The Great Caruso (1951) - full transcript

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.

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Male narrator: Naples, Italy,
February 27, 1873.

Men went to work,

women cooked and cleaned.

Babies were born.

A day like any other day,

except at the Caruso home.

For here
a great voice was born.

[baby crying]

You can come and see
your son now.

This one is strong,

He will live.

Ana, it feels good already
to have a son.

Welcome to our house, bambino.

We call him Enrico,
King of the home.

[singing in foreign language]


- What's the matter?
- Enrico's sweetheart!

Musetta, you disturb.

We sing in a procession
this afternoon,

we haven't much time.

Enrico's mother,
she fainted again.

Gino, Fucito!
Where are you going?

He is our best friend.

- Father Angelico...
- Yes, my child?

Signor Caruso said,
"Please, come quick."

Oh, mama, I'm sorry.

It's not the first time
I've fainted, or the last.

You should not have
left the choir.

You will be late
for the procession.

You're ill, mama.
I won't leave you.

When you sing, I feel real,
I feel very happy.

You alone of all my children
was born with the voice.

I don't care about that.

The voice is important, Enrico.

Maybe I'm a foolish mother

but I have always felt
the good Dio spared you to sing.

God gave you a great gift.
You must use it.

You sent for Father Angelico.

You're keeping things from me.

She sent for you,
Father Angelico, didn't she?

Enrico, Father Bronzetti
is waiting.

Hurry, my boy!
I shall wait here.

But mama...

Tears help the singing, bambino.

Go now.
I listen for your voice.

You will wave to me
from the window, mama?

I will hear your voice.



[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[bell tolling]

[singing in foreign language]


[singing in foreign language]

[audience cheering]

Oh, he sings so beautifully!

Hmph! For pennies.
A fine living.

Oh, Egisto, they are in love.

Enrico: My next song
and my heart

I dedicate to that lovely lady,
Musetta Barretto.

She has honored me by coming
here this evening

with her respected father,

a distinguished merchant
of our city,

Signor Egisto Barretto
and his charming wife.

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[audience cheering]

Like a beggar. Come.
I'm ashamed!

Like a beggar.
I'm ashamed!

You want to get married?

But what will you feed
you and Musetta

and the bambino
that will come each year?

Sacks of flour! Sacks and sacks
and sacks from my flour mill?

I know you do not like me,
signor, but--

Enrico, listen to papa,

You're wrong, Enrico.

You like my daughter
and I like you.

You need a wife,
I need a son.

When my savior calls me,
you will be the big boss

The flour mill will be yours,

this house, everything I have,

if you use your head.

You are very generous sir,
but I--

- But?
- Enrico, listen to papa.

I have listened to papa.

Perhaps for a minute
someone will listen to me!

It is true, Signor Barretto

that right now
I sing for pennies.

Pennies are not very important
in a big house like this.

But the singing,
that is important everywhere.

It makes people feel
good inside.

It takes away the ugliness,
the sadness

and it fills
the empty place here.

That too is something,
signor, isn't it?

No son-in-law of mine
begs for pennies.

If that is your answer,
Signor Caruso, I say, addio!

Egisto, they are in love!

Musetta is my only child.

I would like for her
to be comfortable and happy.

Is this unreasonable?

It's most reasonable.


Si, signor.


[instrumental music]

Buongiorno, Papa Ricardo.

Oh, my friend, the singer.

I haven't seen you for months.

I'm no longer a singer,
I'm a merchant.

I congratulate you, Enrico.

In Naples,
everybody is a singer,

who is the merchant?
One in 10,000.

- Your mother would be proud.
- Ah, wonderful.

[speaking in foreign language]

- Enrico.
- Fucito!

Come, come and sit!

No, I have much business
to attend.

Oh, I see. I see.

You got money
in your pockets now

so you got no time
for old friends, eh?.

You speak foolish.

It was fun in old days,

A man must use his head, Fucito.

People have to eat,
to eat you must have money.

They eat.

And they eat good too

and they drink champagne.

Enrico: Who are they?


From the San Carlos
Opera House.

- From San Carlos?
- Ah.

Alfredo Brazzi, the tenor,
and Carmeli.


Enrico, why don't you
let them hear

what a real singer sounds like?

Oh, I can't sing anymore.

Lost your voice?

Too much flour in the throat.

Here. Wet it down.


Still too dry.


He's good.

Hey, young man..

You use your voice nicely.


You had some training?

I was taught by
Father Bronzetti.

Oh. And where do you
sing now?

Well, I'm not really a singer.

I'm a flour merchant.

Oh. With that chest,
with that voice?

That's what I tell him,

He can sing anything!
High, low, adaio, andante--

Fucito, these men
are professionals.

Oh, go ahead, young man.
Never mind that.

Of course, signor, of course.

[piano music]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]


[water pattering]


[thunder rumbling]

Ah-ha! There you are!

You good for nothing,
loafer you.

- The flour!
- The flour.

The customers, the business.
They're gone!

I'm a ruined man.
But it's my fault, I'm to blame.

You know why?
I will answer that.

I used my heart
not my head.

I took him into the mill.

I have treated him like a son.

And see what happened?

You were born a beggar
and you will die a beggar.

You, you singer for pennies!

Enrico: Signor Barretto!

- You singer for pennies!
- Signor.

Signor Barretto, I'll deliver
the flour if it takes all night!

- What the flour?
- I'll pay.

- I'll pay for everything.
- From singing?

Yes! If you'll only
trust my voice.

I could get rich from singing!

I could cover Musetta with gold
from singing.

- Now promise me one thing.
- Anything, signor. Anything.

If you don't keep away
from my house,

my daughter, my flour mill,
do you know what I will do?

I will answer that!
I will kill you!

Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!

Who won, Enrico?

Enrico: I'm no longer
a flour merchant.

- Good.
- You're young, you're strong.

And without a penny.

Tell me, Signor Brazzi,
were you making fun of me

or is my voice good enough
to make a living?

I don't mean in cafes
or street carnivals,

but, but in the opera houses.
Please tell me, signor.

Perhaps, if you are
willing to learn,

but if you want to be
a divo overnight...

I don't care
if I'm never a divo,

just as long as I can make
a decent living.

I heard you carry a tune,

but can you carry a spear?

I know I can carry
a sack of flour.

I think I can carry a spear.


[singing in foreign language]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[audience cheering]

[instrumental music]


Papa, I'm home!


Not here.

Bambino, have you seen
Papa Caruso?

Si, signor. At the barbershop.

- You settle everything here.
- Si.

I surprise papa.

- Careful, the ear, my son.
- Oh, si.

What I do for friendship.

Am I not brave to be shaved
by an apprentice?

I'm a master barber,

but to my father
I'm always an apprentice.

I have only one papa,
be careful, Gino!

- Enrico!
- Hey!

- Enrico!
- Papa!

My son.

You look beautiful!

You like it, huh?

When I tell Egisto Barretto

what I paid for this suit,
he will not believe it.

And wait till
he sees the presents,

something for everybody.

And for you, papa, a gold watch.

- A gold watch?
- A millionaire?

Enrico, tell me the truth.
From singing?

Two hundred lire performance.

Sometimes I don't
believe it myself.

I will show the flour merchant

that I do not need
his flour mill

to support Musetta
like a princess.

Enrico, let me tell you
about Signor Barretto--

I know him better than you.

All he wants
money, money, money.

- But, Enrico--
- Papa, don't be concerned.

He will welcome me
as his son-in-law.

He is not like Musetta.

Musetta is married.

I do not believe it.

Enrico, wait!

- Gino, look after him.
- Si.

If she were the right girl

she would've waited for you.

- Be quiet.
- I'm quiet.

But in my heart, I envy you.

Fine clothes, money.

With your voice
the world is open to you.

And the world is full of girls.

You are really very lucky.

Who wants to see the world?

I do.
But who gets to see it?

Barber? No.

A singer? Yes.
Now if I were you--

So, you want to see the world,

I take you with me.

I? I'm not an accomplice
like Fucito. I--

- That's business.
- I know.

But I'm just a barber.
What have I to offer you?

Friendship. I need a friend.

- Then I go with you.
- We leave tonight.

I do not want to see Naples

and I do not want
to see Musetta.

You go to Signor Barretto.

Tell him the flour is paid for.

- Si. Si!
- From singing!

[instrumental music]

Hutchins: You know
that bartender is second scene.


Yes, Ms. Selka.

Have you any idea
how long I have been waiting?

About two and a half minutes,
I should say.

That is not the point.

The point is that
I am being kept waiting.

It is an indignity!
An insult!

Oh, Signor Caruso only
arrived in England yesterday.

Perhaps he's lost his way.

- Patience.
- How dare you?

I merely said
I was playing patience,

however, if you care for
some two-handed casino.

[scoffs] It is obvious
why you have been cast

in the role of the jester,
Signor Scotti.

This could not happen in Vienna
or Budapest.

There we have discipline.

We would not permit
an artist like myself

to be insulted
by a Italian upstart.

Hardly an upstart, Ms. Selka.

Signor Caruso's talent
has earned him medals

from the Sultan of Turkey,
the King of Belgium,

the Czar of Russia.

His voice
is his recommendation.

Tenor is not a voice,
it is a disease.

[indistinct chatter]

[speaking in foreign language]

- Excuse me, Signor Hutchins.
- Look at him!

Wouldn't you know
he was an Italian tenor?

Perhaps my English is not good
to understood your joke.

Your English is vile
and your clothes are worse.

You have the manners
of a Naples street singer.

When you meet a lady?
Take your hat off!

[speaking in foreign language]

Don't worry, Hutchins.
The house will be filled.

[speaking in foreign language]

Don't lose your head, amico.
You have a contract.

[speaking in foreign language]

It's wrong, amico.

Next to the Metropolitan,

this debut in Covent Garden

is the most important for you.

I told you in Italian,
I tell you in English,

I do not sing with Maria Selka!

[speaking in foreign language]

- I do not go back.
- I don't blame you.

I've spent my life being
insulted by prima donnas,

I wonder how I stand it
or why.

I do not have to
bend the knee to that...

Signor Hutchins,
my English is not good.

Gino, the book.

[speaking in foreign language]

In Italian,
I know the word.

Whatever you call her,
Signor Caruso.

And in whatever language,

you do it with my blessings.

She behaves badly,
but she sings beautifully.

She makes me so mad
I cannot sing.

Well, you're not mad at me,
are you, Signor Caruso?

Not you, signor.

And you're not mad at the music.

So why make her too important?

She'd be delighted
if she drove you out.

After the performance, you have
my permission to kill her.


For you and for the music,
I go back.

But remember,
I do not swallow the insults.

[instrumental music]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[instrumental music]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[audience applauding]

[indistinct chatter]

- Enrico. Enrico.
- Scotti, how did you like?

One performance
and you captured London.


No flour in the throat tonight.

- Alfredo!
- Enrico!

How did you like?
Did I do you credit?

I've never seen
any thing like that audience.

Fucito, you remember
the great tenor, Brazzi?

Si, si, from San Carlos.

It's good to see a face
from Naples.

Gino, my dear friend,
Alfredo Brazzi.

[speaking in foreign language]

Come, we can talk alone, huh?

[speaking in foreign language]

Tell me, why didn't you let me
know you were here too?

You are the big divo now.

Not to my friends.
Are you on tour here?

- I live here.
- In London?

Mm. Five years.

You see, Enrico,
you have found your voice,

but I have lost mine.

- Alfredo?
- Oh. Do not worry, my friend.

I manage to eat, to live.

Alfredo, you must do me
the great favor.

Anything I can.

To singing Alfredo is good,
but the business of singing,

contracts, concerts, tours,
I go crazy!

Would you be my manager?

Unless you have
more important work.

I work in a bank.

[speaking in foreign language]

A banker?

I open the door for the banker.

Tell him to open his own door!
It's settled.

Amico, you have saved my life.

Gino, Fucito!
Salute our new manager.


[instrumental music]

[music continues]

[instrumental music]

Excuse me, Signor Gatti-Casazza.

Caro amico. Salute.

I did not want to be late,
but you know I get mixed up.

We do not mind waiting
a few minutes, Enrico.

I want to make the apology
to you and--

Good heavens,
is that the Great Caruso?

He's certainly no
Jean de Reszke.

Not in looks, but Santi said

he was a sensation
at Covent Garden.

But this is the Metropolitan,
my dear.

- Gatti: Louise.
- Yes, Gatti.

Gatti: Please.

Enrico, you have not met
our great soprano,

Louise Heggar.

Please, signorina, forgive me.

Of course, but for what,
Signor Caruso?

- I make you wait.
- Oh!

I'm often late myself.

- Then you're not angry?
- Certainly not.

Gatti, this lady
is not a soprano.

- Si. Si.
- I do not believe it.

Such a kind lovely, charming
and beautiful young lady.

You cannot be a prima donna.


- Santi.
- Santi: Enrico.

[speaking in foreign language]

- Remember Covent Garden?
- Yes.

- It's nice to see you here too.
- Thank you.

This is a wonderful place, huh?

Wonderful country.

- I am ready to begin.
- Good.

Uh, today I only want

to go over a few of
the solo numbers.

Uh, Miss Heggar, please,
the end of your first aria?

I shall begin at "Numi, pieta."

Uh, gentleman,
that is number 49.

[orchestral music]

[singing in foreign language]


It will be a great pleasure
to sing with you.

Oh, thank you. Thank you.

Uh, Enrico, let's try
"Celeste Aida"

with the "Recitativo."

Uh, gentlemen.

[instrumental music]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]


Now, I look forward
to this season.

- Grazie.
- Bravo, bravo.

- What a wonderful voice.
- Thank you.

Louise, you're standing
in the draft.

You've got to learn
to take care of yourself.

I have to go to the office.

I'll be back for you
after the rehearsal.

- Alright.
- Signor, need not trouble.

May I have the pleasure
to take you home?

Of course, with the permission
of your father.



Gatti, maybe I make
a little mistake.

He is not the papa?

Mr. Benjamin is a very generous
patron of the Metropolitan.

Oh! I make a big mistake.


Enrico? Momento.

Remember what I told you to say.

I say I came to make the apology
and I, um...

[chuckles] Regret.

I regret that
I called the old man--

Unh-unh, unh-unh,
the distinguished gentleman.

Destro. The distinguished
gentleman, your father.

It was a natural mistake
when I see so charming and--

No, no, so young and charming.

No lady cannot be angry
when you call her young.

Si, si.

[bells ringing]

I regret
the distinguished gentleman

so young and charming.

Excuse me,
maybe I make a mistake.

Miss Hagger lives here?

- This is Miss Hagger's house.
- Good.

I am Enrico Caruso
from the Metropolitan Opera.

Would you tell her
that I'm here now?

I expect her any minute
if you'd like to wait.

May I help you, Miss Dorothy?

Signor Caruso's
from the Metropolitan.

He has an appointment
with Miss Hagger.

Your tea is all ready,
Miss Dorothy.

Thank you.

- Would you come in?
- Grazie.

How do you like your tea,
Signor Caruso?

At first, not at all,
but in London I get used to it.

I mean, cream, sugar or nothing?


In America, everything is said
with the teeth.

Nothing. Thank you, Dorothy.

But Italian is soft.


[speaking in foreign language]

Signorina Doro? That is nice.

- You like it?
- Mm-hm.

It has a nice sound,
Signorina Doro, like music.

You like music?

Oh, I don't know much about it.

You live in the soprano's house
and you do not know about music?

Oh, I don't live here.
I live at school.

- Enrico: You have no house?
- Yes, my father's house.

But most of the time
I live at school.

It's vacation now and

well I guess Louise
is the closest friend

father and I have so...

So, and your mother?

My mother has been dead
for many years, Mr. Caruso.

Oh, and how nice you have
a friend like Miss Hagger.

She's a charming woman,
sings good too.

You sing a little?

Dorothy: Not the way
you mean it.

At school and chapel,
we all have to sing.

[singing in foreign language]

Come sing with me.

Oh, no.

I know enough music to know
I can't sing.

She can't sing?

The little daughter cannot sing.

Always the ladies come to me
to be singers.

They have no voice,
but they sing.

It is like fresh air
to meet someone

who cannot sing and knows it.

When you grow up,
Signorina Doro, do not change

and you will be one woman
in the millions.

We're friends, huh?

Dorothy. Oh!

Signor Caruso,
what a wonderful surprise.

Gracias. Miss Hagger,
I come to make the apology.

I regret I call that old...

Excuse me, I must go now.

- But Signor Caruso.
- Thank you.

Very pleasant. Arrivederci.

- What on earth?
- The man's insane.

But Signor Caruso,
what happened?

This morning, by accident,
I make the big insult

to Mr. Benjamin and Miss Hagger.

You did?

So now I come to make the
apology and that I cannot do

because to make the apology

I must insult the old man again.

What did you say?

I called him Miss Hagger's papa.


See, you laugh.

Everybody else laughed,
but he does not think

it is funny.

No, he wouldn't.

Maybe you help me.
You know him well?

Quite well.

He's my father.


[speaking in foreign language]

[instrumental music]

Carrying the house?

No, I'm nervous,
all these people.

Why the galleries go
clear the sky.

[music continues]

Forget the galleries. Only
the Diamond Horseshoe counts.

They're patron and critic.
Judge and jury.

I do not like it.

Diamonds are hard, cold
without the feeling.

When they like you they're
the most wonderful audience

in the world, and when
they cheer you, Enrico,

you're in the hall of fame,

[singing in foreign language]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[audience applauding]

- Didn't you like him?
- No.

Neither him nor his performance.

It was a serious mistake
to sign him.

- "Caruso has the ex..."
- Exuberance.

"...of an Italian peasant."

"It is clear that
he is no Jean de Reszke"

Why should you copy de Reszke?
You are yourself.

It was enough
for the rest of the world.

That is enough for here.

- "Miss Hagger struggled va..."
- Valiantly.

" keep the performance

Signor Caruso, however,
was too much for her.

For the Diamond Horseshoe
used to the delicate polisher

Jean de Reszke, Caruso was too
bourgeois to be..."

[speaking in foreign language]

Enough! Please!

- I go out.
- I go with you, Enrico.

This time, my friends,
it is better that I be alone.

- Morning.
- Signor Benjamin live here?

- Yes, sir.
- I'm Caruso.

I was told I'd find
Gatti-Casazza here.

I'm sorry but there's
an important--

This is important too.
I'll wait here.

I'll see what I can do, sir.

Giulio: Permit me to remind you,
sir, that as director

of the Metropolitan,
I make up the casts.

And the best director
they've had, my dear Gatti.

That's why I'm sure you'll agree
that another performance

like last night and Miss Heggar
will be labeled with him

a failure.

I advise you to pull Caruso
out of the cast.

Louise: Park.
Park: Louise!

Park: Please,
let me handle this.

Louise: But this is
a terrible thing

to do to any artist

and Caruso is a great artist.

I thought he was very good.

My dear child, I permitted you
to stay and listen

in the hope
that you might learn.

What is it, Finch?

- There's a gentleman--
- I will tell you myself.

Gatti, I sing
no more in America.

What you have heard
is only Mr. Benjamin's opinion.

- Park: The critics agree with me.
- Frustrated musicians.

Can you say his performance
last night

was that of a nobleman?

- Now Jean de Reszke--
- It is foolish to compare.

The singing, yes,
but nothing else.

He is tall and I'm short,
he is old and I am young.

Park: He is a gentleman.
Enrico: And I'm a peasant.

I go now. I do not like fights.


- We talk things over later.
- There's nothing to talk about.

I've walked the city
from one end to the other

and I have decided.
I do not sing in America.

[instrumental music]

Well, Signor Benjamin, you have
just destroyed one singer

have you another one to give me?

- Park: Phone Jean de Reszke.
- Impossible.

He doesn't want to sing anymore.
He's retired.

He, he hasn't rehearsed.

For this emergency,
he will sing.

Signorina Doro.

I sit and cry with you please.

Oh, Caruso, I must apologize
for my father.

Maybe he was right.
The newspapers, the audience--

Oh, no.

No, you were wonderful.

[chuckles] Thank you, piccina.

That means little girl.

Ah! I thought it was going
to be easy

to conquer America

take it by the nose.

But it is not like Europe here.
It's a cold country.

Oh, no.

America is a big country
with a big heart.

Maybe it's like that tea
in London.

It takes time to get used to it.

[speaking in foreign language]


- Goodbye, Miss Dorothy, I quit.
- Tullio.

Ballet or no ballet,
I have a right to my opinion.

What happened now?

Your father asked me
what I thought

of the new tenor last night.

I said "Fine", so he gets mad

and calls me a stupid foreigner.

I was born in this country.

I am as good an American
as he is

and I know as much music.

- You like Caruso?
- Yes, I did.

- And the gallery sounded fine.
- But the Diamond Horseshoe--

There are more seats
in the gallery

and don't you forget it, mister.

Oh, that's what I meant.

This country is full of people

and most of them sit
in the galleries.

Sing for them, Mr. Caruso

and you'd like America.

- Caruso?
- Yes.

- Doesn't he like it here?
- They don't like me.

Well, what's your hurry?
You're only here two weeks.

Expect to be president already?


Did you ever dress
an opera singer?

Are they any different
from anyone else?




- You like this kind of work?
- Si.

- You like my friends?
- Si.

You like Tullio?

[speaking in foreign language]

- You keep the job.
- Grazie.

Snuff to clear the head.

Whiskey to relax the throat.


Water to wash down the whiskey.

- Man 1: Curtains, Signor Caruso.
- Ready.

My good luck piece.

[speaking in foreign language]

I'm ready.

I walk to the stage with you,
amico, for luck.


Tonight, you will hear
a performance

worthy of the Metropolitan.


I'm sorry, father,
I was thinking...

Oh, my dear, Jean. What on earth
are you doing here?

- The curtain will be up.
- I'm not singing tonight.

- What?
- Caruso has changed his mind.

- It's outrageous.
- Oh, no.

Nothing of the kind.

I really did not want to sing,
you know.

It was just a favor to you.

And now, you must do me
a favor in return.


Since I'm here, I may as well

listen to this young man, hm?

So, and, if you're having
no guests here tonight--


- Please sit down.
- Thank you.

Ah, Dorothy, my child,
I am very glad to see you here.

Thank you, monsieur.

I'm very glad to see you here.

[audience applauding]

One last thing, Enrico.

Don't give so much,
the Diamond Horseshoe

prefers dignity to fashion.

Hold back a little.

And take your hands
out of your pockets.

No, Gatti, last time I tried
to play the gentleman.

I'm no gentleman,
so I do what you tell me.

But today I learned something,

America is full of people
who sit in the galleries

and I can sing for them.

Tonight I play a man who's cold,
without a penny and hungry.

Up in the galleries,
they know this man.

I know this man too.

He keeps his hands
in his pockets

whether the Diamond Horseshoe
likes it or not.

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[audience applauding]

Caruso. Bravo, Caruso!

- Who is that?
- Jean de Reszke.

Jean de Reszke!

Now, they'll all cheer.


- Bravo!
- Bravo!


Signorina Doro,
so glad to find you.

What are you doing here alone?

Father went to get Miss Heggar.

I'm waiting for him.

You were wonderful, Mr. Caruso.

I thank you for it.

You were my good luck.
If not for you I run away.

And now I feel good
about the people

and the country and...

Already it feels
like home to me.

Doro, your hands are like ice.

In the excitement,
I lost my gloves.

Oh, here, take mine.

Man 2: We want to hear you sing,
Mr. Caruso.

Mr. Caruso,
wanna hear you sing, please.


No more ticket.
Can you now sing for us?

No more ticket.
Sing for one song, please.

You could not get in?

No, we couldn't get any seats.

I sing.


[singing in foreign language]

[singing in foreign language]

[crowd applauding]

- Bravo!
- Bravo!

- Bravo!
- Bravo!

But Mr. Caruso, your gloves.

Keep them, piccina,
and please, don't forget me.

[instrumental music]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[train chugging]

[singing continues]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[train chugging]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[audience applauding]

[singing continues]

[audience applauding]


[speaking in foreign language]

Man 3: Bravo!

[instrumental music]

Oh, welcome home, Signor Caruso.

- Welcome, gentlemen.
- Hello.

Enrico: So glad, Max. So glad.

Hold it.

Thanks. That's a pip.

Uh, Signor Caruso,
I'm from "The Globe."

Un, momento, eh?

I don't need you until tonight.

- You go. Have fun, eh?
- Grazie.

- Go home to mama!
- But your costume, signor?

- I take it.
- Signor Comandatore.

[chuckling] I have carried sacks
of flours,

such a little bag.

Please. Please. Permit me.

Thanks, Max.

There, it's all settled.

Give your parents my love.

Yeah. If you'd care to come over
later we'd be honored.

Grazie. Tell mama
I love her cooking,

but Christmas is for the family.

Signor Caruso,
I'm from "The Globe."

Later, I promise.

But now, I have the most
important engagement

of my career.

Santa: Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

[indistinct chattering]

- Ms. Dorothy. Merry Christmas.
- Thank you.

- Merry Christmas, Ms. Dorothy.
- Merry Christmas, maestro.

- Is your father coming?
- No, he's busy.

But he sent these
for the office staff.

Do it later. Come.
Join the party.

- Scotti.
- Scottl: Yes.

- Another customer.
- Scotti: Oh.

I didn't get a present.

Oh, bambino. I missed you.


Man 3: Hold it.
[shutter clicking]

Oh, thanks, Mr. Caruso.

That's a pip.

Ah, Signorina Doro.

- You do not know me?
- Of course, I do.

Even behind that beard
I recognize the Caruso voice.

The voice. But you forget me.

The little piccina has grown up.

Uh, Signor Caruso,
may I have that interview now?

Uh, no, later.

Just a few lines
to go with the pictures?

It's my first assignment.
You promised.

I get out of this.

We talk as we go.

Doro, you promise you wait
for me?



Man 4: Children, ice-cream!

- Yay!
- Yay!


Woman 1: Oh, Signor Caruso.

[speaking in foreign language]

Grazie, caro.

Maybe you're surprised,
we end up here

instead of The Ritz.

The whole day has been full of

wonderful surprises, Enrico.

[Enrico chuckling]

Pietro, Carmelita,
Where is everybody?

Holy! Comandatore!

Mama. Mama. Look who is here.

[speaking in foreign language]

Oh, our good friend is back.
We bless again.

Uh, this is Signorina Doro.

She is my very, very

best friend in America.

You must feed her good
because she is hungry

from walking all over the city.

Ah, I will get the best for you.
You just see I will...

[speaking in foreign language]

Doro, I, I bring you here
for a very special reason.

- Another surprise?
- Maybe.


Carmelita and Pietro
are my friends, you like?

They seem very nice.

My mama and papa were
just like them.

Fine people. You would think so,
but your papa, no.

They're many things I like
that father doesn't.

So glad.

Doro, you see,
I want to marry you.

Please say something, Doro.

I don't know what to say.

- I-- I make you mad I ask?
- Oh, no.

But how do you know your mind
so quickly?

Oh, I think I know it since you
were in a piccina in school.

So I wait till you grow up,
and now you are grown up.

Maybe you don't love me, Doro.

Doro, please say something
before I go crazy.

I'm thinking, Enrico.

Will I make you happy?

Doro, do you love me?

I think I fell in love with you
the first time I heard you sing.

- I will talk to your papa.
- Oh, no.

I think it'd best
if I talk to him alone first.

Oh, he will find objections
and talk you down.

I don't think there'll be too
much trouble with father.

You will ask today?

You will tell him?

- Call me?
- Better than that.

I'll be at the concert tonight.

Ah-ha! This is wonderful
and the best comandatore.


[speaking in foreign language]

[laughing] Grazie.

♪ Sweethearts make love ♪

♪ Their very own ♪

♪ Sweethearts... ♪


♪ Live on love alone... ♪

Where have you been so late?

I'd like to talk to you, father.

Not now.

♪ Where love light lies ♪

♪ Open the gates ♪

♪ To paradise ♪

♪ All other love ♪

♪ ls doomed to fade ♪

♪ It is like sunshine
veiled in shade ♪

♪ Such joys of life ♪

♪ As love imparts ♪

♪ All of them yours ♪

♪ Sweethearts ♪


♪ They're all of them yours ♪

♪ Sweethearts ♪♪


Hurry, darling. Get dressed.

Oh, I can't stay, father.

You'll have to excuse me.

You're the hostess.
We're serving supper shortly.

Father, can't Louise take my
place just this once?

Out of the question. It would
embarrass her and our guests.

It would be in bad taste.

What's come over you?

I promised Mr. Caruso
I'd be at the concert tonight.


I also promised to marry him.

Dorothy, you're hysterical.
Now go and dress.

I shall take care of our guests
till you come down.

We'll discuss this another time.

Good, you're nearly dressed.

- May I come in?
- Dorothy: Of course.

Dorothy: Thank you.

Did father send you
to police me?


Oh, Louise, please help me.

You're not afraid of father.
He'll listen to you.

You're so alike, stubborn.

If you'd only try
to humor him a little.

That's what I'm doing now.

If I don't behave
like a model hostess,

he'll never listen to me.

You should listen too.

- You are on his side.
- No. Yours.

That's why I beg you,
don't rush into this.

Don't do it because
life around here

seems difficult and lonely.

But I love him.

I know I'll be happy,
and I believe him

when he says he loves me.

Of course, he does.
And why shouldn't he?

You'll fill a great need
in his life.

But what about your life?

You marry a voice, you'll be
waiting around with the rest

to serve that voice.

Where is he right now,
and why isn't he here with you?

He has to sing tonight.

That's it. He'll always have
somewhere else to be, to sing.

I gave up everything
for a voice,

but at least it was my own.

Don't give up your life
for someone else's voice.

[knocking on door]

Finch: Ms. Dorothy?

Your father's very impatient.

Thank you, Finch.
I'll be there in a minute.

Please believe me.

I do believe you.

- What time is it?
- Hm.

Little after 10:00.

- Is Ms. Benjamin here yet?
- Not yet, Enrico.

Did the flowers come?

Everything is as just
as you wanted.

Hm. Everything except
the most important thing.

- Dorothy is not here.
- I know Ms. Dorothy.

She promised she'll be here.

- Maybe something happened.
- Ah.

Why do you stand here?
Go look again.

You sing very soon,
I must be with you.

I can find the stage myself.

Go. Go!

Tell me the minute
she gets here.

- Please.
- Man 5: Si.

[indistinct chattering]

- What is it, Finch?
- A telephone for Ms. Dorothy.

Signor Caruso.

Tell Signor Caruso, Ms. Dorothy

says she has guests

and can't be disturbed.

Ladies and gentlemen.

So far this evening this concert
by the distinguished artists

of the Metropolitan
Opera Company

has raised pledges of over
one million dollars

for the Liberty Loan Drive.


I hope that the next artist

will bring your pledges
to twice that sum.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Caruso sings tonight.

[audience applauding]

To the highest bidder

goes Signor Caruso's voice

Man 6: Fifty thousand.
Man 7: Hundred thousand.

Man 8: Two hundred thousand.
Man 9: Three hundred thousand.

Man 10: Five hundred thousand.

Five hundred thousand dollars
worth of bonds.

A half million dollars
for the Liberty Loan Drive.

Do I hear more?

Five hundred thousand, once.

Five hundred thousand, twice.

Five hundred thousand,
three times.

Sold to Mr. Forrest DeWitt.


Mr. DeWitt,
what is your pleasure?


[audience applauding]

[instrumental music]

[singing in foreign language]

[music continues]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[music continues]


Man 11: Bravo!
Man 12: Bravo!

- Wonderful, Caruso. Wonderful.
- Bravo! Bravo!

I'm glad. Thank you.
Alfredo, get me a cab.

It's already at the stage door,

Good, then I'll see you all
at the hotel.

But Enrico,
we have an engagement.

I'm going to see Dorothy.
Tullio, my coat.

But, my friend, you cannot.

"Cannot?" And why?

Surely, I have a right
to speak with her.

You sing at the cathedral
tonight. Midnight Mass.

No, I go to see Dorothy.

But comandatore,
you accepted the engagement.

- You must sing.
- Enrico, you promised.

Yes, we must sing.

It's a funny thing.

A man thinks he has a voice...

the truth is,
the voice has the man.

All my life it is this way.

The day my mother died,
I sang in a procession.

And then all the important
times in my life

when I want to be somewhere,

the voice has to be
somewhere else.

It's a funny thing, a voice.


Woman 2: Oh, thank you, Park.
Lovely evening.

Woman 2: Goodnight.
Man 13: Goodnight.

Man 14: Goodnight, sir.
Park: Goodnight, George.

Woman 2: A lovely evening.

- Goodnight, and thank you.
- Thank you for coming.

- Goodnight, Finch.
- Goodnight, sir.

Dorothy: Father.

You behaved very well tonight,

Thank you.

Perhaps now you have a moment
for me?

It's terribly late
for all that nonsense

about you and Caruso.

It isn't nonsense. I'm in love.

The only thing that matters
in a marriage is to be in love.

On the contrary. There're many
more important values.

Dignity, good taste

a sense of the fitness
of things.

You are willing to
dismiss them lightly.

As a matter of my own

I cannot permit you to do so.

Let us say no more about it.


[instrumental music]

♪ Ah Santa ♪

♪ Maria ♪

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

♪ Santa ♪

♪ Maria ♪

♪ Santa ♪

♪ Maria ♪

♪ Maria ♪

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

♪ Amen ♪

♪ Amen ♪♪

The maid let me in.

And I couldn't speak to father
until after his guests had left.

What did he say?

What difference does it make
what he said?

I'm here.


My friends!

We... we get married,
my friends!

[all cheering]

[indistinct chattering]

[instrumental music]

[telephone ringing]

Good morning,
Benjamin residence.

I'll see if he's in.

Beg pardon, sir.
National Press Service.

A statement about the wedding.

Are you in?

You may tell them I'm in,

but I have no comment to make.

Absolutely none.

Oh, Enrico, aren't they lovely?

"I wish you both every
happiness, Louise.

Louise Heggar."

And she means it too, darling.

Man 15: Enrico,
from Presidente Wilson.

- The president!
- Man 15: Oh!

But who would believe it?

Doro, it is so nice that
the whole world wishes us well.

Yes, the whole world.

And nothing from my father.

Don't worry, piccina.
You'll hear from him.

A father says many things,
but in his heart he would...

Doro! Doro, please.

We go on our honeymoon now,
and if my bride cries

then I must cry too.

I know.

He is the papa,
so it hurts more.

But you must not be unhappy.

To us it doesn't matter.

We do not want anyone else,
we do not need anyone else.

Just you and me, Doro.

[bells tolling]

Hold it, Mr. Caruso.

[shutter clicking] Thanks.

That's a pip.

Both: That's a pip.

[all laughing]

Maybe you're surprised I bring
you here instead of to The Ritz.

Doro, it's closed.

It's not locked.
Let's go in.

But Doro, what good is a
restaurant when nobody in it?

We'll be in it.

I always wanted
to come back here.

Alright, we go in.


♪ Happy birthday to you ♪

♪ Happy birthday to you ♪

♪ Happy birthday Enrico ♪

♪ Happy birthday to you ♪♪


Thank you.

Thank you very much.

This is the nicest thing
that ever happened to me.

You like?

I like.

[instrumental music]

You know, if you don't
ask me to dance

I'm going to get
another partner.

If you do, I'll kill him.

[music continues]

♪ When you are in love ♪

♪ It's the loveliest night ♪

♪ Of the year ♪

♪ Stars twinkle above ♪

♪ And you almost ♪

♪ Can touch them from here ♪

♪ Words fall into rhyme ♪

♪ Anytime you are ♪

♪ Holding me near ♪

♪ When you are in love ♪

♪ It's the loveliest night ♪

♪ Of the year ♪

♪ Waltzing along in the blue ♪

♪ Like a breeze ♪

♪ Drifting over the sand ♪

♪ Thrilled by the wonder
of you ♪

♪ And the wonderful touch ♪

♪ Of your hand ♪

♪ And my heart ♪

♪ Starts to beat ♪

♪ Like a child ♪

♪ When a birthday is near ♪

♪ So kiss me my sweet ♪

♪ It's the loveliest night ♪

♪ Of the year ♪♪

You told me you couldn't sing.

You have a very nice voice.

I've been practicing.

Practicing? Why?

For what?

I think every mother ought to be
able to sing a lullaby.


- Happy birthday, Enrico.
- Oh. Darling.

[instrumental music]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

It's a girl! A girl!

[singing continues]

It's a girl!

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[audience applauding]

[speaking in foreign language]

But Finch, always Mr. Benjamin
says he is not at home

is he even mad at the baby?

She is a nice little

Smiles already.

He will miss a lot of fun,
I feel sorry for him.

Thank you, Finch, I will give
Miss Dory your good wishes.

[indistinct chatter]

Enrico, how does it feel
to be a papa?

There is nothing to it,
my friends.

Last Tuesday
we had a quiet dinner

we eat likely, of course,

about midnight
we did not feel so well.

We pay no attention.
Soon we have to pay attention.

So I called the doctor.

That night,
that was last Wednesday,

I have the baby,
I give you my word

it was no trouble at all,
my friend.


[baby crying]

Enrico: Gatti, what do you
think of the voice?

Mm, a little too early to tell.

One thing I guarantee,
she won't be a tenor.

But she has my throat.
I look already.

Come, little piccina.

[baby crying]

She looks just like me.

Maybe she sing, maybe not

but her throat
is exactly like mine.

Mr. Caruso,

how often have I told you
to leave that baby alone.

Excusa nurse. Excuse me.

Here, take this tray to your
wife. I will take the baby.

Nurse, please. You take
the tray, I take the baby.

[baby crying]

Dorothy: Sounds like a
wonderful party.

- They make too much noise?
- Oh, no, no.

- Do they like the baby?
- Everybody.

Who wouldn't like
your little baby?

Did you hear from father?

Oh, that,
that's my big surprise

I come to tell you,
he just called.

- Did he?
- Yes, just this minute.

I told him he has a very pretty
little granddaughter.

Is he coming to see her?

Well, he has a cold
and a sore throat too.

He said maybe it is better
he wait.

You know that's very,
very considerate.


Doro, you feel better now?

I love you.

Here's your daughter,
Mrs. Caruso.

Doro, the newspapers,
they want to know

the little piccina's name.

What are you going to call her?

Ah, that's the mama's privilege.
What do you say, Doro?

- Anything you want.
- No, no.

You are the star of this opera.

Well, Susan's a nice name.

That's lovely.

But we name her Gloria

because you are
my crowning glory.

Graciana and gratitude
and the memory of my mother.

Victoria because we win the war.

America because little piccina,
you were born in America.

So it is, Gloria Graciana
Victoria America Caruso

you like?

I like.

♪ You like me
like I like you ♪

♪ And we like both the same ♪

♪ One live as two
two live as one ♪

♪ Under the bamboo tree ♪♪

[indistinct chatter]

Everything is fine,
Signor Caruso,

that finishes the recording
for today.

We take one more,
special one for my little girl.


- Ready, Santi?
- Santi: All set.



[instrumental music]

♪ Because you come for me ♪

♪ With naught save love ♪

♪ And hold my hand
and lift mine eyes above ♪

♪ A wider world of hope
and joy I see ♪

♪ Because you come to me ♪

♪ Because you speak to me
in accent sweet ♪

♪ I find the roses
waking 'round my feet ♪

♪ And I am led through
tears and joy to thee ♪

♪ Because you speak to me! ♪

♪ Because God made thee mine ♪

♪ I'll cherish thee ♪

♪ Through light and darkness ♪

♪ Through all time to be ♪

♪ And pray His love ♪

♪ May make our love divine ♪

♪ Because God made ♪

♪ Thee mine! ♪


It's a wonderful thing.

When the little piccina
is a beautiful old lady,

she can play this
for her great grandchildren.

You like when papa sing, huh?

♪ When you are in love ♪

♪ It's the loveliest night
of the year ♪

♪ Stars twinkle above ♪♪


[baby cooing]

[knock on the door]

Enrico. Enrico.

Just moment, please.

- Are you alright?
- Fine. Fine.

Just a little nervous.

Worried about tonight?

Well, tonight is special.

Everyone will come to see
if I still have my voice

or if I lost it up in Canada
on the concert tour.

So, I make a little fuss.

Oh, I'm glad it's only that

because I worried
about your coughing.

[sighs] I like the baby myself
a little.

Come, we cannot leave
our guests alone.

Enrico, I didn't know
you are a policeman,

I see a new badge here.

Since the Policeman Effort.

And a captain too.
How impressive.

Like I say to Doro,
of all my medals

this is the most important one.

It is not from a king or a queen
like the others

but from the people I sing for.

Enrico, you better say goodbye
to everyone.

You have to leave
for the opera soon.

You're fight. Excuse.

Louise, why do singers
use ether?

What do you mean?

Ever since he came back
from Canada

he's been using,
oh, he keeps telling me

it's nothing but...

And it is nothing, dear.

Sometimes singers use
a little ether

and a spray to relax the throat.

Really nothing to worry about.

[indistinct chatter]


Alfredo, how long
has he been using ether?

Oh, I know about it.

Ever since he got that cold
on his last tour.

- What does the doctor say?
- He won't go to the doctor.

Every time I mention it,
he explodes.

What do you think, Alfredo?

I wish he wouldn't
sing tonight.

But I cannot stop him,
you know Enrico.

[instrumental music]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]

[audience applauding]

Magnificent. I never
heard him sing like this.

How long can you sing on ether?

Why the long faces?

Because you are crazy.

Don't be an old woman,
throat feels fine.

Of course, it's full of ether.

- But the voice behave nicely.
- Yeah, but for how long?

You cannot fool me,
I sang too.

One more little act, I can sing
it from the top of my head.

Doro, you like?

I'm so proud of you.
So happy.

Takes a wonderful woman to be
happy with an opera singer.

I'm always happy with you.

And I too.

Doro, from the moment we marry,
you bring me only gladness.

Now, my life is rich and full.

This is good for an artist.
Good for a man.

Oh, I'm glad.

You stay married to me
long enough, Doro,

maybe someday even you will
learn to like opera.

I don't think so.

But I like to hear you sing
and I like the excitement.

When the lights are on,
they look at me.

And when they're off,
I can look at you.






[water running]

- Gino, get the doctor.
- Signor Ricci?

Get, get Gatti.

Curtain, Signor Caruso.

[instrumental music]


You can't go on, I won't let
you. Wait for the doctor.

It's nothing, Doro.
I brush my teeth too hard.

Darling, I beg you, don't sing.

My voice is not gone,
why shouldn't I sing?

I won't let you.

Oh, Doro...

long ago when I was very little,
I was frightened like you are.

I did not want to sing
in the procession

and my mother said,
"Enrico, the good God

spared you for your voice."
she believed that,

I believe it too.

He's always taken care of me

and He'll take care of me

Be my good Doro.

Go back now,
so the audience will see you

and know that all is well.

I will look and I know
it's all well too.

Please go.

Madonna mia,
stretch out your hand tonight

and help me.

[chorus singing]

[singing in foreign language]

[singing continues]

[singing continues]


[singing continues]

[audience applauding]

[audience cheering]

[instrumental music]

[instrumental music]

[music continues]