Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
July 23
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
Philip Seymour Hoffman July 23, 1967
Philip Seymour Hoffman born

On this day in 1967, Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in Rochester, New York. Or, at least, that’s what the record states.

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July 23, 1966
Montgomery Clift Dies

The tragic actor meets his end.

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23 July 1966
From Then to Eternity

It was 42 years ago that Montgomery Clift was found dead at the age of 45 in his New York City townhouse by his personal secretary, Lorenzo James.

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