Carmen (1915 Cecil B. DeMille film)

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Carmen (DeMille) film poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille
Produced by Jesse L. Lasky
Cecil B. DeMille
Written by William C. deMille
Based on Carmen
by Prosper Mérimée
Starring Geraldine Farrar
Music by Hugo Riesenfeld
Samuel L. Rothafel
Cinematography Alvin Wyckoff
Edited by Anne Bauchens
Cecil B. DeMille
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • October 31, 1915 (1915-10-31)
  • November 1, 1915 (1915-11-01) (general release)
Running time
65 minutes
(4512 feet: 5 reels)
Country United States
Language English intertitles
Budget $23,429[1]
Box office $147,599[1]

Carmen is a 1915 American silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.[2] The film is based on the novella Carmen by Prosper Mérimée. The existing versions of this film appear to be from the re-edited 1918 re-release.[3]


Don José, an officer of the law, is seduced by the gypsy girl Carmen, in order to facilitate her clan's smuggling endeavors. Don José becomes obsessed, turning to violent crime himself in order to keep the attention of Carmen.



Carmen was praised as a "triumph of superb acting and magnificent scenery" in Motion Picture Magazine. "No small share of this artistic success is due to Mr. Wallace Reid's sympathetic interpretation of Don José," they added.[4] "The 'Carmen' film will, in its own way, stand alongside 'The Birth of a Nation' as an epochmaker," Photoplay said in their review. One of their few complaints was on the film's faithfulness to Carmen's character of the Mérimée story.[5]

The New-York Tribune described it as "The most interesting example of the new art of the photoplay. Miss Farrar's personality is admirably suited to the screen, and her facial expression was excellent."[6] "Geraldine Farrar's 'Carmen' makes as dramatic an appeal to the eye as her voice ever did to the ear," said The San Francisco Call & Post, "The resolution of Geraldine Farrar, the beautiful and gifted star, to employ her talents in the attaining of success in the films is one of the greatest steps in advancing the dignity of the motion pictures. Miss Farrar's 'Carmen' in the films is the greatest triumph the motion picture has yet achieved over the speaking stage."[6]

Geraldine Farrar came in fourth place in the 1916 "Screen Masterpiece" contest held by Motion Picture Magazine for her performance as Carmen, with 17,900 votes. She was the highest ranking actress and was behind Francis X. Bushman in Graustark, Henry B. Walthall in The Birth of a Nation, and the number one winner, Earle Williams, in The Christian. Theda Bara's performance of the same role received 9,150 votes.[7]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Birchard, Robert S. (2004). "16. Carmen". Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0813138299. 
  2. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Carmen". Silent Era. Retrieved May 15, 2008. 
  3. ^ Higashi, Sumiko (1994). Cecil B. DeMille and American Culture: The Silent Era (University of California Press), p. 217. ISBN 0-520-08557-4. Anne Bauchens' credit as a co-editor on this film is consistent with a 1918 release date for a re-edited version. After Carmen, Bauchens' next editing credit was the 1918 film We Can't Have Everything. The absence of editing credits for Bauchens on DeMille's 1916 and 1917 films would be surprising if the version of Carmen that she edited had been released in 1915.
  4. ^ Naylor, Hazel Simpson (January 1916). "As Others See You". Motion Picture Magazine. Chicago: Brewster Publications. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  5. ^ Johnson, Julian (November 1915). "The Shadow Stage". Photoplay. New York: Photoplay Publishing Co. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Newspapers of the Nation Praise Production". Motion Picture News. New York: Motion Picture News, Inc. November 6, 1915. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Screen Masterpieces". Motion Picture Magazine. Chicago: Brewster Publications. May 1916. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  8. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved August 18, 2016. 

External links[edit]