Porgy and Bess (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

Porgy and Bess1959

Porgy and Bess (1959)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This film version of George Gershwin's classic American operetta tells the story of Porgy, a crippled young man who falls in love with the beautiful, free-spirited and heroin-addicted Bess who is not only loved by her drug dealer, but also by Crown, a ruthless longshoreman.


Sammy Davis Jr.
as Sportin' Life
Helen Thigpen
as Strawberry Woman
Vince Townsend Jr.
as Elderly Man
Bill Walker
as Undertaker
Claude Akins
as Detective
Adele Addison
as Bess (Singing Voice)
Robert McFerrin
as Porgy (Bess)
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Critic Reviews for Porgy and Bess

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

This is a stunning, exciting and moving film, packed with human emotions and cheerful and mournful melodies. It bids fair to be as much a classic on the screen as it is on the stage.

March 25, 2006 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Should this Porgy and Bess be locked away? It ain't necessarily so.

July 24, 2001 | Full Review…

Producer Samuel Goldwyn and director Otto Preminger have assembled it with such artistry and loving care that it almost seems to have been written for the movies.

June 23, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

One of the most underestimated movie musicals, based on Gershwin's masterpiece, Porgy and Bess receives a lavish production from Otto Preminger in an all-black, Oscar-nominated picture, starring Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge.

December 28, 2011 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The brilliant score by the Gershwins and DuBose Heyward, however, will last forever, while Preminger's veteran cameraman, Leon Shamroy, did a wonderful job and the art direction by Serge Krizman and Joseph Wright is sensational.

October 23, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

That it stands as an entertaining spectacle and the director's best musical is secondary in interest to the Hollywood politics surrounding it.

May 24, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Porgy and Bess

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