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The Pianist

4.6 out of 5 stars 794 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and winner of 3, The Pianist stars Oscar winner Adrien Brody in the true-life story of brilliant pianist and composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, the most acclaimed young musician of his time until his promising career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. This powerful, ultimately triumphant film follows Szpilman's heroic and inspirational journey of survival with the unlikely help from a sympathetic German officer (Thomas Kretschmann). A truly unforgettable epic, testifying to both the power of hope and the resiliency of the human spirit, The Pianist is a miraculous tale of survival masterfully brought to life by visionary filmmaker Roman Polanski in his most personal movie ever.

Special Features

  • Story of Survival
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • The Pianist Soundtrack Spot
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Production Notes

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox
    • Directors: Roman Polanski
    • Writers: Ronald Harwood
    • Producers: Roman Polanski, Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2003
    • Run Time: 150 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (794 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00005JLT5
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,603 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The Pianist" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 31, 2009
    Format: DVD
    I've watched "The Pianist" twice since it's 2002 release, and felt compelled to write a review after watching it tonight. This is a well-directed Holocaust movie by Roman Polanski, and the stellar acting by Adrien Brody [who deservedly won an Oscar for his role] makes "The Pianist" a truly memorable viewing experience.

    The story is based on the real-life experiences of Jewish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman [played by Adrien Brody] during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw in WW II. The movie follows him from his piano playing days at Polish Radio, through the restrictions imposed upon the Jews by the Nazis, the move by Szpilman and his family to the Warsaw ghetto,how he is saved from deportation [whilst the rest of his family gets deported to Treblinka, an extermination camp], his role in the Jewish resistance movement, and finally his struggles in hiding on the Aryan side of Warsaw till war's end.

    The brutality of the Nazis is very effectively portrayed - scenes of Nazi violence against the Jews are usually portrayed in brief but potent scenes, leaving an indelible mark in the viewer's memory. One particular scene still haunts me - the Nazis have selected a group of Jews for deportation [including four members of Szpilman's family] and a young woman innocently asks the SS officer in charge where they're being taken. His response is a shot to her head - just like that, and her only crime was to speak up.
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    I saw The Pianist on my birthday 3 months ago.
    I had heard some good reviews and was very interested to see what Polanski had been up to lately.
    I was astonished, moved, and speechless.
    The movie embodies everything that I love about film....a true story being told with love and great care for the past, and in a way that makes you feel the pain that the characters experience.
    Adrien Brody will now get the credit he deserves after his 10+ years in the industry. His performance was genuine and brilliant. He has been my favorite actor for a few years and out did all of his previous work with his role as Wladyslaw Szpilman. I cannot think of a more deserving performance of the Best Actor Oscar in recent years.
    The Pianist is an unforgettable film about a simple man who hangs on when all hope and life is lost from the world he knows.
    Comment 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    I full appreciate and endorse the idea that there will be one film in your experience that brings home the horrors of the Holocaust for you, and after that point nothing else has quite the same effect. This is true for me and actually came when I was editing out commercials of the television mini-series "Holocaust," which had none of the graphic depictions found in theatrical films such as "Schnidler's List" and "The Pianist," or even later television efforts such as "War and Remembrance." But just because the full horror truly overwhelms you that first time and never with quite the same force again, does not mean other similar tales are not worth the telling. I know I will never see a film that conveys the horror of war more than the opening sequences of "Saving Private Ryan," but that does not stop me from seeing more movies about World War II.
    "The Pianist" is an atypical story of a European Jew during this period because the title character, Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody is his Oscar winning performance), survives the Holocaust. There is a memorable shot of Szpilman walking down the street of the Warsaw ghetto after the deportation of the Jews and the streets are littered with their possessions. Hundreds of characters in the film, thousands from the ghetto, millions throughout Europe were exterminated by the Nazis. Szpilman is the exception, not the rule.
    The horror of his survival is that is so random and very little of what Szpilman does contributes to his being alive at the end of the film. The explanation, such director Roman Polanski provides in this film, is that Szpilman has value as a classical pianist, a cultural icon of sorts to the people of Warsaw, whether they are Jewish or not.
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    By A Customer on June 13, 2003
    Format: DVD
    There have been many films over the years dealing with the Holocaust and the atrocities in Europe during the Second World War. The best known of course is, Schindler's List. While Schindler's List will be the film by which all other films about this dark period of history will be judged, it has met its match in The Pianist. While Schindler gave us the viewers the story of one very flawed man who saved many lives in the guise of Jewish Labor, The Pianist is far different. The story of one man who managed to survive Warsaw during the Occupation and was ultimately the reciepant of some kindness from the most unlikely person,a German solider. The difference between the two films is that while Schindler's took a rather aneseptic and 'Hollywood' view of the flawed man Oskar Schindler, The Pianist drew on the real life experiences of its director to make the film much more personal. It not only becomes personal to the director himself, but to the viewer. Polanski himself was a boy during the Occupation, injected small things that he remembered during the Occuapation into the film. Little things like someone telling Spzilman not to run as he is pulled from the lines of people, including his family, being forced into cattle cars on their way to a certain death.It is things like this that bring the viewer closer to the characters and even to the director. Adrien Brody gave the performance of his life in this film. It deserved every Oscar it got and it is a true masterpiece to be treasured.
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