The Red Violin (1998)
"Le violon rouge" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Mystery  |  11 June 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 25,845 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 246 user | 95 critic | 22 from

A perfect red-colored violin inspires passion, making its way through three centuries over several owners and countries, eventually ending up at an auction where it may find a new owner.


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Won 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carlo Cecchi ...
Irene Grazioli ...
Anita Laurenzi ...
Tommaso Puntelli ...
Apprentice (Cremona)
Samuele Amighetti ...
Boy (Cremona)
Jean-Luc Bideau ...
Aldo Brugnini ...
Assistant (Cremona)
Christoph Koncz ...
Clotilde Mollet ...
Florentín Groll ...
Rainer Egger ...
Paul Koeker ...
Wolfgang Böck ...
Brother Michael (Vienna)
Josef Mairginter ...
Brother Franz (Vienna)


In present day Montreal, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, known as "the red violin," is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of "the red violin." Written by Sean Gallagher <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Passion Is Timeless See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

11 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Red Violin  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$129,564 (USA) (13 November 1998)


$9,473,382 (USA) (12 November 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to the commentary, Morgan Freeman was originally considered to play the part of Charles Morritz. The part eventually went to Samuel L. Jackson. See more »


In the initial scenes meant to be set in Cremona, the Italian form of address is incorrect. In Italian, as in French and other European tongues, there is a distinction between the familiar and the formal uses of the word for 'you.' The formal address is used when one is addressing a superior, or in polite custom, an individual not well known; in such a case, the forms of pronouns and verbs utilized are in the form of the second person PLURAL (unfortunately, this is difficult to translate into the context of the English language, since the formal address in English involves a different adaptation of pronouns ). When one is addressing a familiar acquaintance, or a person of lower status, the more familiar second person singular forms of pronouns and verbs are used. However, in this film, not only does Anna Rudolphi address the household (Cesca - short for Francesca) servant using the formal terms, but so also do Niccolò Busotti and his wife Anna Rudolphi in addressing one another. The servant 'Cesca, on the other hand, addresses the gentry for whom she works in the informal. See more »


Charles Morritz: What do you do when the thing you most wanted, so perfect, just comes?
See more »


Referenced in Ancient Evil 2: Guardian of the Underworld (2005) See more »


O Richard! O mon Roi!
from "Richard Coeur de Lion"
Composed by André-Modeste Grétry
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Recognition for an unusual epic
25 May 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Just to tease those who have not seen this incredible work of art and to make the others think you should see it again !

Who could think that a movie about a simple violin could turn into such magnificent beauty? «The Red Violin» whole story is based on a piece of wood and strings, which carries a whole story of humanity and social issues. We travel through 400 years of history and music, to end up in what you might think is the end of the story of the «red violin» but in fact, takes you to the next chapter.

If you are a classical and historical music fan, you will love this movie. The Oscar to composer John Corigliano was not an option.

François Girard clearly has something for music, as he did another wonderful movie about pianist Glenn Gould, «Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould», a movie that really drives us through the life of a great piano interpreter. Quite different from «The Red Violin», but quite good too. I can't wait to see his next movie, if he ever plans to do one, but the challenge to surpass «The Red Violin» is quite big.

14 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Ending was enraging Rommel52744
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