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Radley Metzger, 1967
USA/Yugoslavia/West Germany | Format: 35mm | 90 minutes
With this first prototype of his winning “Continental” formula, Metzger takes Prosper Mérimée’s 19th-century tale of an amoral gypsy temptress, updates it to Swinging ’60s Spain, and dresses it up with plenty of sex and visual style. In thrall to seductive grifter Carmen (played with easy charm by Uta Levka), naïve young policeman Jose (Claude Ringer) sacrifices all, only to be tormented as his amoral lover sleeps her way up the social hierarchy from minor officials to influential aristocrats in order to achieve her goals. Shot on location on the coast of Spain, Carmen, Baby epitomizes Metzger’s flair for erotic melodrama with polished production values.