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Red Violin

The Red Violin

4.8 44
Director: François Girard

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Don McKellar, Carlo Cecchi


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Francois Girard directed this drama tracing the history of a musical instrument through five countries and three centuries. In 1681, to keep the spirit of his wife alive, an Italian paints the violin with a red varnish made from her blood. It is later found in the Austrian Alps when a prodigy gives a performance in the court of Vienna in 1792. Taken by gypsies, the


Francois Girard directed this drama tracing the history of a musical instrument through five countries and three centuries. In 1681, to keep the spirit of his wife alive, an Italian paints the violin with a red varnish made from her blood. It is later found in the Austrian Alps when a prodigy gives a performance in the court of Vienna in 1792. Taken by gypsies, the instrument is acquired by a Dionysian composer. After a journey by boat to China in 1966, it is hidden during the Cultural Revolution. In contemporary Canada, it is spotted at an auction house by a violin expert (Samuel L. Jackson) who becomes obsessed with it. Scripted by Girard and Don McKellar. Filmed on a $10 million budget in Montreal, China, Italy, Austria, and Oxford.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A universal yearning for beauty and perfection underpins the Red Violin, Francois Girard's ambitious, lyrical drama following the passage of a meticulously crafted violin from owner to owner. We see the instrument's painstaking creation in 1681 by master artisan Nicolo Bussotti (Carlo Cecchi), who intends it for his unborn son. Over a period of 300 years the violin acquires innumerable owners, traveling from rich to poor, from country to country, but always producing the same achingly beautiful music for those who most appreciate it. Bussotti's violin becomes legendary, and eventually comes under the covetous eye of connoisseur Charles Morritz (Samuel L. Jackson) in a surprisingly suspenseful climax. Girard uses the violin as a narrative device to link his vignettes, which offer trenchant observations on love, music, culture, politics, poverty, crime, and even death. A movie of unusual complexity, yet one animated by a simple theme, The Red Violin is an oddly affecting throwback to the elegant period dramas made by filmmakers many decades ago.
All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
A fascinating and intensely romantic film on the universality of the hunger for beauty, Francois Girard's film displays a taste for novel structures evinced in his previous work 32 Films About Glenn Gould. Using an auction in contemporary Montréal as a framing device, the film traces the path of the instrument from its creation in 17th century Cremona across the continents, as it touches the lives of a wildly diverse group of owners, not unlike Max Ophuls' La Ronde or Anthony Mann's Winchester '73. Jason Flemyng and Greta Scacchi are wonderful as a couple capable of making love while he plays the singular violin, as is Sylvia Chang in the harsh Shanghai segment. Samuel L. Jackson, cast against type, also excels as the violin connoisseur on hand to observe the auction. The sumptuous art direction of Francois Segin takes center stage echoing the work of the artists of the film's various eras, and is well served by the brilliant camerawork of Alain Dostie. In sum, the The Red Violin is yet another step in a directorial career well worth watching.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary with co-writer/director François Girard and co-writer Don McKellar; "The Oscar - WInning Chaconne" featuring composer John Corigliano; "The Auction Block" depicting record-breaking violin auctions and the appeal of Stradivarius violins

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Samuel L. Jackson Charles Morritz
Don McKellar Evan Williams
Carlo Cecchi Nicolo Bussotti
Irene Grazioli Anna Bussotti
Jean-Luc Bideau Georges Poussin
Christoph Koncz Kaspar Weiss
Jason Flemyng Frederick Pope
Greta Scacchi Victoria Byrd
Sylvia Chang Xiang Pei
Liu Zi Feng Chou Yuan
Colm Feore Auctioneer
Monique Mercure Mme. Leroux

Technical Credits
François Girard Director,Screenwriter
Renee April Costumes/Costume Designer
Deirdre Bowen Casting
Jocelyn Caron Sound/Sound Designer
John Corigliano Score Composer
Jérôme Décarie Sound Editor
Alain Dostie Cinematographer
Niv Fichman Producer
Carole Gagnon Sound Editor
Gaetan Huot Editor
Daniel Iron Co-producer
David J. Webb Asst. Director
Jennifer Jonas Asst. Director
Claude La Haye Sound/Sound Designer
Don McKellar Screenwriter
Antoine Morin Sound Editor
Giannandrea Pecorelli Co-producer
Guy Pelletier Sound Editor
Jacques Plante Sound Editor
Marcel Pothier Sound/Sound Designer
François Séguin Production Designer
Hans Peter Strobl Sound/Sound Designer
Bernard Gariepy Strobl Sound/Sound Designer
Hans Peter Stroble Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Red Violin
1. Making a Masterpiece [6:16]
2. 5 Cards [3:16]
3. A Gift [4:02]
4. Not Well [6:13]
5. A Miracle [6:46]
6. Strong Heart [4:27]
7. Teaching Tools [3:54]
8. Making Music [5:02]
9. Play Your Best [7:12]
10. Travelling Treasure [4:47]
11. Personal Invitation [2:16]
12. Summoning the Music [7:36]
13. Come Back [3:17]
14. A Bullet Wound [4:46]
15. Abroad Travels [4:06]
16. Stopping the Music [7:39]
17. One Song [4:43]
18. An Invasion [4:25]
19. Beautiful Specimen [5:42]
20. Attention to Detail [3:01]
21. Nothing Special [7:02]
22. Perfect Marriage [3:34]
23. Blood Red [7:24]
24. Bringing Something Special [12:24]


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The Red Violin 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An amazing piece of work. It is an intricate story presented in an incredibly realistic forum. Worth seeing over and over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was such a well-written movie. i recommend it to anyone and everyone. you can't go wrong with this piece of art.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very good movie on the background and history of the ''red violin''. The movie follows the path of the ''red violin''. It is started with the creation of the ''red violin'' in Italy during the 1600s and then it changed hands in Austria and then it went to England and then to China and lastly it ends up in Montreal at an auction during the present day. It was interesting to see how the violin was treated with the different owners and over time. This movie was very good and worth purchasing to watch over and over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is more than any typical movie, it truly is Art. The film was so absolutly beautiful. I am not even sure what else to say about the movie just that it was wonderful
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well ,they do make movies like they used to.In Francois Girard's masterpiece,the biograhy-or at times autobiography- of a Stativarius-like,16th century violin serves as the backdrop for this well told tale.All the elements of a classic film are present:great writing,cinematography,acting with the added treat of a world class score . The uniqueness of the storyline actually adds to the movies dramatic punch . Wait and watch this one when you have a couple of hours where you will be undisturbed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is a most have for music and movie lovers as well. A real masterpiece for our time. A standing ovation was my reaction at the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best films my husband and I have seen in a long time. It is a beautiful story that captures your heart and mind. Very well written and wonderful acting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This movie is good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who cannot love and appreciate a movie that follows a beautiful violin throughout its life? The overlapping stories that are all at once connected with this violin is amazing. The photography is great. I love how the movie moves along thru 100s of years and yet is still told within 1 day (you will understand afterwards). Watch this movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're into music, and especially violins, this movie is for you! Also, if you're into history, this movie is for you! Great cast, great story, great acting, some surprises, lots of emotion. Definitely worth your time. Enjoy! ps...Joshua Bell is wonderful though I wasn't too crazy about the score....though the Gypsy song is catchy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Came upon this movie by accident in 2008. Had to rent it twice again, then bought it to watch over and over again. To me it's a love story in many ways, which I admire it for its' complexities, intrigue, deceit, variety of emotions, and even for it's somewhat obscure message. The Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps is using it on which to base their 2009 presentation in world class competition. I'm watching to see how they progress to the championships in Indy on Aug.8. They should do well and, in the process, bring The Red Violin to the concienceness of many more thousands who will need to buy the movie to see more of it for themselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Red Violin is not good
S-Grim More than 1 year ago
I love this movie. I love violins so I was very interested in watching it. When I finally did, I just had to have the movie. So I made my husband buy it. Its just a most beautiful movie. I watch it every weekend since we bought it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie...what can I say that hasn't been said already? It really will stay with you, it has an incredible story, the music is outstanding, I loved it! I have never been so sad when a movie ended, as I was with "The Red Violin." I wanted the story to go on and on!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first saw this movie on IFC and it was so good that I had to purchase it so I could watch it anytime. It is one that you can watch over and over again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Movie is one of the most wonderful movies i have seen in a really long time and i would really recomind it to any one who would watch it it is also one to own and watch again and again.
DeborahNY More than 1 year ago
In a word, magnificent! I stumbled upon this movie one afternoon about two years ago while wasting a winter's afternoon...and fell in love with the story immediately. It is romantic, dramatic, historically interesting and compelling to the end. Samuel L. Jackson's need to find the truth is palpable and his final 'misdeed' understandable....I would have done the same thing. Have watched the movie four times now...and will watch it again. Fans of foreign films and dramas should definitely check this one out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is one of the best movies ever. It is a true masterpeice
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is truley amazing and the music makes the movies get right down to your heart. The acting by all characters is wonderful and the music astonishing. It makes you want to actually have the red violin and experience all that its previous owners have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was dumbfounded the first time I saw the red violin. The filmmaking was incredible, the story was romantic and haunting, the music (played by the great virtuoso Joshua Bell) was a treat to the ears and soul. The story was so masterfully told, that I immediately rewound the tape and watched it again. I recommend this movie to anyone; you may be surprised at how much you enjoy it even if historical tales and classical music aren't your thing. This is one of my favorite films ever!