A look back at this day in film history
November 27
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
November 27, 1909
James Agee born

Cinema and, in particular, the way we look at it was greatly changed by James Agee, who was born today in 1909.

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November 27, 1996
Sling Blade released

Until Sling Blade, Billy Bob Thornton was best known as ballsy character actor who brought a Deep South authenticity to films ranging from Chopper Chicks in Zombietown to Tombstone.

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