Porgy and Bess Overview:

Porgy and Bess (1959) was a Musical - Drama Film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and Otto Preminger and produced by Samuel Goldwyn.

Porgy and Bess was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2011.

Academy Awards 1959 --- Ceremony Number 32 (source: AMPAS)

Best CinematographyLeon ShamroyNominated
Best Costume DesignIrene SharaffNominated
Best Music - ScoringAndre Previn, Ken DarbyWon

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Musical Monday: Porgy and Bess (1959)

on Feb 25, 2019 From Comet Over Hollywood

It?s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals. In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals. This week?s musical: Porgy and Bess (1959) ? Musi... Read full article

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The Gershwin family strongly disapproved of this version; they felt that producer Samuel Goldwyn had glamorized and "Hollywoodized" it too much, and that he had made a mistake in firing the film's original director, Rouben Mamoulian (director of the original stage version in 1935). The film was withdrawn from release in 1974. The only place it can be seen now is in film archives.
According to the 7 November 1957 issue of Jet magazine, the film's producers were interested in R&B singer Clyde McPhatter for the role of Sportin' Life
Originally bought as a film property by Columbia Pictures in 1942 to star an all-white cast in blackface: Al Jolson as Porgy, Rita Hayworth as Bess, and Fred Astaire as Sportin' Life. When that proved unrealistic, the property was sold to 20th Century Fox, where it was hoped to have been a follow-up to Stormy Weather. Rouben Mamoulian (who directed the original Broadway play) was announced as director and the following cast was announced: Paul Robeson as Porgy, Lena Horne as Bess, Hattie McDaniel as Maria, Canada Lee as Crown, Cab Calloway as Sportin' Life and Fredi Washington as Clara. When Horne proved to be unavailable after 'Stormy Weather' and Robeson clashed with 'Daryl Zanuck' due to his political beliefs, the film was shelved until 1957 when it was bought by Samuel Goldwyn.
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Best Music - Scoring Oscar 1959

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National Film Registry

Porgy and Bess

Released 1959
Inducted 2011

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Also directed by Otto Preminger

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Also produced by Samuel Goldwyn

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Also released in 1959

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More "Book-Based" films

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