During the Red Guard struggle meeting in Shanghai, the leader says "There's nothing as beautiful as our traditional music" and then they throw the violin away saying "Put this down with the other 'great olds'!" In fact, the opposite was true during the Cultural Revolution: traditional Chinese music (such as the hu chin) was made illegal as one of the four "Great Olds" while western classical music was considered "bourgeois". Both styles of music were purged during the Maoist era; only Socialist slogan songs were allowed.
Most of the violin playing is off. There are few examples of anyone actually playing the notes you hear. In some scenes the fingers are moving while notes are not changing, but more often it's that the fingers are NOT moving while the notes are changing, and changing quite rapidly. Christoph Koncz (Kaspar Weiss) is one of the only actors who actually played the violin in the movie.
When Anna picks the Tarot cards for her reading, Cesca's amulets and bones are scattered across the table before her. In the next shot, when Cesca gathers up the remaining cards, the amulets are in a neat pile next to her arm.
During the auction of the violin, Suzanne on the telephone first ordered "$270,000", then ordered "$300,000". But in the next clip of the same scene of the auction, "$300,000" was ordered by Nicholas Olsberg, and Suzanne ordered "$320,000". However, the two scenes are supposed to be the same.
The substance used to give the violin its color would not actually work in real life. The substance does not mix into varnish, and would quickly coagulate and oxidize to a dark brown or black color if it were actually used as the movie implies.
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.