Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
August 28
October 5, 1954
Carmen Redux

Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones premiered on 5 October 1954, bringing Oscar Hammerstein II’s 1943 musical to the screen. Taking a cue from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Hammerstein turned Bizet’s classic opera of a lusty gypsy who seduces a hapless soldier into an African-American melodrama set in the modern South. Preminger cast the relatively unknown Dorothy Dandridge as his lead with Harry Belafonte as her GI beau. And while both Dandridge and Belafonte were accomplished singers, Marilyn Horne and Leverne Hutchinson were brought in to dub their voices to keep the sound more operatic. The film proved a commercial and critical success, with Dandridge becoming the first African-American nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. The film was a hit everywhere but France; a suit brought by Bizet’s estate against the film’s modernization of the score made it impossible to show Carmen Jones there until 1981.


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Rope August 28, 1948
Rope opens

In the early days of film, the Lumière brothers captivated audiences with their depictions of everyday reality — factory workers, horse riders, dancers, the sea.

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August 28, 1987
John Huston dies

The directing patriarch of one of Hollywood's great dynasties, John Huston, died on August 28, 1987.

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28 August 1987
Death of a Hollywood Heavyweight

Directing a film for every year of his career, John Huston redefined our culture’s concept of an honorable man, a role he then embodied as he was dying.

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