Love of Carmen, The (1948): Vidor’s Technicolor Remake, Starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford

Charles Vidor directed The Loves of Carmen, a lush but kitschy Technicolor romantic drama, starring Rita Hayworth as the gypsy Carmen and Glenn Ford as her doomed lover Don José.

It’s the second remake, after the 1917 silent version, toplined by Pola Negri as Carmen and Harry Liedtke as Don José, and the 1927 film, directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Dolores del Río and Don Alvarado as Don Jose.

This was the first film made by Hayworth’s production company, the Beckworth Corporation, which gave her approval over material and percentage of  profits. As co-producer, Hayworth hired her father, the dancer Eduardo Cansino, to help choreograph the Spanish dances. Her uncle José Cansino is her dance partner in one scene, and brother Vernon Cansino has a cameo as a soldier.

The tale, loosely based on the popular 1845 novella Carmen by Prosper Merimee, follows the adventures as a seductive siren and rebellious bandit.

The gypsy Carmen (Hayworth) lures an innocent soldier (Glenn Ford) to his ruin, getting him expelled from the army. He then turns to banditry, killing Carmen’s husband (Victor Jory) and others. The drama culminates with the innocent soldier repenting of his sins and dying.

The film’s musical score was composed by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Hayworth’s singing voice was dubbed by Anita Ellis.  The love scenes are accompanied by two guitar-playing men, who seem to be following the couple.

Hayworth is heavily made up (note the rouge on her cheeks and the red hot lipstick). She gets to display her sexy figure and shapely legs in red and purple dresses, especially when she dances (solo or in duets).  Sporting curly hair, Glenn Ford wears a colorful uniform too (yellow-orange jacket, red trousers).

Rita Hayworth as Carmen
Glenn Ford as Don José
Ron Randell as Andrés
Victor Jory as García
Luther Adler as Dancaire
Arnold Moss as Colonel
Joseph Buloff as Remendado
Margaret Wycherly as Old Crone
Bernard Nedell as Pablo
John Baragrey as Lucas, a bullfighter


Running time: 97 Minutes

Release: September 2, 1948 (New York City), October 7, 1948 (Los Angeles)
Running time: 97 minutes

Made on a budget of $2.5 million, Loves of Carmen was popular the box-office.