Stradivarius (1988)

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Original title Stradivarius
Country of production Italy , France
original language English
Publishing year 1988
length 88 minutes
Director Giacomo Battiato
script Giacomo Battiato
Suso Cecchi D'Amico
Ernesto Gastaldi
Sergio Jacquier
Vittorio Salerno
production Achille Manzotti
music Francesco Tampori
camera Tonino Delli Colli
cut Alfredo Muschietti

Stradivari is a French - Italian biography from 1988 .


During a boat trip to Cremona , the young Antonio Stradivari enthusiastically heard the playing of a violin for the first time in his life . As an orphan he is then taken to the monastic orphanage and from then on has to go begging with the priests. During one of these tours he happened to come to the violin workshop of Nicola Amati , where he was again allowed to listen to the violin playing. Enthusiastic about the sound and driven by his curiosity, he sneaks into the workshop at night and tries to play himself. But he can't. So he decides to build a violin himself. Over the course of weeks and months, he steals all the materials that are needed to build a violin. He keeps hiding it and his violin in the monastery. One day she is found and the priests believe that the orphans have been stolen. When Stradivari confesses to having built it himself, he is punished with a bell. But the priests bring it to Amati, who is enthusiastic about Stradivari's architecture. You can't play on it yet, but Amati offers Stradivarius to become his apprentice.

Years later, the young Stradivarius is still Amati's apprentice. Dissatisfied that he is not allowed to pursue his own name or his own ideas in architecture, he toyed with the idea of ​​either looking for a new master or of starting his own business. He offers himself to the architect Francesco Pescaroli. However, he only wants to switch when he can finally build according to his conditions, because his current models don't appreciate the tones. Before they even leave the sound space, they would die. But before he can finally make this decision, he falls victim to a false accusation. At night he came to the aid of the beautiful Francesca when she was beaten by her husband. When he reached the quarreling couple, however, Giovanni Giacomo Capra had long been gunned down and Stradivari was suspected of murder and imprisoned. He is innocently released from dungeon only late. Francesca seeks him out, asks his forgiveness by also explaining to him that she was forcibly married to Capra and was a violent marriage. Her brother helped her and shot her husband to save her. Now she is ready to take all the guilt and repent for it. Stradivarius, on the other hand, goes a step further and asks for her hand. In a year he will rent a house near Santa Cecilia and, as a violin maker, will also be able to look after the family. Aware of the scandal she would provoke, Francesca initially refuses. Only when she watches Stradivarius making the violin and realizes the love he invests in the instrument and compares it with her does she accept.

Many years later, the Stradivari couple lived in a house with their two children. Stradivarius continues to fulfill his orders and complains about his suffering for never having made the big break. With the money of 200 gold thalers, he grinds from violin to violin and hardly manages to fulfill his current assignments. But in the meantime, far away, the Spanish king has a competition for the best violin makers, where he is only inspired by Stradivari's architecture. He sends his ambassadors to find him. Stradivarius is awakened from sleep at night and learns that he has the honor of being awarded for the best violin. Stradivarius is moved to tears.


The Italian film critic Giovanni Grazzini said that the film is "close to the truth in some scenes". In addition to historical authenticity, he praised Anthony Quinn's portrayal, who plays Stradivarius "commendably with lively pride".


Filming began on location in Cremona in the fall of 1986.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. G. Grazzini, Il Mesaggero , June 16, 1989 (cited in Dictionnaire del cinema italiano: I film , page 270)
  2. ^ Anthony Quinn rueda en Italia la vida de Stradivarius , El País . October 29, 1986