georges Bizet, Carmen, is set in Seville, Spain, around 1820, and concerns the eponymous Carmen, a beautiful gypsy with a fiery temper. Free with her love, she woos the corporal Don José, an inexperienced soldier. Their relationship leads to his rejection of his former love, mutiny against his superior, and joining a gang of smugglers. His jealousy when she turns from him to the bullfighter Escamillo leads him to murder Carmen.

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