Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
September 20
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.


More Flashbacks
Asia Argento September 20, 1975
Asia Argento born

Asia Argento, the dark, beguiling daughter of giallo master Dario Argento, was born in Rome on this day in 1975.

Read more »
Sep. 20, 1932
The Most Dangerous Game opens

While The Most Dangerous Game opened to box office success and critical acclaim, leading the way to scores of other adaptations of Richard Connell’s 1924 short story, it was originally intended as production insurance.

Read more »
Sept 20, 1956
Un-Friendly Persuasion

The Hollywood black list creates a impossible situation when a writer who officially doesn’t exist is nominated for an Oscar.

Read more »