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Drama - Historic

The Pianist (2002)


Duration 2h 30m Rating (UK) 12A
Source of story A book written by Wladyslaw Szpilman about his experiences.
Director Roman Polanski
Writers/Script Ronald Harwood
Starring Adrien Brody, Emilia Fox, Ed Stoppard, Maureen Lipman, Frank Finlay, Cyril Shaps, Thomas Kretschmann

Elevator Pitch: Pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew is playing for a radio broadcast in 1939 when Wartsaw is bombed by the Germans. He is forced to terminate the broadcast and returns home to find his family listening to the radio. Overjoyed they hear that the British have declared war. Their problems are over. Sadly their optimism is not justified. The Germans occupy the city and the Jews are forced to move to the ghetto, then are deported to Treblinka. Fortunatly for Szpilman he is recognised and saved, thereafter being looked after by sympathetic Polish families, but as the city is destroyed his chances of survival seem to be reduced.

Content: No nudity or sex, but a bit of drinking. Many really distresssing scenes as Szpilman witnesses the Nazis randomly executing Jewish people, in one case throwing a man in a wheelchair over a balcony. The Jews are crowded into the ghetto and walled in. Once or twice the “Armia Krajowa” take up arms and there are battles in the streets, inevitably resulting in the executions of the participants, and the burning down of the houses. Finally the pianist is able to hide in the attic of a house occupied by the German military and is supported by a sympathetic German officer.

A View: This is an alarming film, every moment riveting and after watching it one can’t help wondering at the possible evils which can be perpetrated by members of the human race. This would be uncomfortable viewing for the Germans. How was it possible? We have German friends and they are delightful people. In the wrong circumstances are we all savages? The film got five stars on Rotten Tomatoes, won three Oscars, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay and is No 36 on the IMDb top movies list.  So a moving film, well worth the cost of a download.

Additional info: The German officer, Captain Wilm Hosenfeld, was a real person, captured by the Russians when they entered the city. He died in a Russian prison camp in 1952.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


2 thoughts on “The Pianist (2002)

  1. This a must see for sure, one of the best movies on the Holocaust ever made!

    Posted by Sam Simon | April 14, 2020, 11:07 am


  1. Pingback: The Pianist: Movie Review - April 14, 2020

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