Directed byFrancesco Rosi
Written byHenri Meilhac,
Ludovic Halévy,
Francesco Rosi,
Tonino Guerra
Produced byPatrice Ledoux
StarringJulia Migenes,
Plácido Domingo,
Ruggero Raimondi,
Faith Esham
Music byGeorges Bizet
Distributed byGaumont,
Columbia Tristar
Release dates
March 14, 1984
Running time
152 min.

Carmen is a 1984 film directed by Francesco Rosi. It is probably the most popular film version of Bizet's popular opera "Carmen" and stars Julia Migenes in the title role, Plácido Domingo as Don José, Ruggero Raimondi as Escamillo, and Faith Esham as Micaela. Lorin Maazel conducts the Orchestre National de France.

Rosi selected 1875 for the period and filmed entirely on locations in Andalusia, using Ronda and Carmona and Seville itself to simulate the Seville of that era. He worked with his longtime collaborator, the cinematographer Pasqualino De Santis, and with Enrico Job supervising the sets and costumes. Rosi acknowledged Gustave Doré's illustrations for Baron Charles Davilliers Spain (which was published in serial form in 1873) as his principal source; he believed that Bizet, who was never in Spain, was guided by these engravings, and shot scenes in some of the exact places that Doré drew.

Pauline Kael wrote about the performances in her collection of movie reviews, State of the Art : " Julia Migenes-Johnson's freckled, gamine Carmen is the chief glory of the production. Her strutting, her dark, messy, frizzy hair - her sexual availability - atract Don José and drive him crazy. Carmen, who's true to her instincts, represents everything he tries to repress. But after he has deserted the Army and lost the respectability that meant everything to him, he thinks she owes him lifelong devotion. Carmens mistake was in thinking she could take him as a lover on her own terms. "

In 1985, the film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film.