As a boy the orphan Antonio Stradivari heard for the first time in his life the sound of a violin and he was fascinated by its voice. He tried to construct a violin and attracted the ... See full summary »
While watching this, I couldn't help picturing some struggling screenwriter trying to come up with a script he could actually sell and getting nowhere. Then suddenly one day he just happens to overhear some music historian mention that almost nothing is known about the life of the great violin maker Antonio Stradivari. The young screenwriter rushes home and grabs a screenplay from some desk drawer; some cheesy, predictable, yawn-fest of a love story. He scribbles in some lines about violin making and Presto!
How Anthony Quinn got suckered into this is beyond me. Fortunately for his fans and his reputation he is only given enough screen time to justify listing him as the star of the movie. (I'm assuming there is some kind of rule regarding that.) Most of the movie is deals with Stradivari as a young man, played by Anthony Quinn's son Lorenzo, and his pursuit of his first wife, Francesca. His violin making also comes up occasionally.
I gave it three stars in recognition of the fact that at least they used actual period-looking violins (note the short fingerboards with inlaid edges) and cast actual violinists in the roles that required playing violin, thus sparing the viewing audience from having to suspend disbelief while watching some central casting trying to fake playing along with a recording by sawing away at a fiddle like it was a piece of firewood. I'm grateful at least for that.