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 »
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 »
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 »
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
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 »
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 »
Lanza's Masterpiece - A Perfect Biography of Caruso
THE GREAT CARUSO was the biggest hit in the world in 1951 and broke all box office records at Radio City Music Hall in a year when most "movergoers" were stay-at-homes watching their new 7" Motorola televisions. Almost all recent box office figures are false --- because they fail to adjust inflation. Obviously today's $10 movies will dominate. In 1951 it cost 90c to $1.60 at Radio City; 44c to 75c first run at Loew's Palace in Washington DC, or 35c to 50c in neighborhood runs. What counts is the number of people responding to the picture, not unadjusted box office "media spin." The genius of THE GREAT CARUSO was that the filmmakers took most of the actual life of Enrico Caruso (really not a great story anyway) and threw it in the trash. Instead, 90% of the movie's focus was on the music. Thus MGM gave us the best living opera singer MARIO LANZA doing the music of the best-ever historic opera singer ENRICO CARUSO. The result was a wonderful movie. Too bad LANZA would throw his life and career away on overeating. Too fat to play THE STUDENT PRINCE, Edmund Purdom took his place --- with Lanza's voice dubbed in, and with the formerly handsome and not-fat Lanza pictured in the advertising. If you want to see THE GREAT CARUSO, it's almost always on eBay for $2.00 or less. Don't be put off by the low price, as it reflects only the easy availability of copies, not the quality of the movie.
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