The Magic Bow

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The Magic Bow
The Magic Bow (1946 film).jpg
Italian theatrical poster
Directed by Bernard Knowles
Produced by R.J. Minney
Written by Roland Pertwee
Harry Ostrer (Scenario Editor)
Norman Ginsbury (additional dialogue)
Based on The Magic Bow: a Romance of Paganini
by Manuel Komroff[1]
Starring Stewart Granger
Phyllis Calvert
Music by Henry Geehl
Cinematography Jack Asher
Jack E. Cox
Edited by Alfred Roome
Production
company
Distributed by General Film Distributors (UK)
Release date
  • 25 November 1946 (1946-11-25)
(UK)
Running time
106 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office 5,067 admissions (France)[2]

The Magic Bow is a 1946 British musical film based on the life and loves of the Italian violinist and composer Niccolò Paganini.[3] It was directed by Bernard Knowles. The film was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.[4]

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was based on a 1941 book.[5] Maurice Ostrer announced the project in July 1945.[6]

Yehudi Menuhin was hired to performed the violin solos heard in the film.[7][8] He arrived in London in May 1945 to record the tracks.[9] In August it was announced Stewart Granger would play the lead role as part of his last two films for Gainsborough Pictures; the other project was Caravan.[10] Phyllis Calvert was to be his co-star.[11]

Filming had to be postponed due to an illness to Phyllis Calvert, so Caravan was rushed into production and made first.[12]

Phyllis Calvert's character was fictitious, a composite of various women who had helped Paganini. The character of Bianca, the Italian singer, was real. Margaret Lockwood was originally announced to play the role, but was replaced by Jean Kent. Kent later recalled "I had marvellous costumes in that bit not a very good part. You expect she [Bianca] is going to do something and she never does. It's a film that went wrong. Originally I believe they wanted Margaret Lockwood to play it. Presumably then it would have been a much better part, I don't know what happened. Bernard Knowles was a very good cameraman but not a director."[13]

Producer R. J. Minner said that:

We are doing it [the film] as delicately as possible, as a study of sacred and profane love. Paganini's relationship with Bianca is rather a tricky business to get past the Hays Office, but we hope, with tact, to manage it. He knew Bianca all his life. He couldn't do it without her. She sang at all his concerts. He kept quarrelling with her and coming back to her. She made him ill and nearly killed him, and in the end he left her.[7]

Granger was given two violin tutors.[14] Menuhin used two violins and spent six weeks recording tracks.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

In their review, The New York Times concluded, "...the behind-the-scenes playing of Yehudi Menuhin as the violinist, drawing his magic bow over the compositions of Paganini, Tartini and Beethoven, is in itself almost worth the price of admission. Stewart Granger, playing Paganini, offers creditable make-believe as a violinist and does his best to play the man in a forthright manner. Considering the script, that is something of an accomplishment. Phyllis Calvert, as the other half of the romance, does well under the same handicaps, while Jean Kent and Dennis Price, aso facing script difficulties, do the best they can as a couple of jilted lovers. What few pleasant moments occur in the film — outside of the splendid musical sequences — fall to Cecil Parker as Paganini's manager. He presided over the two or three occasions when the audience laughed."[16]

The film was entered in the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goble, Alan (1 January 1999). "The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film". Walter de Gruyter – via Google Books. 
  2. ^ Box office information for Stewart Granger films in France at Box Office Story
  3. ^ "The Magic Bow (1946)". 
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Magic Bow". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 4 January 2009. 
  5. ^ "Glances At The New Novels". Chronicle. LXXXIV, (4,783). South Australia. 21 August 1941. p. 33. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. ^ "Great Composers Lives To Make Screen Stories". The Mercury. CLXII, (23,279). Tasmania, Australia. 14 July 1945. p. 9. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  7. ^ a b THE FILM SCENE IN LONDON: Strictly a Family Affair By C.A. LEJEUNE. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 Sep 1945: X3.
  8. ^ "Louis Levy". Truth (3313). New South Wales, Australia. 26 July 1953. p. 12. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  9. ^ "NEWS IN BRIEF;". The Advertiser (Adelaide). South Australia. 21 May 1945. p. 6. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  10. ^ "British Movies Produce A Pin-Up Boy". News. 45, (6,874). South Australia. 11 August 1945. p. 4. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  11. ^ "NEWS ABOUT MOVIES". The Mail (Adelaide). 34, (1,747). South Australia. 17 November 1945. p. 8. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  12. ^ BUSY BRITONS: Two Down and One to Go By C.A. LEJEUNE. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 24 June 1945: 27.
  13. ^ Brian MacFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema, Methuen 1997 p 340
  14. ^ ""Caesar" fans mob Granger". The Sun (2229). New South Wales, Australia. 30 December 1945. p. 9. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  15. ^ "INTERESTING SIDELIGHTS". Gippsland Times (11,746). Victoria, Australia. 3 March 1947. p. 4. Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  16. ^ "Movie Review - At the Little Carnegie - NYTimes.com". Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  17. ^ "Ingrid A Non-Starter". Sunday Times (Perth) (2538). Western Australia. 13 October 1946. p. 6 (The Sunday Times MAGAZINE). Retrieved 15 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

External links[edit]