The Great Caruso

( 1 )

Overview

The film traces Naples-born Caruso's ascension from adolescent choir singer to the uppermost ranks of the opera world. Caruso is brought to America, getting off to a bad start by inadvertently insulting the impresario Carl Benton Reid responsible for his Metropolitan debut. This complication has a happy outcome when Caruso marries his benefactor's daughter Ann Blyth. Refusing to spare himself or to hold back his talents from his fans, Caruso's health fails him, and he dies in 1921 at the age of 47. Featuring no ...
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Overview

The film traces Naples-born Caruso's ascension from adolescent choir singer to the uppermost ranks of the opera world. Caruso is brought to America, getting off to a bad start by inadvertently insulting the impresario Carl Benton Reid responsible for his Metropolitan debut. This complication has a happy outcome when Caruso marries his benefactor's daughter Ann Blyth. Refusing to spare himself or to hold back his talents from his fans, Caruso's health fails him, and he dies in 1921 at the age of 47. Featuring no fewer than 27 musical numbers, Great Caruso also stars Mario Lanza as Caruso, as well as such operatic superstars as Dorothy Kirsten and Jarmila Novotna.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Mario Lanza's tenor voice made this film one of the top box-office draws of 1951. What's more, it helped to popularize opera among the general public and to inspire two boys to pursue opera careers -- Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. In the film, Lanza portrays the legendary tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), who first rises to prominence in his native Italy, then earns critical acclaim in America. The film takes many liberties with the facts as it romanticizes Caruso's life. Moreover, Lanza's acting is generally mediocre. However, in imitating the power and majesty of Caruso's voice, he excels. Among the arias he sings are "Celeste Aida" (from Aida, by Giuseppe Verdi), "Vesti la giubba" (from I Pagliacci, by Ruggero Leoncavallo), and "Che Gelida Manina" (from La Boheme, by Giacomo Puccini). Lanza also sings popular selections and performs the Johann Sebastian Bach-Charles Francis Gounod version of "Ave Maria" with a boy choir. In a PBS television special, acclaimed opera star Domingo, one of the "three tenors," said the 1951 film truly inspired him when he was a boy growing up in Mexico, and that Lanza "was a superstar before that word was even invented." Carreras, another of the three tenors, dedicated one of his albums to Lanza. Ironically -- because of hard living, debilitating stage fright, and an unruly temperament -- Lanza himself never joined an opera company, and opera critics generally snubbed him as an undisciplined lout even though he became the first opera singer to sell more than 50 million albums. The Great Caruso won an Academy Award for best sound recording and an Academy Award nomination for best music and best scoring. Opera star Dorothy Kirsten also sings in the movie in the role of Louise Heggar. Actors Carl Benton Reid and Ann Blyth turn in good performances as the father-in-law and wife of Caruso.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/1/2011
  • UPC: 883316326206
  • Original Release: 1951
  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:49:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 11,201

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mario Lanza Enrico Caruso
Ann Blyth Dorothy Benjamin
Dorothy Kirsten Louise Heggar
Jarmila Novotna Maria Selka
Richard Hageman Carlo Santi
Carl Benton Reid Park Benjamin
Eduard Franz Giulio Gatti-Casazza
Ludwig Donath Alfredo Brazzi
Alan Napier Jean de Reszke
Carl Milletaire Gino
Shepard Menken Fucito
Vincent Renno Tullio
Nestor Paiva Egisto Barretto
Peter Edward Price Caruso, as a boy
Mario Siletti Papa Caruso
Angela Clarke Mama Caruso
Ian Wolfe Hutchins
Edith Angold Hilda
Argentina Brunetti Mrs. Barretto
David Bond Father Angelico
Robert Bright
Peter Brocco Father Bronzetti
Teresa Celli Opera Montage
Mae Clarke Woman
Yvette Dugay Musetta Barretto
Charles Evans Finch, Benjamin Butler
John Hamilton Foster DeWitt
Paul Harvey Benefit Spokesman
Sherry Jackson Musetta as a Child
Pal Javor Antonio Scotti
Marina Koshetz Opera Montage
Silvio Minciotti
Matt Moore Max
Bert Roach Technician
Gilbert Russell Opera Singer
Maurice Samuels Papa Gino
Blanche Thebom Opera Montage
Minerva Urecal Carmencita Toscano
Giuseppe Valdengo Opera Montage
Tito Vuolo Pietro Toscano
Peter Herman Adler Conductor
Technical Credits
Richard Thorpe Director
Peter Ballbusch Special Effects
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Johnny Green Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Jesse Lasky Associate Producer
Sonya Levien Screenwriter
William Ludwig Screenwriter
Jack D. Moore Set Decoration/Design
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Joe Pasternak Producer
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
Gene Ruggiero Editor
Joseph Ruttenberg Cinematographer
Gabriel Scognamillo Art Director
Gile Steele Costumes/Costume Designer
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Paul Webster Songwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Very disapointing.

    The technical quality of the disk was very low. Something was wrong with the digitizing platform. The screen showed areas of bluring and scratching. There wer several skips and jumps in the last 10 minutes of the program. There was no visable scratching or surface defectrs on the disk that I could see. Greatly enjoyed the music and general story in spite of these defects.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews