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The Pianist (2002)

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A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
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933 ( 141)
Top Rated Movies #43 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 52 wins & 70 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nomi Sharron ...
Anthony Milner ...
Lucy Skeaping ...
Street Musician (as Lucie Skeaping)
Roddy Skeaping ...
Street Musician
Ben Harlan ...
Street Musician
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Storyline

A brilliant pianist, a Polish Jew, witnesses the restrictions Germans place on Jews in the Polish capital, from restricted access to the building of the Warsaw ghetto. As his family is rounded up to be shipped off to the German Nazi labor camps, he escapes deportation and eludes capture by living in the ruins of Warsaw. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Music was his passion. Survival was his masterpiece.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Pianist  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,949,422 (France) (27 September 2002)

Gross:

$32,519,322 (USA) (30 May 2003)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Roman Polanski considers this his best film. At the end of the documentary Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011), interviewer Andrew Braunsberg asks him which of his own films he believes to be absolutely perfect, and wouldn't change a frame if he could. To this, Polanski replies: "If any film cannisters were to be placed on my grave, I'd like them to be The Pianist's". See more »

Goofs

When Szpilman is told he has to leave the first apartment he's hiding in, his hair is parted and hanging down either side of his face. In the next shot, when he sits down to try to smoke the cigarette, his hair is combed back with no part visible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dorota: [running from bombing] Mr. Szpilman?
Wladyslaw Szpilman: Hello.
Dorota: Oh, I came specially to meet you. I love your playing.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: Who are you?
Dorota: My name is Dorota. I, I'm Jurek's sister... You're bleeding.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Aside from the Universal and Focus Features credits, there are no opening credits. All credits, including the title, appear at the end of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Extras: Kate Winslet (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Suite No. 1 BWV 1007 for Solo Cello
(1717-23)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Jerzy Wolochowicz
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Stoic, haunting tale of survival
16 January 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Pianist tells the story of such a man in war time Poland, played by Adrien Brody, who from start to finish sees his life literally getting worse and worse and worse- starts off with new rules from the Nazis, then the stars on the arms, followed by the Warsaw ghetto, and while there he could play in the restaurant, that too soon ended, as the trains arrived and took his family and anyone else he knew away. During this he narrowly escapes, and from then on the film in a sense almost becomes not exactly a holocaust film, but more like a cross of that as the element and the basic structure of something a-la in Cast Away: this includes stretches of scenes showing Brody simply trying to keep out of view of the Germans, either in a small apartment provided by helpful Polish Christians/Jewish resistance, or as a scavenger in the abandoned sections of the ghetto, all while feeling the old rhythm of the piano in his head and fingertips.

This is the kind of magnificent filmmaking that shows a director not only being as true to the story given to him (that of Painist Szpilman, based on his autobiography) but to his past as well- Roman Polanksi faced similar conditions as a boy in the early 40's, and has found the best line to show, never crossed or mis-stepped, in representing the characters and the period. There aren't any hints of tightened suspense, no clues as to where the film could veer to, it just is. The big difference to be seen between a film like this and Schindler's List is not just in the people and situations (Schindler's List was a film about two people, Schindler and Goeth, in the foreground while the Pianist is a total first person tale), yet also in the filmmaking qualities being here surely European. And while the accents on the Polish-Jewish actors sounds a bit too British, that is quite forgivable considering the scope of the project (thank heavens he didn't put in English speaking Germans).

In conclusion, Brody turns in a superb performance, and this indeed is in with Polanski's best, a deserved of 2002's Palme D'Or. Great music too. A+


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