Mario Lanza Movies

Want to know the best Mario Lanza movies?  How about the worst Mario Lanza movies?  Curious about Mario Lanza box office grosses or which Mario Lanza movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Mario Lanza movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

Mario Lanza (1921-1959) was a famous American tenor who turned his attention to making movies in the late 1940s and the 1950s.  Lanza quickly became a Hollywood film star.   His IMDB page shows 10 credits from 1944-1959. This page will rank 8 Mario Lanza movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. His his uncredited role in 1944’s Winged Victory and his television appearance on Shower of Stars (1954) were not included in the rankings.

Drivel part of the page:  This Mario Lanza page comes from a request by BERN1960.  For those that do not know…BERN1960…..would be my mother.  I have not seen a single Mario Lanza movies….but I can recognize his voice.  That is because growing up in my house….his records played many many times….as Lanza has be one of my mom’s Top 3 singers of all-time.  So here you go BERN1960….a look at Mario Lanza’s short but successful career.

Mario Lanza in his first starring role….1949’s That Midnight Kiss

Mario Lanza Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Mario Lanza movies by co-stars of his movies
  • Sort Mario Lanza movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Mario Lanza movies by domestic yearly box office rank
  • Sort Mario Lanza movies by adjusted worldwide box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Mario Lanza movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie
  • Sort Mario Lanza movies by Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
RankMovie (Year)UMR Co-Star LinksAdj. B.O. Domestic (mil)Box Office Rank by YearAdj. B.O. Worldwide (mil)Critic Audience RatingUMR Score
Great Caruso, The (1951)Ann Blyth$218.304th of 1951$457.3066.50%64.06
Student Prince, The (1954) Voice RoleEdmund Purdom$132.4037th of 1954$280.4068.00%52.48
Because You're Mine (1952)James Whitmore$96.5037th of 1952$194.5060.00%43.56
That Midnight Kiss (1949)Kathryn Grayson & Ethel Barrymore$94.1042nd of 1949$173.1060.00%42.79
Toast of New Orleans, The (1950)David Niven & Kathryn Grayson$83.8069th of 1950$162.8061.50%42.29
Serenade (1956)Joan Fontaine & Vincent Price$65.7071st of 1956$120.7058.00%37.44
For The First Time (1959)Johanna von Koczian$28.5085th of 1959$67.5059.00%32.15
Seven Hills From Rome (1957)Renato Rascel$29.2097th of 1957$84.2050.00%28.03

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Mario Lanza Table

  1. Two Mario Lanza movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 25.00% of his movies listed. The Great Caruso (1952) is his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Mario Lanza movie grosses $93.60 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Mario Lanza’s career adjusted domestic gross is $748.80 million.
  4. Mario Lanza’s career adjusted worldwide gross is $1.54 billion.
  5. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  5 Mario Lanza movies are rated as good movies…or 62.50% of his movies.  The Student Prince (1954) is his highest rated movie while Seven Hills From Rome (1957) is lowest rated movie.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score is 40.00.  5 Mario Lanza movies scored higher that average….or 62.50% of his movies.  The Great Caruso (1952) got the the highest UMR Score while Seven Hills From Rome (1957) got the lowest UMR Score.

Possibly Interesting Facts About Mario Lanza

1. Alfred Arnold Cocozza was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1921.

2. He adopted the stage name Mario Lanza, for its similarity to his mother’s maiden name, Maria Lanza

3.  Mario Lanza was to a seven year contract with MGM when Louis B. Mayer heared Lanza sing at a concert.

4.  MGM had hoped Mario Lanza would become their “singing Clark Gable“.

5.  Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, and Jerry Hadley all credit Mario Lanza as an inspiration to them in pursuing their chosen careers.  I guess those are famous singers…lol.

6. The saga of The Student Prince.  Mario Lanza and the film’s director (Curtis Bernhardt) did not get along during filming.  The end result was that Lanza walked off the set and vowed not to return as long as Bernhardt was the director. The studio took an injunction against Lanza for damages and losses. He could not perform in public, on radio, or in the recording studio for the remaining time of his contract with MGM. A solution was reached in May 1953: the studio would remove the embargo on Lanza if he would allow his voice to be used while another actor played the part of the prince.  So the movie ended up with Lanza’s voice going out of Edmund Purdom’s mouth.

7. Mario Lanza was married one time and had 4 children.

8. Mario Lanza died of an apparent pulmonary embolism at the age of 38 in 1959. At the time of his death he was still “the most famous tenor in the world“.

9.  Three Mario Lanza movies were nominated for an Academy Award®.  1950’s The Toast of New Orleans and 1952’s Because Your Mine received 1 nomination….while 1951’s The Great Caruso was nominated for 3 Oscars®….winning one time.

10. Check out Mario Lanza’s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences. Golden Globes® are the registered trademark and service mark of the Hollywood Foreign Press.

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33 thoughts on “Mario Lanza Movies

  1. Mario amazingly appeared with 9 Oscar winners, 4 of which are in one picture where he is an extra.

    Serenade (1956) – Joan Fontaine
    That Midnight Kiss (1949) – Ethel Barrymore
    The Student Prince (1954) – Edmund Gwenn
    The Toast of New Orleans (1950) – David Niven, Rita Moreno
    Winged Victory (1944) – Karl Malden, Red Buttons, Edmund O’Brien, Judy Holliday

    There is no one on the current Oracle of Bacon top 1000 that ever worked with Mario. How did the big guns do (the top 10 people). None of them worked with him but some connect in 2 steps.

    Eric Roberts was in The Ambulance (1990) with Red Buttons who was in Winged Victory (1944) with Mario.

    Danny Trejo was in Con Air (1997) with Dabbs Greer who was in Because You’re Mine (1952) with Mario.

    Harvey Keitel was in Blue Collar (1978) with Harry Bellaver who was in Serenade (1956) with Mario.

    Harvey was in Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976) with Kevin McCarthy who was in Winged Victory (1944)

    Robert De Niro was in New York, New York (1977) with our buddy Arthur Tovey who was in The Toast of New Orleans (1950) with Mario.

    Malcolm McDowell was in Happily Ever After (1990) with Zsa Zsa Gabor who is in For the First Time (1959) with Mario.

    Donald Sutherland was in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) with Kevin McCarthy

    Don was in The Split (1968) with James Whitmore who is in Because You’re Mine (1952)

    Don was in Billion Dollar Brain (1967) with Karl Malden who is Winged Victory (1944)

    Don was in Johnny Got His Gun (1971) with one Eduard Franz who is in Because You’re Mine (1952) and Peter Brocco who is in The Great Caruso (1951)

    Don was in Der Richter und sein Henker (1975) with Martin Ritt who is in Winged Victory (1944)

    Don Is in Don’t Look Now (1973) with one Clelia Matania who is in Seven Hills of Home (158)

    Michael Caine is also in Billion Dollar Brain (1967) with Karl Malden

    Michael was in Battle of Britain (1969) with Nigel Patrick who is Seven Hills of Rome (1958) with Mario.

    Michael is in California Suite (1978) with Arthur Tovey.

    Michael is in Gambit (1966) with one Richard Lamarr who is also in The Great Caruso (1951).

    Michael is in Harry and Walter go to New York (1976) with one Victor Romito who is in Serenade (1956)

    Mike is in Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) with Karl Malden.

    Mike is in Woman Times Seven (1967) with Paul Frees (probably just his voice) who was in The Toast of New Orleans (1950)

    Michael Madsen and Willem Dafoe do not connect in 2 steps, but 8 out of 10 is impressive.

    I saw Hall & Oates once back in 1977 in Central Park, They only had 3 hits at the time, Sara Smile, She’s Gone and Rich Girl

    1. John McCormack only appeared in 4 movies. His first film and his only starring role was in Song O’ My Heart (1930. It did not do good. To make him feel comfortable they imported 2 kids from Ireland to assist him. The critics did not like the kids either. The boy was one Tommy Clifford. The girl was Maureen O’Sullivan who was still around in the 80’s . John is in a 1937 color film Wings of the Morning, the first color movie shot in the British isles starring Henry Fonda. John only sings and he’s uncredited. He also sings in Citizen Kane.

      1. HI DAN

        1 Some pertinent information here so well done. Others like you have suggested that the movie Song of My Heart was a flop but on Maureen O’Sullivan’s page BRUCE although he does not think much of it critically gives it an adjusted US gross of $155 million which figure usually represents a solid hit and in fact it is Maureen’s 6th highest grossing movie in Cogerson, doing better than any of her Tarzan films. Traditionally critics and other journalists
        have often tended to ignore box office and brand as a flop a film that was not artistically successful. So well done Bruce for providing information that allows us to review ALL the facts before completely downing a film. [McCormack was paid by Fox a then record sum of $500,000 for doing the film. That would be equivalent to about $8 million in today’s dollars]

        2 It has been said that McCormack was a poor actor and that therefore not only gave him little interest in movies but was also the main reason for his quitting opera at a relatively young age and concentrating on the concert platform. However some observers seem to feel that the real attraction of the concert circuit was that it offered him a greater earnings.capacity.

        3 Also it was thought that a further strong appeal to him of the concert setup was that it allowed him more direct communication with audiences with whom he could indulge in his Irish ‘blarney’. If you look at the clip from Wings of the Morning on U Tube you can see him engaging in some of that banter in his cameo concert in the movie.

        1. Hey Bob…glad that UMR.com is providing you solid stats for you. Good stuff between you and Dan….thanks for sharing this information.

    2. Hey Dan….good information in your comment. Hall and Oates in Central Park?…very cool….at least they had those hits back then. Love all the Caine connections…who would have thought so many of them existed. You are correct 9 Oscar winning co-stars in only 9 movies is pretty impressive. Not surprised with his Oracle showing…the combo of his last movie being almost 60 years ago along with a limited movie tally does not usually get much respect from Oracle. Great comment as usual.

  2. Hi

    Without a doubt, Lanza was blessed with a wonderful voice, even people who aren’t into this type of music would appreciate his talent. It’s strange that you think in 1951, he was the peak of his very short movie career. The Great Crusoe was a box office smash, his records were selling in the millions, he was at the top of his game. And yet within a couple of years, his movie career was effectively over.
    I recently watched The Student Prince and while the music is very good, without him, the movie is definitely lacking. The man seemed to have a self destruct button, whether with alcohol, weight problems or his temperamental attitude on set, he literally destroyed his own career. It must have been a nightmare for his agent, but MGM clearly had enough. His last few movies were quite weak, although always had that wonderful voice.
    It’s so sad that he died so young. My local radio station play his music quite regularly, especially the Drink song from Student Prince. Good page.

    1. Hey Chris
      1. Thanks for checking out our Lanza page.
      2. My mom agrees with you 100% about his voice.
      3. I think he was like a shooting star….pretty to look at as it streaks across the sky….but gone before you really had a chance to see it.
      4. I agree managing him…was probably a nightmare for his agent.
      5. Gotta admit….after the research and the comments on The Student Prince….I am interested in checking that one out.
      Thanks for the feedback.

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