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The Pianist (2002)

Drama | 150 minutes
4,18 6.754 votes

Genre: Drama / War

Duration: 150 minuten

Country: France / Poland / Germany / United Kingdom / United States

Directed by: Roman Polanski

Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann and Frank Finlay

IMDb score: 8,5 (922.097)

Releasedate: 17 September 2002

The Pianist plot

"Music was his passion. Survival was his masterpiece."

On September 23, 1939, young pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody) plays Nocturne in D minor by Frédéric Chopin for the radio. He can barely hear himself because of the noise of the bombing due to the ongoing War. Half an hour after this performance, the hall of the Polish broadcaster is hit and the radio is definitively off the air. The consequences of the occupation for Warsaw are terrible: the ghetto, the Jewish uprising, the deportations. But while his entire family and many friends are massacred, Szpilman tries to survive in the battered city. He gets help from Polish resistance fighters.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Władysław 'Władek' Szpilman

Captain Wilm Hosenfeld

Henryk Szpilman

Regina Szpilman

Halina Szpilman

SS Slapping Father

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avatar van IH88


  • 8886 messages
  • 3106 votes

The Pianist

Strong war film by Roman Polanski. The Pianist shows in a detailed and impressive way how a Polish-Jewish man and his family deal with the German invasion of Warsaw during the Second World War. The first part shows how the Szpilman family and the other Jews are forced to move, and how they eventually get on the trains that take them to the concentration camps.

Szpilman is spared this fate and eventually finds himself alone (with some help from resistance fighters). The film is very atmospheric and especially at the end there are a few beautifully shot scenes of Warsaw that had been destroyed. At a certain point the film is a bit repetitive and the fact that Szpilman is always locked up on his own does not always provide an equally fascinating viewing experience. But that last part is great and the last scenes really gave me goosebumps. Brody is strong and especially his physical decline is impressive to watch. Polanski craftsmanship.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van deventerate


  • 125 messages
  • 176 votes

Wow! That movie does something to you. I'm not the type to say: "It's a shame they do that, that's not possible". Then I'm like it's acted! Sure it happened in the past, but that doesn't matter. But then you watch the movie and it's absolutely impressive.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van richiedoom


  • 378 messages
  • 3676 votes

I watched this movie for the third time yesterday and it continues to impress. The role Adrien Brody plays here is one of world class. Unfortunately, that cannot be said of the entire cast. Especially Szpilman's relatives were not always convincing to me. The conversations between the family members, certainly in the first half hour, seemed at times like amateur theatre. It got a bit clumsy. Speaking of clumsiness, so are some executions. Unfortunately, the scene where a commander randomly shoots eight people on the ground in the head wasn't as impressive as it should have been. The actors reacted way too slowly to the gunshots, making it look very fake. This is what you expect from a 60s movie, not a 2002 movie...

So much for the criticisms, because Szpilman's quest for survival is very fascinating to follow. The first half of the film is already impressive (in the ghetto, the deportation and forced labour), but secretly I find the second half of the film even stronger. Pure survival and stay out of the hands of the Germans. With minimal text, Adrien Brody manages to achieve a world-class performance. The scene with the German officer and the piano is even moving.

The way everything is portrayed also deserves compliments. No frills, no Hollywood finery, just the raw reality. No heroic music, mostly silences and that only adds to the atmosphere of the film.

This is one of the best war movies ever in my opinion.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original