Otto Preminger

Otto Preminger – Carmen Jones (1954)

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Love, passion, betrayal and tragedy. Carmen Jones is an adaptation of Bizet’s legendary opera, Carmen. It tells the story of a young, free spirited woman called Carmen Jones whose great beauty is the object of many men’s desires. However, Carmen sets her sights on young army officer Joe, who is engaged to his sweetheart, Cindy Lou. Joe quickly succumbs to Carmen’s charms , forsaking his Cindy Lou, thus beginning the tragic love story. Read More »

Otto Preminger – Exodus (1960)

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Plot
Produced and directed by Otto Preminger, Exodus is a 212-minute screen adaptation of the best-selling novel by Leon Uris. The film is concerned with the emergence of Israel as an independent nation in 1947. Its first half focuses on the efforts of 611 holocaust survivors to defy the blockade of the occupying British government and sail to Palestine on the sea vessel Exodus. Paul Newman, a leader of the Hagannah (the Jewish underground), is willing to sacrifice his own life and the lives of the refugees rather than be turned back to war-ravaged Europe, but the British finally relent and allow the Exodus safe passage. Once this victory is assured, 30,000 more Jews, previously interned by the British, flood into the Holy Land. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Read More »

Otto Preminger – The Cardinal [+Extras] (1963)

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From DVD Verdict.com:

The Charge
“Look at him now, will you? Stiff as a board, he is, in that fine Eye-talian suit.”—Dennis Fermoyle (Cameron Prud’Homme)

Opening Statement
As World War I reaches its peak, bland and sincere Stephen Fermoyle (Tom Tryon) prepares for his new assignment in his hometown of Boston. As a newly ordained Catholic priest, Fermoyle takes his duties very seriously. But over the next two decades, he will see his faith tested, his family torn apart, and the world plagued by the horrors of racism and fascism. Read More »

Otto Preminger – Saint Joan (1957)

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Synopsis (possible spoilers):
“Twenty-five years after having been burnt at the stake for heresy, Joan of Arc returns to King Charles VII of France as a ghost and taunts him for having betrayed her. They recall the time when Joan, driven by divine messages, persuaded Charles, then Dauphin, to allow her to lead an army to attack the English at Orleans. Did Charles show gratitude when Joan defeated the English, a victory that enabled him to be crowned king at Reims? No, he only wanted her to return to her village and resume the life of an anonymous peasant girl. When she failed in her attempt to take Paris from the English, who came to Joan’s aid when she was arrested and tried by the Catholic Church for heresy? No one…”
– Films de France Read More »

Otto Preminger – Porgy and Bess (1959)

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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, Jr.), a sharp-suited hipster who deals narcotics. Crown gets in a fist fight with Robbins (Joel Fluellen) and ends up killing him; Crown goes on the lam, and Bess, needing companionship, takes up with Porgy. However, Crown soon returns, and Porgy kills him in a subsequent altercation, forcing him to hide from the police. Meanwhile, the fickle Bess follows Sportin’ Life in search of the bright lights of New York City. Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll, Ivan Dixon, and Clarence Muse also highlight the cast; Robert McFerrin provided the singing voice of Porgy, and Adele Addison dubbed in Bess’ musical numbers. — Mark Deming Read More »

Otto Preminger – Daisy Kenyon (1947)

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Quote:
Daisy Kenyon stars Joan Crawford as the eponymous heroine, a Manhattan commercial artist. Daisy is torn between two men: a handsome, married attorney (Dana Andrews) and an unmarried Henry Fonda. Deciding to do the “right thing”, Daisy marries Fonda, but carries a torch for the dashing Andrews. When the lawyer divorces his wife, he calls upon Daisy and tries to win her back. She is very nearly won over, but her husband isn’t about to give up so easily. Both men argue over Daisy, who is so distraught by the experience that she nearly has a fatal automobile accident. In the end, Daisy realizes that she truly loves Fonda, and gives Andrews his walking papers. Daisy Kenyon is given a contemporary slant with a subplot about child abuse (in a Joan Crawford film!); and, in one scene set at New York’s Stork Club, several celebrities (Walter Winchell, Leonard Lyons, John Garfield) make unbilled cameo appearances. Read More »

Otto Preminger – Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

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Quote:
Dana Andrews is brutal metropolitan police detective Dixon, who despises all criminals because his father had been one. When the cops pick up two-bit gambler Ken Paine (Craig Stevens) as a murder suspect, Dixon subjects Paine to the third degree—and accidentally kills him.

In disposing of the body, Dixon inadvertently places the blame for the killing on cab driver Jiggs Taylor (Tom Tully). Having fallen in love with Jigg’s daughter (Gene Tierney), Dixon tries to clear the cabbie without implicating himself, but ultimately he becomes trapped in a web of his own making; luckily Tierney promises to stand by him.

Where the Sidewalk Ends was adapted from a novel by William A. Stuart; its director was Otto Preminger, who’d previously put Andrews and Tierney through their paces in Laur (1944). Read More »