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February 29, 2024

35 Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Dorothy Dandridge During the Filming of ‘Porgy and Bess’ (1959)

Porgy and Bess is a 1959 American musical drama film directed by Otto Preminger, and starring Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge in the titular roles. It is based on the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin, in turn based on Heyward’s 1925 novel Porgy, as well as Heyward’s subsequent 1927 non-musical stage adaptation, co-written with his wife Dorothy. The film’s screenplay, which turned the operatic recitatives into spoken dialogue, was very closely based on the opera and was written by N. Richard Nash.

The project was the last for Samuel Goldwyn. Due to its controversial subject matter, the film was shown only briefly following its initial reserved seat engagements in major cities, where it drew mixed reviews from critics. Two months after its release, Goldwyn grudgingly conceded “No one is waiting breathlessly for my next picture.”

In 2011, the film was chosen for inclusion in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Here below are some beautiful behind-the-scenes photos of Dorothy Dandridge during the filming of Porgy and Bess in 1959.


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