Soggetto e versi delle canzoni: Oscar Hammerstein II, dalla commedia di Prosper Mérimée; Scen.: Harry Kleiner; F.: Sam Leavitt; M.: Louis R. Loeffler; Scgf.: Edward L. Ilou; Mu.: Georges Bizet; Arrangiamenti: Herschel Burke Gilbert; Canzoni: O. Hammerstein II, basate sulle musiche di G. Bizet; Coreografia: Herbert Ross; Cost.: Mary Ann Nyberg; Int.: Dorothy Dandridge (Carmen), Harry Belafonte (Joe), Olga James (Cindy Lou), Pearl Bailey (Frankie), Diahann Carroll (Myrt), Roy Glenn (Rum), Nick Stewart (Dink), Joe Adams (Husky), Broc Peters (Serg. Brown), Sandy Lewis (T-Bone), Mauri Lynn (Sally), DeForest Covan (l’istruttore); Marilyn Horne canta per Dorothy Dandridge, LeVern Hutcherson per Harry Belafonte e Marvin Hayes per Joe Adams; Prod.: O. Preminger per 20th Century Fox; 35mm. D.: 105’.
Preminger made sensational use of the “lyrical opera” dimension of CinemaScope: the aerial pleasure of its space, the full, stereophonic volume of its sound. This broad format favors decorative embellishments (the market scene rendered as a painting, similar to les Halles in Irma la douce by Billy Wilder) and allows for quite successful group scenes, which in opera often turn out catastrophic. During the final boxing match won by Husky Miller (Escamillo), despite a deviation from the original opera, we nonetheless find the mythological splendor of the bullfight. Bizet’s Carmen has been neither forgotten nor betrayed. On the contrary, new emotions spring from this well defined perturbation of signs. In this intoxicating cultural mixture, the “Frenchness” of the work seems to become mysteriously intensified.
Jean-Claude Bonnet, in “Cinématographe”, n. 75, 1982