Carmen on Film
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More About This Title Carmen on Film


The story of Carmen, the Spanish Gypsy femme fatale, is one of the most adapted stories in the history of cinema. The films are often a combination of Mérimée’s 1845 novella and the opera Bizet fashioned from the novella thirty years later. Carmen on Film: A Cultural History focuses on 16 of the most important Carmen films, ranging across three main cinemas (Hollywood, France, and Spain), stretching from the earliest films to the most recent (by director): Calmettes (1910), DeMille (1915), Walsh (1915), Chaplin (1916), Lubitsch (1918), Walsh (1927), Feyder (1926), Rey (1938), Vidor (1948), Preminger (1954), Demicheli (1959), Saura (1983), Godard (1984), Rosi (1984), Ramaka (2001), and Aranda (2003).

The story of Carmen has captured the imagination of audiences and readers for more than 150 years. Powrie, Babington, Davies, and Perriam ask why—and in their examination of the numerous cinematic retellings of this popular tale, they offer insight into the cultural significance of the fictional lives and deaths of Carmen.


Phil Powrie is Professor of French Cultural Studies and Director of the Centre for Research into Film at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is author or editor of several books, including French Cinema in the 1980s.

Bruce Babington is Professor of Film Studies in the Department of English at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is author of Blue Skies and Silver Linings: Aspects of the Hollywood Musical.

Ann Davies is Lecturer in the School of Modern Languages at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She is author of numerous articles on gender relations in film and culture.

Chris Perriam is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is author of Stars and Masculinities in Spanish Cinema: From Banderas to Bardem.


1. Mapping Carmen
2. Theorizing Carmen
3. Carmen of the Americas
4. 1915: the year of two Carmens (DeMille, Walsh)
5. German-American relations (Lubitsch, 1918 & 1921)
6. The most surprising Carmen (Walsh, 1926)
7. Carmen of the suburbs (Vidor, 1948)
8. Apropos Dis an' Dat (Preminger, 1954)
9. Carmen and the French cinema
10. Two silent Carmens (Calmettes, 1910; Feyder, 1926)
11. Jean-Luc's women (Godard, 1984)
12. Social-realist fantasies (Rosi, 1984)
13. A postcolonial Carmen (Ramaka, 2001)
14. Carmen and the Spanish cinema
15. Carmen under Franco (Rey, 1938; Demicheli, 1959)
16. Carmen after Franco (Saura, 1983; Aranda, 2003)
17. Carmen and stardom
18. Rita Hayworth
19. Viviane Romance
20. Sara Montiel
21. Plácido Domingo


"An enormous amount of work and thought went into the writing of this manuscript. It covers the entire history of the Carmen genre from M