The Magic Bow is the alleged story of 19th century violin virtuoso and composer Niccolo Paganini as played by Stewart Granger. Granger looks the part and plays it well, at least what I heard of it.
I'm not sure if it was the film or the VHS copy I saw, but the music score drowned out the players during much of the film. It would have helped to have been a lip reader and then only if the players were facing the camera head on. The great Yehudi Menuhin did the playing for Granger and if this had been one of his concerts that would have been just fine.
After consulting the Wikipedia article on Paganini I found the Magic Bow to be quite a work of fiction. The plot has Granger as the young violin prodigy, seemingly content with his music and mistress Jean Kent who is also a budding singer. But one sight of Phyllis Calvert, a noblewoman quite a bit above him on the social scale and Granger starts losing sight of his career goals. It also doesn't help that French nobleman Dennis Price is also interested in Calvert and he's willing to back his desires up with a sword.
The article contains no mention of Calvert or Price's character, but in real life Paganini and Bianca did have a kid out of wedlock before they broke up. In real life Paganini never married.
I'm reluctant to criticize a film knowing that it could be my bad copy, but if it was the original film with the heavy handed soundtrack, be forewarned.
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