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American Caruso (1983)

 NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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American Caruso + The Great Caruso + Serenade
Price for all three: $46.40

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  • The Great Caruso $17.96
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 30, 1999
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003M5GD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,379 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This revealing profile presents the highs and lows of one of the world's most unique tenors. Hosted by Placido Domingo.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine documentary October 17, 2001
Host Placido Domingo does his idol proud in this long-overdue documentary of Mario Lanza. Made in 1983, the doco includes interviews with numerous Lanza co-stars, friends, family members & associates: Kathryn Grayson, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Anna Moffo and conductor Peter Herman Adler, to name just a few. All are unanimous about one thing: that potentially, at least, Mario Lanza was the American Caruso.
Backing up this assertion are some well-chosen operatic clips from six of Lanza's seven movies, including a heartrending Vesti La Giubba from For The First Time, which movingly concludes the documentary. (Inexplicably missing, however, are excerpts from Serenade, vocally Lanza's finest film.)
There are also a number of rare TV appearances and newsreels that provide titillating glimpses of the man.
The doco makes an honest effort to convey the essence of the man, and it largely succeeds. I would, however, take the tabloid claims that Lanza died as the result of a Mafia "hit" with a large pinch of salt! This is one aspect that should been dealt with more objectively.
All in all, a fascinating introduction to a one-of-a-kind vocal genius.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opera made Popular October 11, 2002
If there ever was an artist who made opera reachable to anyone was Mario Lanza. His films made opera familiar to those people in countries not having an opera tradition. I can be a witness to that from the Dominican Republic of the 1950's. This video shows Lanza and his life. When a supermega star like Placido Domingo decides to become the voice of this project then you should realize the greatness of Lanza. I read a book on the life of Jussi Bjorling and is interesting to read about the friendship and respect this other megastar had for Lanza. This video is a must for the new generation of opera lovers or curious so they know who was the generator of opera as a more popular art form years before the three tenors. Juan Mansfield
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent! January 9, 2007
By Marysia
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Considering the subject matter, how could it be less than magnificent? Although he left us much too soon, that was not his choice nor ours. However, look at all he left behind - not only his own accomplishments, but the inspiration for future generations. This DVD presents his immense talents and his human frailties. He was loved for both.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent biography but not as much fun as his films March 31, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Warning: The tape being reviewed here is the 1983 biography of "Mario Lanza: The American Caruso" and not the 1951 feature film "The Great Caruso" starring Mario Lanza as the previous reviewer claims. The Hollywood musical star of the 1940s and 50s was born Alfred Cocozza and while this biography traces his success with films and records it also plays straight with his drinking and eating binges until his sudden death in 1959 at the young age of 38. This biography tries to deal with the persistent rumors that Lanza was killed by the mob because he never paid back Lucky Luciano, who reported had financed Lanza's career, but in the end there is mere suspicion rather than hard evidence. Watching this film will probably make you wish you had rented "The Great Caruso" or "The Student Prince" instead. The clips of Lanza singing will only whet your appetite to hear more.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What could have been? February 12, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
not really -but what was, to the listener we heard a voice that can only be described as magical. had he been lost to opera and the "elite" would the likes of us have heard this magnificent voice-i doubt it. this man had it all and he shared that magic to millions -and still does. i was a mere 11years young when i first heard "Lanza" and now 50years later he can still reduce me to other tenor has done that before or since what came out of this dvd for me was that yes he was used by many -but loved by millions and that will continue no matter what was said by some twisted individuals because that voice will live on as each generation passes-i certainly do not think that the programme was trash indeed i felt quite emotional watching it.long may programmes be made about this fabulous artiste he deserves to live in our memories.
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23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
This is a terrible "tribute" to Mario Lanza. All this DVD did was take out the bad things about Lanza and show them off. It made the impression that the only "good" thing about him was his voice. NOBODY IS PERFECT. So why "glorify" it. They never show the good in him. There is allot more good in a person then there is bad. Hollywood ruined him, and he fell for it. Yes, he did do some bad things but nobody's perfect. Are you perfect? I am not. He IS the second greatest tenor next to Caruso. This movie doesn't deserve to be on a DVD, in stead it needs to be in the trash. (The 2 star rating I gave this "movie" is for the acting.)
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An irrelevant bit of fluff February 15, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Mario Lanza had an amazing voice and a tragic life and career. By all rights, his story should make for a fascinating video. Unfortunately, this effort is laughably inadequate and is nothing more than a poorly arranged pastiche of isolated facts, interviews and sound bites that do little to enshrine Lanza's talent or illuminate his life. Indeed, the viewer unfamiliar with Lanza'a biography would be little enlightened by the thin patchwork of loosely woven information presented here. Placido Domingo's ridiculous buffon hair style and exaggerated sense of seriousness serve only to enhance the aburdity of this production.

The only positive aspects of this video are the all too brief selections from Lanza's films, none of which, amazingly, have been released on DVD. The public would have been better served by new releases of Lanza's films. For now, we can be content with the many existing vocal recordings that are available on CD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great and sad
As Domingo says he was the American Caruso. A voice of power and strength, great looks, a fairly good actor, but his voice. It still sets me on first each time I rehear it.
Published 4 months ago by Irwin Tallarico
1.0 out of 5 stars Disgusted
This film is full of interviews by people who cheated and lied about Mario Lanza. One of them lost his fortune and shrugged it off. Read more
Published 11 months ago by liz
4.0 out of 5 stars The Tenor Who Inspired Generations
A Kid From Philadelphia,: Mario Lanza: The Voice of the Poets

Few artists could inspire others from one generation to another. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Emilio Iodice
5.0 out of 5 stars Another look at Mario Lanza
Packaging very good.
An indept view of Philadelphia's own. Grew up there so information was known and also learned more. A cross section of his life. A talent gone to soon.
Published 16 months ago by maureen m seftchick
5.0 out of 5 stars MARIO LANZA BIOGRAPHY
Published on August 16, 2008 by M. Lane
5.0 out of 5 stars American Caruso
The DVD was a gift for my husband who is highly delighted with the quality of the exerpts and the links . Read more
Published on January 18, 2007 by M. SIMPSON
4.0 out of 5 stars The American Lanza Was Great - That Is More Than Enough
Why this ongoing nonsense about a this or that Caruso? Enrico Caruso was unquestionably great. He was also unique. Read more
Published on January 10, 2007 by Rob Pollock
5.0 out of 5 stars The American Caruso
I bought the DVD because of the music which is sung in it
Published on September 6, 2005 by Vivian Mary Hiltz
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