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The Red Violin (1998) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (4)  | Audio/visual unsynchronised (2)  | Boom mic visible (1)  | Continuity (3)  | Factual errors (2)  | Revealing mistakes (3)

Anachronisms 

Tarot cards were not used for divination until the late 18th century (before that, they were playing cards).
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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.
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When Anna walks out of Cesca's Kitchen she is clearly wearing shoes that are left and right oriented. However, right and left shoes were not created until much later.
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When we are shown the doorway of the concert hall in Oxford, there is clearly a modern electric doorbell button in the door frame.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

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.
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When Frederick Pope is playing his new composition at the concert hall in Oxford, the last note continues for a couple of seconds after he takes the bow off the string.
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Boom mic visible 

When Charles Morritz is in the hotel room, the mike is visible in the mirror.
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Continuity 

When Xiang Pei first takes out the violin to play for her son, the violin is missing a G-string. Later when Xiang Pei takes the violin out to show to Chou Yuan, the violin has all four strings.
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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.
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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.
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Factual errors 

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.
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The date in the auction showroom reads "mardi, le 17 fevrier 1997", or "Tuesday, February 17, 1997." February 17, 1997 was a Monday.
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Revealing mistakes 

Anna and Nicolo look out a window at a nighttime crescent moon that has its lit side facing upward instead of toward the horizon. This orientation can only be seen in the daytime.
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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.
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The same actor who plays the fifth violinist in the gypsy musical montage is also bidder 442 at the end of the movie, which takes place at least 150 years later in the story.
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Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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