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 ...
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Damon Vincenti, a young vineyard worker, has a beautiful tenor voice and dreams of becoming a great opera singer. He debuts at Lardelli's Italian restaurant in San Francisco, where he is ... See full summary »
The brilliance of one of the world's most beloved tenors and the exciting world of opera highlight this delightful romantic adventure set in the most beautiful cities of Europe. Tonio Costa... See full summary »
Johanna von Koczian,
Snooty opera singer meets a rough-and-tumble fisherman in the Louisiana bayous, but this fisherman can sing! Her agent lures him away to New Orleans to teach him to sing opera, but comes to... See full summary »
On a train to Rome, the American singer Marc Revere meets the Italian Raffaela. He notices that she intends to work and live at her uncle's. When he gives her a ride, it turns out that said... See full summary »
In Philadelphia, the soprano Prudence Budell returns from Europe after a period of five years training in the best Europeans music schools. Her millionaire grandmother Abigail Trent Budell ... See full summary »
Chuck Rodwell is a gambling cowboy who discovers that he's lucky at the roulette wheel if he holds hands with dancer Marie. However, Marie doesn't like to hold hands with him, at least not ... See full summary »
Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie, Lillian Roth becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood ... 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
Conductor Richard Hageman, who played Carlo Santi in the film, actually knew Enrico Caruso and led several performances with him at the Metropolitan Opera, including the 1918 War Relief Benefit re-created in the film. See more »
When Caruso first arrives at the Metropolitan Opera, a worker is seen replacing a photo of "Jean de Reseke" with that of Caruso. Jean de Reszke was in fact a real person and a star tenor of the era, but his last name is misspelled here. See more »
Opening credits: The events, characters and firms depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual firms is purely coincidental. See more »
I suppose it would be too much to expect a studio like MGM to produce a realistic biography of the legendary tenor in 1951--a year when the studio's reputation for glossy technicolor musicals was at an all-time high. They overproduced many a musical with strong star drawing power to fill the Radio City Music Hall with their products--and were certainly aiming to target the widest possible audience for this Caruso story with their new discovery--Mario Lanza.
Lanza's rich lyrical tenor is given a showcase in which to perform both Neapolitan songs and operatic arias and he doesn't disappoint. Casting him as Caruso was a shrewd and clever decision--but the letdown comes in the fictionalized story that bears little resemblance to the true background of the singer. Artificial touches abound--including Ann Blythe as his wife. Nevertheless, since enjoyment of the film depends entirely on whether or not you enjoy the singing talent of Mario Lanza (and his limited acting abilities), you should find this biography a lightweight treatment of Caruso's life--although highly incomplete and sometimes even inaccurate. Perhaps some day there will be a true biography of the singer.
If nothing else, should compel some viewers to explore Caruso's life for the real story. Incidentally, there is a new song, "The Loveliest Night of the Year", which rates utmost respect. The soundtrack is great to listen to--Lanza was in the best of voice at the time of recordings.
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