CO-SPONSORED EVENT | Film Series: We Can Do It! Trailblazing Women of Hollywood’s Golden Age: Carmen Jones

April 15, 2024 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Michigan Theater Screening Room, 603 E Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, MI

Please join CEW+ for a reception
at the Michigan Theater prior to the screening of the film “Carmen Jones, part of the CEW+ co-sponsored film series “We Can Do It! Trailblazing Women of Hollywood’s Golden Age.”


CEW+ is sponsoring a series of classic films at the Michigan Theater by some of Hollywood’s most influential women. This series aims to feature women who broke down barriers to diversity and equity in early Hollywood, clearing the path for those who followed.

During Hollywood’s Golden Age of Film female actors, directors, and production staff had to fight against mainstream traditional gender roles while working within the studio system. Women in Hollywood had to tread carefully to be able to advocate for their rights while avoiding being branded “difficult”, a moniker that could end a career. While often imperfect, each movie in this series has something interesting to say about gender, race, and sexuality.

Carmen Jones (1954) 1 hr 45 min

Carmen Jones

Carmen Jones is a musical film based on a stage musical which was in turn inspired by the opera “Carmen”. The film has an all-black cast, starring Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, and Pearl Bailey among others. The story follows Carmen Jones (Dandridge) and Joe (Belafonte) through their tumultuous and violent relationship. The NAACP’s executive secretary originally approved the script, but after its release, the racial stereotypes embedded in the film have come under scrutiny. 

Dorothy Dandridge was the first African-American film star to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Throughout her career, Dorothy fought to be treated with respect and opened new doors for the African-American actors and entertainers who followed in her wake.

Full Film Series Schedule:

  • His Girl Friday (1940) – Starring Rosalind Russell – Monday, March 4th
  • Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) – Dir. Dorothy Arzner, starring Lucille Ball – Monday, March 11th
  • Adam’s Rib (1949) – Starring Katherine Hepburn – Monday, March 18th
  • All About Eve (1950) – Starring Bette Davis/Anne Baxter/Marilyn Monroe – Monday, April 1st
  • The Hitch-Hiker (1953) – Dir. Ida Lupino – Monday, April 8th
  • Carmen Jones (1954) – Starring Dorothy Dandridge – Monday, April 15th
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1956) – Starring Liz Taylor – Monday, April 22nd