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Carmen (1984)

Placido Domingo , Julia Migenes , Francesco Rosi  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)

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Carmen + Verdi: La Traviata + Puccini - La Boheme / Pavarotti, Scotto, Niska, Wixell, Plishka, Levine, Metropolitan Opera
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Product Details

  • Actors: Placido Domingo, Julia Migenes, Ruggero Raimondi, Faith Esham
  • Directors: Francesco Rosi
  • Writers: Georges Bizet
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • Run Time: 155 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0054YIQLW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,482 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

All the passion and spectacle of Bizet's Carmen comes to life in this dazzling screen opera starring Placido Domingo and Julia Migenes-Johnson. In 19th century Seville, the lusty, tempestuous Carmen (Migenes-Johnson) seduces a naive Army corporal, Don Jose (Domingo), newly assigned to the village fortress. Jose abandons his career, his fianc‚e and even his dying mother for the love of this sultry gypsy. But soon she spurns him in favor of a toreador, Escamillo (Ruggero Raimondi). Crazed with jealousy, Jose begs Carmen to return to him, but her taunting declaration of independence results in tragedy. Shot entirely on location in Andalusia Spain, Bizet's Carmen has been hailed as the definitive version of this classic opera. Superbly directed by Francesco Rosi (Illustrious Corpses).

NOTE:There will be silence for 20 seconds at the beginning of the movie after which you can hear audience cheering.This is made intentionally by the studio.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
108 of 109 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Much has been written in these reviews regarding the great performances and fine quality of filmmaking in Francesco Rosi's film of Carmen. Here I am only going to comment on the new Blu-Ray edition.

The Olive Films Blu-Ray disc of the 1984 film of Bizet's Carmen, featuring Julia Migenes and Placido Domingo, arrived today. I just finished watching it, then compared it to the Columbia-TriStar DVD version.

Columbia's DVD had virtually no extras, just a couple of theatrical trailers, one being for this production of Carmen. It did have a choice of subtitles: English, Spanish, French, or none. It also had 24 scene chapters.

The new Blu-Ray disc form Olive has a magnificent picture with great detail and the stereo soundtrack is wonderful. But it has absolutely no extras, just the film. The English subtitles are permanently on, as though it was like an old videotape where you cannot switch the subtitles on or off. There are no other choices - no Spanish or French titles, just English, British English it seems to this Yank, with spellings and phrases I am familiar with from watching BBC shows.(The "passers-by" are translated as "a rum bunch".) The scene chapters are also reduced to only 8, which makes it a bit tricky to find certain arias or music without having to shuttle the FWD-REV keys, again like the old tapes.

I have no regrets in getting the Blu-Ray because of the outstanding high-def picture and sound, and I do need the Engish subs, even if I can't turn them off to practice my French. I just wish they could have provided a better overall product with at least as many chapters, at least as many subtitle languages (including "none"), and at least an extra or two, like Columbia did with the DVD.
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88 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant film version of Carmen August 25, 2001
By David
This film production of Bizet's Carmen, shot on location in southern Spain, is magnificent. The singing and acting are first rate, as are the sound and picture quality of the DVD. Carmen, like Don Giovanni, is a complex, multi-faceted character that can be played a variety of ways. Julia Migenes portrays Carmen with raw sensuality, and it works, as we see her opposite, Don Jose (performed brilliantly by Placido Domingo), unable to escape her womanly powers. The film uses dialogue rather than recitatives, as that is what Bizet intended--Carmen is an opera comique, which means that spoken dialogue (not recitatives) are employed between the singing. The dialogue definitely heightens the drama of Carmen, and it was only after Bizet's death that sung recitatives were unfortunately used in in this opera. Because this is a film version of Carmen, there are many creative and symbolic options that couldn't be done in the opera house. The use of a live bull in the ring is extemely effective, and it is the first image we see in this film. We see how beautiful and noble the bull is, how strong and free spirited he is. This powerful and tragic image will stay with us throughout the film. The use of such symbolism allows us ultimately to compare Carmen to the brave bull who would rather die than surrender its freedom, while don Jose is the bullfighter who must kill the object he lives for and loves most. There is real frisson between Domingo and Migenes as they heat up the screen--Domingo gives an amazing performance of don Jose's gradual fall and ultimate self-destruction. There are no disappointments in the entire cast. Read more ›
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bizet's Carmen in movie form November 3, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've watched this version of Carmen several times and like it more and more each viewing.

This is the first opera I've watched as a movie and the effect is certainly different than before a live audience. I don't think any movie can compare to having the performance done in the intimate setting of an opera house: and this is the reason it took me a while to appreciate this work. Having said that, this production does please the visual and auditory senses. The scenes are beautiful with a pastel quality to them: just enough color for warmth and atmosphere to complement the locations. Some of the views are panoramic while others a close-up.

The roles of Carmen and Don Jose are done by Julia Migenes -Johnson and Placido Domingo respectively. It is hard to imagine two better people for the leads.

Although Julia Migenes-Johnson has a wonderful husky voice that complements her part, it is her acting that is truly outstanding. Swiveling hips, swishing raised skirts, ringlet hair and the look that absolutely makes her the genuine temptress and seductress that her part calls for. How could poor Don Jose not fall for her?

Placido Domingo's interpretation of Don Jose is stellar. Handsome with a voice to die for! Watching his downward spiral as his relationship with Carmen deteriorates is, from a male perspective, hard to watch. The begging and pleading are heart wrenching and you cannot help feel sorry for Don Jose while at the same time wishing he would stand up for himself.

My two favorite scenes are the beautifully choreographed and sung "Habanera" and the finale "It's you! It's me!"

All in all a wonderful production of Bizet's Carmen in movie form. Highly recommended if you don't mind losing the stage effect of a live production
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The best rendition if Carmen.
Published 1 day ago by JoAllan Tsyitee
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best! I have seen Carmen many times on stage ...
Simply the best! I have seen Carmen many times on stage but this film is the most entertaining and musically perfect production. Recommended especially for opera beginners. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Manuela Freitag
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD cannot play in the USA
I ordered the Blu-Ray DVD of Carmen and received a copy which cannot play on USA DVD Players. It mentioned in small characters in the add that it played on Group B which means in... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Yves Moquin
5.0 out of 5 stars Carmen.
I loved everything about this performance and the actual recording. I shared it with friends and they all loved it.
Published 24 days ago by Jan Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Opera Lover
I hesitated about buying this one as it is so intense, but gave in as the title roles are so well done.
Published 1 month ago by Satisfied Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Carmen
I have not played my video of Carmen just yet, I am waiting to view it with family and friends on my birthday in July. Read more
Published 1 month ago by cynthia hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God for Gaumont, Columbia Tri-Star version with removable...
Amazon may not put this review in the right place. You will want the version with the cover photo with Migenes (Carmen) on the left, Domingo (Don Jose) on the right, Bizet's... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brent Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Bizet's Carmen
Bizet's Carmen is a beautiful film, filmed in Spain. I was hesitant to buy Carmen because I don't like opera. Watching this film made me forget that it was an opera.
Published 2 months ago by Barbara Belle-Diamond
4.0 out of 5 stars Opera
If you love Opera you will enjoy Carmen because it is one of the few operas filmed outdoors
and not on a small stage.Placido Domingo is the great lover.
Published 2 months ago by Maria DeCristofano
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Carmen get this
If you like to Original Carmen get this it is well done and Placidi has a great voice that you will enjoy.
Published 2 months ago by First Mrs. Korade
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