6.6/10
1,951
46 user 32 critic

Callas Forever (2002)

The last days of legendary opera singer Maria Callas.

Director:

Franco Zeffirelli

Writers:

Franco Zeffirelli (original story by), Martin Sherman (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Zeffirelli's Inferno (Video 2017)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Il sangue e la rosa (TV Series 2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In the quiet village of Cave, Isabella Malvolti, the wonderful and restless daughter of the innkeeper, spends the days between the books and the general trials of the kisses exchanged with ... See full summary »

Stars: Franco Castellano, Cosima Coppola, Gabriel Garko
Il peccato e la vergogna (TV Series 2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Stars: Stefano Santospago, Manuela Arcuri, Gabriel Garko
Io ti assolvo (TV Movie 2008)
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Francesco (Gabriel Garko), after ten years, returns to the town that has seen her grow and everything is like then, only he really has changed. He became Fr. Francesco. By taking the vows ... See full summary »

Director: Monica Vullo
Stars: Gabriel Garko, Alessandro Adriano, Gerardo Amato
Drama | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An orphaned Italian boy is raised among a circle of British and American women living in Mussolini's Italy before and during the Second World War.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright
Non è stato mio figlio (TV Series 2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The life of the Geraldi family, owner of a pasta factory, is upset by the mysterious Barbara suicide during Anna's granddaughter's birthday party. In fact, she was pregnant, and she had ... See full summary »

Stars: Gianluca Caldironi, Giorgio Caputo, Adua Del Vesco
Mathilde (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When Colonel Pretis of the U.N. falls in love with Mathilde, a local girl, during the Balkans war, he lets his passion overcome his sense of duty and responsibility in a country torn by ... See full summary »

Director: Nina Mimica
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Nutsa Kukhianidze, Dejan Acimovic
Viso d'angelo (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a quiet town overlooking the sea a mysterious killer kills leaving as a rosary sign. This is intertwined in the hands of his victims in prayer. The case is entrusted to Inspector Roberto... See full summary »

Stars: Cosima Coppola, Alessandra Costanzo, Mambaye Diop
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Miranda is a beautiful Italian girl, she is married to Mariano. They live in a village called Anghiari (Tuscany).

Director: Leonardo Pieraccioni
Stars: Leonardo Pieraccioni, Laura Torrisi, Gabriel Garko
L'onore e il rispetto (TV Mini-Series 2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Several italian families fight for honour and respect.

Stars: Nunzio Bertolami, Gabriel Garko, Valerio Morigi
Rodolfo Valentino - La leggenda (TV Mini-Series 2013)
Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This is the story of a man who possessed a magical and elusive quality that made him a legend, shining through on each of his appearances on the big screen. Born in a small town in Southern... See full summary »

Stars: Alessandra Barzaghi, Roberto Davide, Giuliana de Sio
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Brutish, fortune-hunting scoundrel Petruchio tames his wealthy, shrewish wife, Katharina.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cyril Cusack
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fanny Ardant ... Maria Callas
Jeremy Irons ... Larry Kelly
Joan Plowright ... Sarah Keller
Jay Rodan ... Michael
Gabriel Garko ... Marco / Don Jose
Manuel de Blas ... Esteban Gomez
Justino Díaz ... Scarpia
Jean Dalric Jean Dalric ... Gerard
Stephen Billington ... Brendan
Anna Lelio Anna Lelio ... Bruna
Alessandro Bertolucci Alessandro Bertolucci ... Marcello
Olivier Galfione Olivier Galfione ... Thierry
Roberto Sanchez Roberto Sanchez ... Escamillo
Achille Brugnini Achille Brugnini ... Ferruccio
Eugene Kohn ... Eugene
Edit

Storyline

In 1977, Maria Callas, the most famous diva in the world, lives confined in her Paris apartment. Larry Kelly, a producer friend, offers her to sing "Carmen" in a televised concert. Unfortunately Maria's voice, tired and worn by years and strain, is not what it used to be. Larry knows the way around the problem : a technical stratagem will create the illusion. Maria, disregarding her friend Sarah's warning, agrees with the idea and the show is a tremendous success. With that in mind, Larry now considers a new version of "Tosca". But this time, Maria objects to the subterfuge. Her decision will mark the beginning of the end for the legendary singer. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and strong language | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy | France | Spain | UK | Romania

Language:

English | French | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

18 September 2002 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Callas, a Diva See more »

Filming Locations:

Romania See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€338,565 (Italy), 22 September 2002, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,855, 7 November 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$445,996, 12 June 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The plot of Callas making a film of "Carmen" is totally fictitious. See more »

Goofs

A poster of AC/DC's "If You want Blood, You've got It" is seen hanging on a wall of the production company. The record was released in 1978 (one year after Maria Callas' death). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le code a changé (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

O mio babbino caro
from "Gianni Schicchi"
Performed by Maria Callas (soprano), Ivor Newton (piano)
(P) 2002 EMI Records Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Fitting Crown to a Phenomenal Career: Callas Lives...Almost
23 June 2005 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

CALLAS FOREVER is a beautifully written, tenderly directed and acted tribute to the immortal Maria Callas by a man who knew her as well as anyone - Franco Zeffirelli. The fantasy of placing Callas on film for posterity in the last year of her life, the year she died of heart failure, when her voice was gone but her artistry remained is the means by which Zeffirelli memorializes the Diva and in every way he succeeds.

The year is 1977 and Maria Callas (Fanny Ardant) is in seclusion in her Paris apartment, grieving over 1) her beloved Aristotle Onassis who left her for Jacqueline Kennedy and then died and 2) her disastrous farewell concert in Japan which ended her magnificent career with a flop. No longer able to sing she lives in the past, listing to her old recordings and taking pills. Only her constant maid Bruna (Anna Lelio) is allowed to comfort her with occasional visits from her warm-hearted publicist Sarah Keller (Joan Plowright).

In Paris for the promotion of a punk group Bad Dreams is Larry Kelley (Jeremy Irons) who has just met and bedded a young artist Michael (Jay Rodan): Kelley had been Callas' agent in her heyday and Michael has been creating paintings inspired by her recordings. Seeing Michael's obsession over Callas whom he has never seen perform forces Kelley to visit Callas, their devotion to each other is 'rekindled' and Kelley proposes a film version of Callas not only to bring her out of her depression but to capitalize on the fact that present and future generations should have a filmed account of the penultimate opera singer of the 20th century.

Callas is recalcitrant at first, not wanting to produce a fraudulent film made using her old recordings dubbed onto the sound track of a current staging, but she finally resolves her hesitancy by granting the filming of 'Carmen', a role she recorded but never played on the stage. Thus the project is launched and Callas is revitalized and happy again, being satisfied with the miracle of technology that allows her to invest her energies in the acting of Carmen while consenting to lip-synch to her old recordings. She even has a say in the casting of the other roles, especially Don Jose - Marco (a very hunky Gabriel Garko, a former model and Mr. Italy!). She retains her temper tantrums and demands for perfection that hallmarked her real career, doing her own dancing, having a say about costumes, etc.

The film is eventually finished and the result is magnificent. There is even some intrigue when Marco shows more than a little interest in her (a hint of the Strauss Marshallin/Octavian encounter). But alas at the end of the film Callas is forced to admit that her youth cannot be regained and decides the film is a 'fraudulent work' is not compatible with her life's devotion to truth in music. She asks Kelley to destroy it. How these two come to grips with their individual lives (Kelley's Michael has left him and he is once again as alone as Callas) is finessed by one of the most tender endings on film.

Fanny Ardant is a miracle as Callas: she inhabits her physically, understands Callas' facial features as she lip-synchs her operas, and seems to be a reincarnation of the Diva. Jeremy Irons gives one of the finest performances of his rich career as the aging gay agent and Joan Plowright adds just the right amount of lightness and grace as Sarah Keller - wise, acerbic, yet supportive of both Callas and Kelley. The scenes of Paris are correctly nostalgic: the sets for 'Carmen' by Carlo Centolavigna create a gold standard for all future true productions of 'Carmen'. The supporting cast is uniformly excellent.

Zeffirelli has succeeded in giving us a memorial to Maria Callas and for that the opera world will be forever grateful. The passages of the many arias used in this film are among the finest versions Callas recorded. Everything about this work is brilliant and it deserves the widest audience possible. Grady Harp


29 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 46 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed