Legendary opera star Geraldine Farrar is incandescent as Carmen in this early adaptation of Merimee's tragedy, directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Carmen also stars Wallace Reid as Don Jose. This lavishly restored edition was made from DeMille's personal print of the film, and color tinted according to the specifications in the original shooting script.
The soundtrack features a recreation of Hugo Riesenfeld's score for the film's 1915 premiere, performed by the London Philharmonic and operatic soloists under the direction of musicologist and conductor Gillian B. Anderson. As a bonus, Farrar is heard in 1914-1915 Victor recordings of arias from Carmen against a video montage of stills and scenes from the movie.
Legendary opera singer Geraldine Farrar assays the title role of the gypsy seductress in this silent version of CARMEN, based on the Mérimée novel rather than Bizet's opera. Carmen is a sultry Spanish gypsy who attempts to seduce Don Jose (Wallace Reid), an honest military guard, so that her band of gypsy smugglers can pass through his stronghold. Carmen is a cruel tease, bewitching the military man as her true love, toreador Escamillo (Pedro de Cordoba), waits for her in the shadows. In Pastia's (Horace B. Carpenter) local tavern, Carmen dances for Don Jose as well as Escamillo in a fantastic sequence that highlights Farrar's earthy sensuality and physical connection to the romantic heroine, who became her most beloved operatic role. Carmen and Escamillo escape to Seville, but Don Jose is in hot pursuit of the young lovers, willing to do anything to win his gypsy's affection. The final scenes of this thrilling romantic tragedy, taking place at a bullfight in Seville, feature Cecil B. DeMille's trademark use of crowds and splendid visual scenery to evoke a moody atmosphere of high drama and bloodthirsty vengeance.
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