In the 1954 film, parachute maker Carmen Jones (Dorothy Dandridge) makes a play for a soldier named Joe (Harry Belafonte), who is in love with sweet Cindy Lou (Olga James). When she goes after him, it gets them both more trouble than they can deal with. It also stars Pearl Bailey. Like the stage version, the movie's songs are based on Bizet's original work. The movie was adapted by Oscar Hammerstein II and Harry Kleiner from the 1846 novel by Prosper Mérimée. It was directed by Otto Preminger.
The film has also been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.