Paganini (1973)

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Original title Paganini
Country of production Germany , Austria
original language German
Publishing year 1973
length 107 minutes
Age rating FSK 0
Director Eugene York
script Rolf and Alexandra Becker
Eugen York
Bela Jenbach Libretto
Paul Knepler Libretto
production Fritz Buttenstedt
for Unitel film and television production company
music Franz Lehár
camera Günter Haase
Jürgen Juerges
cut Gisela Haller

Paganini is a German-Austrian operetta film adaptation for television by Eugen York from 1973 . It is based on Franz Lehár 's operetta of the same name .


Napoléon gave the newly founded state of Lucca to his sister Princess Anna Elisa . It has only existed for two months, and the house blessing of the princely couple Anna Elisa and Felice Bacciocchi is crooked. The prince is a womanizer and has recently taken a liking to the singer Bella Giretti. The Prince and Bella stay behind on the hunt, while Anna Elisa and Chamberlain Pimpinelli stop in the village of Capannari. Pimpinelli thinks it is below his standard to stop off at a village inn, but the princess has heard the sound of a violin and wants to see the player. It is the "devil's violinist" Paganini , who stopped in Capannari on his way to Lucca, where he is supposed to give a concert in front of the royal couple. The princess is immediately fascinated by Paganini, but does not reveal her real name to him. Paganini too soon wants nothing more than to see Anna Elisa again. Shortly thereafter, his agent Bartucci revealed that Paganini was not allowed to play in Lucca. Once he is said to have killed a nobleman in an argument and was imprisoned for it. The prince himself has now forbidden Paganini to give a concert. Paganini scolds Anna Elisa at the prince and princess and now no longer wants to perform. A little later, Bella Giretti appears and shortly afterwards Prince Felice, who has run out of his horse. Paganini realizes that Anna Elisa is the princess and withdraws. Only when Anna had Elisa ordered the prince that Paganini would play for her at court did he agree to come to Lucca.

In Lucca Paganini rises in no time. He becomes the princess's lover, becomes her favorite, later court conductor and lives in the castle. The Geiger-Fürstin affair is the talk of the town, but Prince Felice is quite right, as he is no longer at the center of the gossip. Paganini, however, is a gambler and gambled away not only all of his money in one day, but also the jewelry given by Anna Elisa and in the end even his Stradivari violin. He loses everything to Pimpinelli, but is comforted by Bella Giretti. Both end up in bed together. The next morning Pimpinelli appears and brings Paganini back his violin. In return, he wants a tip on how he could end up with Bella Giretti. She overhears everything from Paganini's bed and is amused. In the bedchamber she finds a song that Paganini is currently writing. At her insistence, he gives it to her. A little later Paganini also hands the sheet music over to Anna Elisa and claims that he wrote the song just for her. Pimpinelli, in turn, hands over a brooch that he won in the game from Paganini and that was originally given by Anna Elisa as a token of his great admiration to Bella Giretti.

Emperor Napoléon learns of his sister's affair with Paganini, who has since been promoted to captain of the bodyguard. He sends soldiers to Lucca to fetch Paganini from the Prince's Palace. Anna Elisa, however, refuses to publish Paganini and is indignant that Napoléon believes the street gossip in Paris about an affair with Paganini. In the evening there is a concert by Paganini. First of all, Bella Giretti sings - the song Paganini gave to both women. Since Anna Elisa also sees the brooch on her dress that she originally gave Paganini as a present, she is outraged and sad. She now agrees to the arrest of Paganini by Napoléon's men. Paganini is playing better than ever that evening. Moved, Anna listens to Elisa and has tears in her eyes when Paganini is led away by the soldiers. She goes to him, takes him by the arm and leads him out of the hall in the opposite direction. Prince Felice is amused, Napoléon can defeat whole peoples, but will always fail because of women. Paganini flees a short time later, unnoticed by Anna Elisa. He stops at a smuggler's bar not far from the border and arranges his secret border crossing there. Anna Elisa appears, dressed as a simple street singer, and sees Paganini one last time. She has long since recognized that it belongs to everyone and has released it. After saying goodbye, Paganini's and Anna Elisha's carriage drive away in the opposite direction.


Paganini was made as a studio operetta film adaptation by Unitel for ZDF and ORF. Irms Pauli created the costumes and Gerd Straub designed the film . Bert Grund took over the musical arrangement of Lehár's songs . The Kurt Graunke Symphony Orchestra , Munich, will play. The film ran for the first time on January 4, 1973 on ZDF on German television. In 2012 it was released on DVD by Arthaus.

For Johannes Heesters in particular, the filming was the beginning of an image change in the operetta field: The role of Prince Felice was his first character role.

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