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The Great Caruso (1951)

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 »


Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dorothy Benjamin
Dorothy Kirsten ...
Jarmila Novotna ...
Maria Selka
Richard Hageman ...
Carlo Santi
Carl Benton Reid ...
Park Benjamin
Giulio Gatti-Casazza
Alfredo Brazzi
Jean de Reszke
Pál Jávor ...
Antonio Scotti (as Paul Javor)
Carl Milletaire ...
Shepard Menken ...
Vincent Renno ...
Egisto Barretto
Peter Price ...
Caruso (as boy) (as Peter Edward Price)


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Mario Lanza! New Idol! Hottest singer in a decade! See more »


Biography | Drama | Music


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Release Date:

17 August 1951 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

El gran Caruso  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jesse L. Lasky, who served as associate producer on this film, also knew the real Enrico Caruso. In 1918, whilst 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 »


Featured in The Ultimate Film (2004) See more »


Performed by Mario Lanza
Also performed by Dorothy Kirsten, Blanche Thebom and Nicola Moscona
Written by Friedrich von Flotow
See more »

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User Reviews

Extraordinary experience
28 July 2004 | by (Uppsala, Sweden) – See all my reviews

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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