The Loves of Carmen (1948 film)

The Loves of Carmen is a 1948 American adventure drama romance film directed by Charles Vidor. The film stars Rita Hayworth as the gypsy Carmen and Glenn Ford as her doomed lover Don José.

The Loves of Carmen
The Loves of Carmen poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCharles Vidor
Screenplay byHelen Deutsch
Based onCarmen
1845 novella
by Prosper Mérimée
Produced byCharles Vidor
Rita Hayworth
StarringRita Hayworth
Glenn Ford
CinematographyWilliam E. Snyder
Edited byCharles Nelson
Music byMario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Color processTechnicolor
The Beckworth Corporation
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release dates
  • August 23, 1948 (1948-08-23) (United States)
  • September 2, 1948 (1948-09-02) (New York City)
  • October 7, 1948 (1948-10-07) (Los Angeles)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.5 million[1]
Box office$2.5 million (US rentals)[2]

The Loves of Carmen was publicized as a dramatic adaptation of the novella Carmen by Prosper Mérimée and is otherwise unrelated to Georges Bizet's opera Carmen. It is a remake of the 1927 film of the same name, which was directed by Raoul Walsh and stars Dolores del Río and Victor McLaglen.

The film reunited the stars, writer and director of Gilda. It was Hayworth's last film for four years.


In Spain, during the early nineteenth century, Don Jose Lizarabengoa arrives in Seville to begin service as a corporal in the Spanish dragoons.

He meets Carmen, a gypsy, who steals his watch, and becomes obsessed with her. Carmen slashes the face of a peasant woman who insults her. Jose is ordered to arrest Carmen but allows her to escape. For this Jose is demoted and confined to guard duty. Jose's commanding officer, the colonel, also falls in love with Carmen.

A fortune teller warns Carmen she will be killed by a man she really loves. She goes to meet Jose, who is discovered by the colonel. The colonel challenges Jose to a duel during which Carmen trips the officer, causing him to fall on Jose's sword and die.

Jose is wanted for murder. He and Carmen flee to the mountains where Jose discovers Carmen is married to Garcia, the leader of a gang of bandits. Jose and Garcia have a knife fight in which Garcia is killed. Jose marries Carmen and takes over the gang, but the couple keep fighting.

Carmen goes to Cordoba and becomes the lover of the bullfighter Lucas. Pablo, one of the bandits, betrays Jose to the police for a reward. Jose tracks down Carmen, who refuses to return to him. She spits on him, he stabs her, and a policeman shoots Jose, mortally wounding him. Carmen and Jose die in each other's arms.



This was the first film chosen and co-produced by Hayworth's production company, the Beckworth Corporation, which gave her approval over her material and a percentage of the film's profits. Beckworth (named after Hayworth's daughter Becky) was owned 50% by Columbia and nearly 50% by Hayworth with the remainder held by her agent Johnny Hyde. Hayworth signed an exclusive contract with Beckworth for $250,000 a year for seven years. She was to star in two films a year, with finance banks and Beckworth and Columbia producing. In October 1947 it was announced her first film would be a version of Carmen.[3]

(Orson Welles had pitched a version of Carmen to Cohn starring Paulette Goddard suggesting they go back to the original novel, saying Prosper Mérimée was the James Cain of his time.)

As co-producer, Hayworth hired her father, the dancer Eduardo Cansino, to help choreograph the traditional Spanish dances. Also, her uncle José Cansino can be seen as her dance partner in one scene, and her brother Vernon Cansino has a bit part as a soldier.

Gar Moore and Gig Young were reportedly among those who tested for the male lead. In November 1947 Columbia announced that Glenn Ford would play the part. Virginia Van Upp did a last minute rewrite of the script. No music from Bizet's opera was used - the musical score consisted of flamenco songs.[4]

Charles Vidor, the director, said "if I made the picture for opera lovers, nobody but opera lovers would come... But if we do the story realistically, using the sort of gypsy music Carmen herself must have danced to, and discard the familiar opera trappings, even opera lovers can enjoy the picture."[5]

Ron Randell, recently signed to Columbia, was billed third.[6] His casting was announced in November.[7][8]

The movie was estimated to have a budget between two and three million. Shooting started in November and took place at the studio and on location in the Alabama Mountains near Lone Pine.[9]

The musical score of the film was composed by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

The original theatrical release poster artist and illustrator is Bradshaw Crandell, "The Artist of the Stars."


In 1954, Hayworth sued Columbia for a financial accounting over this and three other movies she made through Beckworth, Affair in Trinidad, Sadie Thompson, and Salome.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Variety 18 February 1948 p 14
  2. ^ "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46
  3. ^ HOLLYWOOD SPLIT BY HEARINGS: Un-American Activities Probe Divides Film Capital Into Right and Left Blocks -- Famous Set Washed Out By THOMAS F. BRADY. New York Times Y]26 Oct 1947: X5.
  4. ^ GLENN FORD NAMED FOR COLUMBIA ROLE: Will Star With Rita Hayworth in 'The Loves of Carmen' -- Van Upp Doing Film Play By THOMAS F. BRADY New York Times 13 Nov 1947: 34.
  5. ^ Frank Daugherty (Jan 9, 1948). "Letter from Hollywood". The Christian Science Monitor. p. 4.
  6. ^ Vagg, Stephen (August 10, 2019). "Unsung Aussie Actors – Ron Randell: A Top Twenty". Filmink.
  7. ^ DISNEY ANNOUNCES TWO NEW PROJECTS: New York Times 17 Nov 1947: 27.
  8. ^ "The Loves of Carmen..." The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 16, no. 18. Australia. 9 October 1948. p. 25. Retrieved 2 July 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ Columbia Pictures Sued by Rita for Accounting: Actress, as Shareholder in Beckworth Corp., Asks Details of Dealings Between Two Firms Los Angeles Times 13 May 1954: 11.

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