10 thoughts on “TBT: Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999)

  1. I just watched Carmen Jones for the first time and Dorothy Dandridge wowed me! I was speechless. It’s one of the best performances I’ve seen in a long time.

    1. Interestingly, her singing was dubbed by a young Marilyn Horne, who would go on to become one of the Metropolitan Opera’s definitive Carmens.

  2. I remember a flutter of interest when the movie first came out. There was a one hour documentary on her life, and my grandmother picked up a biography of Dorothy’s. I didn’t see the movie itself as it was on cable, which we didn’t have. I’ll put it on my HBO Max queue.

  3. Donald Bogle’s biography of Dorothy Dandridge is fantastic and well-researched. It will fill in those gaps that you were talking about.

  4. I have vague recollections of this from when it came out. I either didn’t watch it or had it playing in the background while I was doing something else. So, I’ll definitely pop over to HBO Max and check it out. Now, that I’m an older and an opera fan, I REALLY want to see and compare Carmen Jones with Carmen (one of the first operas I ever saw). Back in the day Beyonce was in another telling of Carmen, too, called Carmen: A Hip Hopera. I don’t think it was widely seen.

    Anyway, several months ago I watched an EXCELLENT 3-part documentary on Netflix called “They’ve Gotta Have Us” about Blacks in cinema–not only African-Americans, the filmmaker was British an interviewed Black Britons too. In one of the episodes Harry Belafonte said they had something ridiculous like 5 – 10 DAYS to shoot the ENTIRE Carmen Jones movie!! I want to know more about Dorothy Dandridge too. I think she and Peter Lawford (JFK’s brother in law) were lovers around the time she died. And I wonder if, like Halle Berry, she was biracial? Thanks for spotlighting this pic!!

  5. Does the movie include a scene of Dandridge’s stay at a hotel where non-whites were forbidden to use the pool? As the story, or legend, goes, D.D. took her time about strolling to a lounge chair, arranging her towels, removing her wrap, etc., then delicately dipped one or two toes in the water. And then she left.

    1. It’s in there. but it’s more of an FU on Dorothy’s part – when told she cannot take a dip, she aggressively drags her foot across the water and makes a splash. Later, they show the pool empty and bone dry and some poor worker has to scrub down the sides.

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