Loosely traces the life of tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921). He loves Musetta, in his home town of Naples, and then Dorothy, the daughter of one of the Metropolitan Opera's patrons. Caruso ... See full summary »
Loosely traces the life of tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921). He loves Musetta, in his home town of Naples, and then Dorothy, the daughter of one of the Metropolitan Opera's patrons. Caruso is unacceptable to both women's fathers: to one, because he sings; to Dorothy's, because he is a peasant. To New York patricians, Caruso is short, barrel chested, loud, emotional, unrefined. Their appreciation comes slowly. The film depicts Caruso's lament that "the man does not have the voice, the voice has the man": he cannot be places he wants to be, because he must be elsewhere singing, including the day his mother dies. Throughout, Mario Lanza and stars from the Met sing. Written by
Jesse L. Lasky, who served as associate producer on this film, also knew the real Enrico Caruso. In 1918, while serving as the head of Famous Players (later Paramount) Studio, Lasky had paid Caruso to star in two silent films, My Cousin (1918) and The Splendid Romance (1919), neither of which was commercially successful. See more »
I was 12 living in the coastal industry city of Luleå. I had never heard of Opera. My father was a movie projectionist. One evening i happened to see The Great Caruso. It was a breathtaking experience deep into my body. I was caught for ever by opera and I remember the deep sadness I felt in 1959 when my idol Mario Lanza died (similar to my sons feelings some 30 years later when John Lennon was killed). I have the Video and I have seen it many times on TCM Cabel TV - The Great Caruso will stay forever as the film that opened my eyes and emotions for music in general and opera in particular. Thank You MGM, Caruso but in particular thank You Mario Lanza.
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