Producer Samuel Goldwyn, one of the men who shaped Hollywood, bowed out at the age of 75 with this film version of the George and Ira Gershwin-Dubose Heyward folk opera about crippled Porgy (Sidney Poitier), his girl Bess (Dorothy Dandridge) and the inhabitants of Catfish Row.
The familiar music, given Oscar-winning treatment by André Previn and Ken Darby, is gloriously intact. However, despite a starry cast of principals (Poitier, Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr, Brock Peters, Diahann Carroll, Pearl Bailey), the result disappoints.
Otto Preminger’s direction is heavy-handed, the singing not as good as it should be, and the whole production too lavish to convince as a poignant tale of slum life.
Sammy Davis Jr