Friday, June 12, 2009

Sammy Davis Jr. & Dorothy Dandridge Are Among The Stars Of Porgy & Bess

These pictures are from the 1959 film Porgy and Bess. It's based on a Gershwin opera set among the black residents of a fishing community in 1912 South Carolina. Porgy and Bess starred Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge as the main characters. Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters & Diahann Carroll were among the other stars. The film has its share of problems. The source material was considered racially insensitive and full of racial stereotypes. Almost all of the principal actors had their singing voices dubbed over. The movie was not shot on location. The Gershwin family was not happy with the finished product. While the film did go on to win an Oscar for its musical score, it was not a commercial or critical success. It has been all but dismissed these days.

The first picture features Sidney Poitier as Porgy, Sammy Davis Jr. as Sportin' Life, Dorothy Dandridge as Bess & Brock Peters as Crown. The other pictures are of Sammy and Dorothy.

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34 comments:

Radiation Cinema! said...

The movie wasn't so hot, but damn did Sammy look good! The Sportin' Life, for sure. One of the most talented intertainers that ever lived. -- Mykal

Fashion Moment said...

So inspirational post! I love those photos! Hope you had a great weekend, too.

FM~FP~AF

Keith said...

Hey Mykal. Thanks. Yeah, the movie was so so. Sammy did look great. He's definitely one of the best entertainers of all time.

Keith said...

Thanks Fashion. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I like these photos. Enjoy your weekend. Cheers!

Nancy Sinatra Fan said...

I agree that this film was not all that great. I did like Sammy and Dorothy. They are both outstanding.

Keith said...

Thanks Phoebe. You always knew how much I liked Sammy. I'm a big fan of Dorothy too. Cheers!

Planet Mondo said...

My parents loved Porgy and Bess, in fact they loved most musicals - great to be reminded of it..

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Keith, read the other day where Miss Dorothy was an amore of Pete Lawford....

Couture Carrie said...

Great shots... there are so many fabulous films on my to-see list!

xoxox,
CC

Robert M. Lindsey said...

One of my all-time favorite songs comes from Porgy and Bess; "Summertime." Janis Joplin did a fantastic version, but the version by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald is probably the best.

www.retrohound.com

Erika said...

Great, great pictures. I have never heard of this film; but the stills have piqued my interest! :)

Mrs. M. said...

This is the epitome of the title of your site. All these pics are timelessly cool. I could easily see a man or woman wearing any of those clothes today and being the best dressed cat in the room.

Gingeyginge said...

Mr Poitier is such a great actor

Gabbi said...

So ashamed Keith, I'm such a fan of those actors/artists and I'm a huge fan of the Jazz opera but I've never seen the film! Know I have to listen to 'Summertime'...

Wonderful weekend to you!♥

Cocktails said...

Great pictures Keith, but reassure me - you're not saying that Sammy was dubbed are you!? I've never seen it you see.

Keith said...

Hey Dave. That's cool that your parents were fans of the musical.

Keith said...

Hey pallie DMP, Wow! I did not know that about Dorothy and Peter. Thanks for letting me know about that. Cheers!

Keith said...

Hey Carrie. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed this post. Cheers!

Keith said...

Hey Robert. I love that song. I do love Louis and Ella's version a lot. Thanks for the comments. Cheers!

Keith said...

Hey Erika. Glad I could inform you about the movie. It gets mixed reaction. I do love the stars of it though. Cheers!

Keith said...

Hey Mrs. M, Thanks so much. I appreciate that. These clothes are timeless cool. I could see somebody wearing them today too. Cheers!

Keith said...

Hey Gingey. I totally agree with you.

Keith said...

Hey Gabbi. There are probably a lot of people who are fans of this musical, but never have seen the film. I love "Summertime." Cheers!

Keith said...

Hey Cocktails. No, Sammy's voice was not dubbed. I think he and Pearl Bailey were like the only two who didn't have their voices dubbed.

Always On Watch said...

Sammy as Sportin' Life was the highlight of the film as far as I was concerned.

I've watched the film a couple of times -- mainly because I like the music in Porgy and Bess. But I've seen stage productions much better than the film.

Keith said...

Hey Always. Thanks for the comments. I really loved Sammy in this movie. He is the best thing about it. I've never seen any stage productions of this, but I would love to. Have a great weekend. Cheers!

Boubou said...

thanks ! have a nice w-e too ! Youre blog is so cool :) !!
Boubou xx

Keith said...

Thank you. I appreciate that. Take care. Cheers!

La Couturier said...

Doesn't Vicky Cristina Barcelona make you want to go to Barcelona? :)

Lovely post!

bisous,
La lC.

Keith said...

Hey La C. Yes, it does. It definitely made me wanna visit Barcelona. I love that movie. Hope you are having a good weekend. Cheers!

dapper kid said...

Woah, Sammy looked amazing!! It's a shame that they dubbed over the singing voices, I would have loved to have heard the original. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend :)

Keith said...

Hey Dapper Kid. Thanks. I do think Sammy looks amazing here. I'm glad they didn't dub over his voice. He and Pearl Bailey are like the only two who didn't have their voices dubbed over. I wish they would have left the others alone as well. Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Cheers!

Tonygirl said...

she is beautiful

Keith said...

I agree, Mel.