Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
October 19
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
Funny Girl October 19, 1968
Funny Girl opens

In the fall of 1968, William Wyler’s film version of the musical Funny Girl presented American audiences with one of the most celebrated pairings of character and actor in film history: Barbra Streisand playing Fanny Brice.

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October 19, 1978
Gig Young's murder-suicide

Gig Young had only been married to Kim Schmidt, a 31-year-old script supervisor he’d met while making Game of Death, for three weeks before he shot her in the back of the head and then turned the gun on himself.

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October 19, 1977
Looking Again for Mister Goodbar

Diane Keaton played the teacher with a dual existence in this landmark movie of the 70s.

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