With a budget of over $6 million, why wasn't this classic American operetta a classic American movie? Perhaps the fault lies in Samuel Goldwyn's decision to fire director Rouben Mamoulian in favor of Otto Preminger--if anyone could muddle a great saga, it was Preminger. The crippled
Porgy (Sidney Poitier) loves Bess (Dorothy Dandridge), a floozy adored by many men, including Crown (Brock Peters), a tough stevedore, and Sportin' Life (Sammy Davis, Jr.), who supplies her with heroin and who is always trying to take her away from life in Catfish Row. After Crown kills a man in
an argument over a game of craps and must flee the police, Bess settles in with Porgy. When ...