This highly fictionalized film 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 ...
See full summary »
Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's highschool's band contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance the meet Paul Whiteman in person and are ... See full summary »
Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
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 »
A Musical-romance with Dick Powell as a private stationed in Hawaii who gets involved with Ruby Keeler, the general's engaged daughter. In order to avoid a scandal, the pair break up, but ... 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 »
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 »
This highly fictionalized film 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
In October 1951, MGM was distributing this film on the drive-in theater circuit on a double bill with the Lassie movie The Painted Hills (1951). 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. Says it ALL. 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 »
Since musicals have both gone out of fashion and are incredibly expensive to make without all the talent needed to make one under contract to a studio, I doubt we will ever get a real life story of Enrico Caruso.
But if everything else was in place it was no accident that no Hollywood studio attempted the task until Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had Mario Lanza under contract. No one else could have done it, I doubt whether it will ever be tried again.
And why should it. I think Enrico Caruso himself would have been satisfied as to how his singing was portrayed on screen. For his tenor voice was his life, his reason for being on the earth.
To say that liberties were taken with his life is to be modest. Caruso, like the man who portrayed him, was a man of large appetites although with a lot more self discipline. He had numerous relationships with several women and fathered two out of wedlock sons who are not in this film.
His contribution to the recording industry is treated as almost an afterthought. He's shown in a recording studio once late in his life. Actually he started recording right around the turn of the last century and together with Irish tenor John McCormack for RCA Victor made the recording industry what it became.
When Caruso and McCormack were at their heights you had to practically inherit a ticket to see either of them perform live. But a lot of immigrant Italian and Irish families had a phonograph and a record or three of either of these men. It's why both became the legends that they are.
What the film does have is some beautifully staged operatic arias done by Mario Lanza, a taste of what he might have become had he the discipline of a Caruso to stick to opera. The Great Caruso won an Oscar for sound recording and received nominations for costume and set design.
Mario himself helped popularize the film with an RCA Red Seal album of songs from The Great Caruso. Unfortunately due to contractual obligations we couldn't get an actual cast album with Ann Blyth, Dorothy Kirsten, and Jarmila Novotna also.
Though Blyth sang it in the film, Lanza had a big hit recording of The Loveliest Night of the Year further helping to popularize The Great Caruso.
If you're looking for a life of Enrico Caruso, this ain't it. If you are looking for a great artist singing at the height of his career, than you should not miss The Great Caruso.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this