The Good

The Bad

An epic adventure of mystery and obsession unfolds when Charles Morritz (Samuel L. Jackson), an appraiser of rare musical instruments, discovers a one of a kind, red violin at a prestigious Montreal auction house. Convinced he's found an authentic long-lost masterpiece, Morrtiz uncovers the spectacular journey of the priceless violin, how it changed hands and the lives of all who touched it. When the violin's shocking secret is finally revealed, Morritz must wrestle with his own demons and choose between burying the truth, and risking everything.


English, Spanish Subtitles

Other then this less then paltry offering there is nothing else on the dvd except the movie. And while clocking in at 130 minutes I think the film stands fine on it's own, I have seen MUCH lesser movies receive a far warmer dvd treatment. A commentary track might have been nice. A behind the scenes featurette with Samuel L. Jackson talking about how this refined role is a bit different then other roles he plays such as SHAFT could have also been very illuminating. Anything else would have been appreciated.

Understand, I only complain because I had heard about this movie since it's release in 1998. All that people did was rave about this film. Then to finally see it, and see that it does in fact live up to it's hype, I was disheartened to see that all this dvd has for special features are the aforementioned subtitle tracks.


Presented in 16x9 widescreen, I was very taken by this movie. Although, I had a bit of trouble getting started. Maybe my cheap Apex dvd player is messed up, but I found myself watching the first 40 minutes of the film without subtitles. I then found out that a majority of the movie is in subtitles and I had to keep switching them on and off. This got a bit tiresome, but the film looks great and was clearly shot on a GODFATHER-like scale. This is a very deep and moving film and the dvd transfer was superb.


The Dolby Stereo sound on this movie is terrific. My tv is the mono kind(even though I love movies I really am not a home theater enthusiast) but I don't think that that in anyway deterred from this movie. This combined with the picture made THE RED VIOLIN a very moving, very visceral experience.


Final Word

THE RED VIOLIN is an art film but only by default. Grossing close to $11 million in the US, this film had to be made for at least $20-$30 million. It is a huge film spanning centuries to bring us to the present day. At no point was I bored or did I feel the film played a little long. I am amazed that such a layered movie could be released so small. Furthermore, I am surprised that New Line would allow this movie to be marginalized the way that it was. I have heard nothing but glowing reviews about this movie and as I stated before it does live up to them.

It's interesting seeing Samuel L. Jackson in a much different role then he usually plays. It was also good to see the lovely Greta Scacchi(PRESUMED INNOCENT) back on the big screen. A dvd like this could have really benefited from having a soundtrack with all the violin scores. That for me was the highlight of the movie as I was brandished with a new found for respect for that instrument.

I am very happy to have finally screened this film. With all that I had heard about it, it seemed only right that I should finally get around to watching it. This is one of those movies that you should own and watch every few years. Better yet, find people who haven't seen it and introduce the movie to them. For director Francois Girard, that would be the ultimate compliment.

The Red Violin was released September 10, 1998.