Porgy and Bess (1959)
Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,018
A stellar line-up of African-American actors and musical stars helped to bring DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin's classic operetta to this screen in this lavishly-produced adaptation. Porgy (Sidney Poitier) is a crippled man living in the shantytown of Catfish Row who has fallen in love with Bess (Dorothy Dandridge), a beautiful but troubled woman addicted to drugs. Bess is already being courted by several men, including Crown (Brock Peters), a muscular laborer, and Sportin' Life (Sammy Davis,
Jun 24, 1959 Wide
Sammy Davis Jr.
Vince Townsend Jr.
Roy E. Glenn Sr.
Bess (Singing Voice)
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This is a stunning, exciting and moving film, packed with human emotions and cheerful and mournful melodies. It bids fair to be as much a classic on the screen as it is on the stage.
One of the most underestimated movie musicals, based on Gershwin's masterpiece, Porgy and Bess receives a lavish production from Otto Preminger in an all-black, Oscar-nominated picture, starring Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge.
The brilliant score by the Gershwins and DuBose Heyward, however, will last forever, while Preminger's veteran cameraman, Leon Shamroy, did a wonderful job and the art direction by Serge Krizman and Joseph Wright is sensational.
That it stands as an entertaining spectacle and the director's best musical is secondary in interest to the Hollywood politics surrounding it.
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