In the 1959 adaptation of "Porgy and Bess," Sidney Poitier starred as Porgy and Dorothy Dandridge starred as Bess. The film also features Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey and Brock Peters in supporting roles.
The creators of "Porgy and Bess" experienced a number of difficulties during the production process, including casting the role of Porgy. Sidney Poitier initially turned down the role, feeling it was degrading and perpetuated African-American stereotypes. Poitier only accepted the role after a threat of legal action came from the film's producer, Samuel Goldwyn. "Porgy and Bess" was a financial flop at the box office, earning back less than half of its $7 million production budget.