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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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Pearl Bailey agreed to take part in the film so long as costumer Irene Sharaff understood that she refused to wear a bandanna because it smacked of "Aunt Jemima". Later, when the women chorus singers lined up for the first costume review, Pearl Bailey created havoc by screaming "No one is going to wear a bandanna in any picture I'm in!" A compromise was reached whereby only a few of the women at a time would wear bandannas.
Two days before filming was slated to begin, a fire broke out and destroyed most of the costumes, props and sketches.
Producer Samuel Goldwyn was notorious for "playing with film" during the editing stages. Director Otto Preminger resented Goldwyn's meddling in the film editing, so he shot nearly all of it in long takes, with the camera panning in and out and the camera angles seldom changing during takes. There were also few closeups, and none of the kinds of closeups found in non-widescreen films. This effectively prevented Goldwyn from incorporating his own photography ideas into the film. Preminger's approach was precisely the opposite of Trevor Nunn, who shot his 1993 videotape television version of "Porgy and Bess" in the style of a non-widescreen film.
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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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