The Loves of Carmen (1948) (NTSC)

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Released 6-May-2020

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer-Gilda,The Loves of Carmen, Pal Joey
Biographies-Cast & Crew-Talent Files
Featurette-Rita Hayworth: The Columbia Lady (8:49)
Gallery-Six movie posters
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1948
Running Time 96:32
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Charles Vidor
Studio
Distributor

ViaVision
Starring Rita Hayworth
Glenn Ford
Ron Randell
Victor Jory
Bernard Nedell
Case ?
RPI ? Music Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (256Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
Portuguese
Chinese
Korean
Thai
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

†††† The Loves of Carmen is another retelling of the tale made popular by Bizetís opera but rather than a remake of the opera, without the music, the film is based on the original novel Carmen by Prosper Merimee. Don Jose (Glenn Ford), a shy and naÔve young dragoon from an aristocratic family, is posted to Seville where he quickly falls for the undoubted charms of Carmen (Rita Hayworth), a brazen, unscrupulous gipsy without inhibitions or morals. Although Jose is warned, a number of times, about Carmenís character he cannot get her out of his mind. Ensnared by Carmen, he kills his commanding officer (accidentally it must be said) and escapes with her into the mountains to join a group of robbers and smugglers led by Garcia (Victor Jory) that includes Andres (Ron Randell) and Pablo (Bernard Nedell).

†††† Carmen had neglected to tell Jose the important fact that Garcia is her husband which creates anguish and jealousy for Jose, although Garcia takes it in his stride. The tension is there, however. During robberies and ambushes Carmen plays on Joseís obsession for her until, finally, Jose kills Garcia in a knife fight and takes control of the gang, and Carmen. The gang rob coaches and mule trains until the reward for Jose is so high that he is unable to show his face anywhere. Carmen, being Carmen, tires of Jose and finds another admirer in the bullfighter Lucas (John Baragrey). Tragedy follows.

†††† The Loves of Carmen is a rather stodgy melodrama with clumsy dialogue and an uneven tone; in some places the dialogue is so preposterous the film feels like it should be a situation comedy on TV which is greatly at odds with a story of jealousy, obsession, amorality and death. Rita Hayworth was coming off her first box office failure, The Lady from Shanghai (1947), and the studio might have thought that in the ultimate femme fatale, Carmen, they could duplicate the success of Gilda (1946), teaming her again with her co-star from that picture, Glenn Ford, and the director Charles Vidor. Alas, it didnít quite work the same magic. Hayworthís character Gilda had some subtlety, depth and a backstory, Carman is completely over the top amoral without any subtlety, her character only given some depth by her superstition and premonition of her death at the hands of a lover. In the role of Carmen Hayworth feels too wholesome to be convincing and one of her greatest strengths, her dancing, is only utilised a couple of times. Rita (or her character as her singing voice was again dubbed by Anita Ellis) also only gets to sing one song, in Spanish no less. It probably does not help that Glenn Ford also looks uncomfortable for most of the picture as the obsessive, jealous but weakling, Jose. Ford may have got the girl in Gilda but that was never going to happen here!

†††† There are things to enjoy in The Loves of Carmen. Charles Vidor had first directed Ford and Hayworth in The Lady in Question in 1940 and then in Gilda and he also directed Hayworth in Cover Girl (1944) thus having a hand in two of Hayworthís biggest hits. He adds some nice touches to The Loves of Carmen, including the single red rose of the steps at the end, and his direction of the couple of fight scenes, the brawl between Carmen and another girl with hair pulling and biting and the knife fight between Jose and Garcia, are well staged and energetic. The Technicolor photography of The Loves of Carmen resulted in an Oscar nomination for cinematographer William E. Snyder and although the film did not win its costumes, the street set representing Seville and the scenes in the mountains look beautiful. At times The Loves of Carmen, complete with horses, gunfights and holdups of coaches, feels like a western and it looks like one as well considering the outdoor scenes were filmed amid the barren landscapes, rocky outcrops and desert of the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine California where many westerns were shot, including all the Bud Boetticher / Randolph Scott classic western films.

†††† Other positives in The Loves of Carmen include the performances of Victor Jory, who does manage to bring some menace to the role of Garcia, and Australian born, recently moved to Hollywood, Ron Randell, whose Andres is the philosopher of the film. After completing The Loves of Carmen Hayworth quit Hollywood to marry the playboy Prince Aly Khan, becoming a princess before that other Hollywood star Grace Kelly, but the marriage was not a success and four years later she was back at Columbia making movies; it is perhaps no surprise that her first film back was Affair in Trinidad (1952), again with co-star Glenn Ford.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† The Loves of Carmen is presented in Technicolor in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, in NTSC and is not16x9 enhanced.

†††† This is another of those old Technicolor films from the 1940s that look wonderful. The colours of the costumes and uniforms are deep and rich, the street set representing Seville has impressive detail and the scenes shot on location amid the barren landscapes, rocky outcrops and desert near Lone Pine California give the film a scale that feels different to most of the set bound pictures Hayworth made at Columbia. Skin tones can be rosy, but blacks are solid, shadow detail very good, brightness and contrast consistent. There are tiny specks at various places and at 50:29 a quick green splotch but otherwise the print is good and was solid in motion.

†††† English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai subtitles are provided.

Video Ratings Summary
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Audio

†††† The audio choices are English or Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 mono at 256 Kbps.

†††† The dialogue is easy to hear. The effects including castanets and feet during the music numbers, galloping hooves and gunshots are good for a mono audio. The score by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was predictable with Spanish themes and energetic orchestral arrangements during the action.

†††† There was no hiss or crackle.

††††Lip synchronisation is generally fine except during the Spanish song number.

Audio Ratings Summary
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Surround Channel Use
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Extras

Theatrical Trailers

†††† Trailers for Hayworth films: Gilda (2:09), The Loves of Carmen (2:43) and Pal Joey (4:56).

Talent Files

†††† Two screens of text, one biography and one filmography, for each of Charles Vidor, Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford and Victor Jory. Silent, use the remote to advance.

Rita Hayworth: The Columbia Lady (8:49)

†††† A decent short piece in which an unnamed narrator, footage from many of Ritaís films from her first bit part in Meet Nero Wolfe (1936) to Miss Sadie Thompson (1953) as well as a couple of inserted audio comments by Fred Astaire and Orson Welles, give an overview of Ritaís life and career in the years until 1953.

Vintage Advertising

†††† Six movie posters. Silent, use the remote to advance.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

†††† The Loves of Carmen is available in other regions in both stand-alone DVD or as part of DVD collections of the films of Rita Hayworth. I can find no details of any extras. This release of the film is as part of The Films of Rita Hayworth Collection which collection itself forms part of The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection. See the summary section below.

Summary

†††† The Loves of Carmen is not top notch Rita Hayworth but the Technicolor presentation is very good and fans of Rita will find things to enjoy.

†††† The Technicolor video is very good, the audio is the original mono. The short featurette on Rita is welcome, together with the other, minor, extras.

†††† The Loves of Carmen is included in the 12 disc / 12 film set The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection. The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection itself comprises the The Films of Rita Hayworth Collection and the The Films of Rita Hayworth Collection Two. Both of these individual Collection packs have been released previously. Nevertheless, if you have not picked up the earlier releases, this collection is great value.

†††† The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection was supplied for review by ViaVision Entertainment. Check out their Facebook page for the latest releases, giveaways, deals and more.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, June 22, 2020
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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