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Carmen rosi poster.jpg
Directed byFrancesco Rosi
Written byHenri Meilhac
Ludovic Halévy
Francesco Rosi
Tonino Guerra
Produced byPatrice Ledoux
StarringJulia Migenes
Plácido Domingo
Ruggero Raimondi
Faith Esham
CinematographyPasqualino De Santis
Edited byRuggero Mastroianni
Colette Semprún
Music byGeorges Bizet
Distributed byGaumont (France)
Columbia TriStar (US)
Release date
  • 14 March 1984 (1984-03-14)
Running time
152 minutes

Carmen is a 1984 French-Italian film directed by Francesco Rosi. It is a film version of Bizet's opera, Carmen.[1] Julia Migenes stars 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.

The film premiered in France on March 14, 1984, and in the U.S. on September 20 of that year. In 1985, the film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film.



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.[2] 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 of Spain[3] for Baron Charles Davillier's Spain (which was published in serial form in 1873) as his principal source for the visual design.[4] He believed that Bizet, who never visited Spain, was guided by these engravings, and shot scenes in some of the exact places that Doré drew.

Critical reception

Pauline Kael reviews the film favourably 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—attract 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. Carmen's mistake was in thinking she could take him as a lover on her own terms.[5]

The bullring in Ronda, one of the locations where Carmen was filmed.
The bullring in Ronda, one of the locations where Carmen was filmed.

Home media

In late 2011 the film was released on both a regular, anamorphically enhanced Region 1 DVD, and on Blu-ray.

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ "Carmen". Carmen (1984) Movie Review – MRQE. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent (1984-09-20). "BIZET'S 'CARMEN' FROM FRANCESCO ROSI". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  3. ^ Carmen: a preface to the vocal score by Richard Langham Smith (2015)
  4. ^ "Francesco Rosi tourne " Carmen " II - Ruggero Raimondi en habit de lumière". Le (in French). 1983-08-31. Retrieved 2023-01-16.
  5. ^ "Pauline Kael". Retrieved 2017-09-13.