7.6/10
13,520
62 user 69 critic

Shoot the Piano Player (1960)

Tirez sur le pianiste (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 23 July 1962 (USA)
Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) (as F. Truffaut) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Jules and Jim (1962)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Decades of a love triangle concerning two friends and an impulsive woman.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre
Stolen Kisses (1968)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After being discharged from the army, Antoine Doinel centers a screwball comedy where he applies for different jobs and tries to make sense of his relationships with women.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claude Jade, Delphine Seyrig
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In occupied Paris, an actress married to a Jewish theater owner must keep him hidden from the Nazis while doing both of their jobs.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Jean Poiret
The Soft Skin (1964)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Pierre Lachenay is a well-known publisher and lecturer, married with Franca and father of Sabine, around 10. He meets an air hostess, Nicole. They start a love affair, which Pierre is hiding, but he cannot stand staying away from her.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean Desailly, Françoise Dorléac, Nelly Benedetti
The 400 Blows (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
Bed & Board (1970)
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Some time after "Baisers Volés", Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) and Christine Darbon (Claude Jade) are married and Antoine works dying flowers, and Christine is pregnant and gives ... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claude Jade, Hiroko Berghauer
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

At the beginning of the 20th century, Claude Roc, a young middle-class Frenchman meets in Paris Ann Brown, a young Englishwoman. They become friends and Ann invites him to spend holidays at... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Kika Markham, Stacey Tendeter
Day for Night (1973)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A committed film director struggles to complete his movie while coping with a myriad of crises, personal and professional, among the cast and crew.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Léaud, François Truffaut
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This short film is the first segment of five in the multinational feature Love at Twenty (1962), all five segments on the theme of first adult love. After indulging in much delinquency in ... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Marie-France Pisier, Patrick Auffay
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Claude Massoulier is murdered while hunting at the same place than Julien Vercel, an estate agent that knew him and whose fingerprints are found on Massoulier's car. As the police discovers... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Fanny Ardant, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jean-Pierre Kalfon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two ex-lovers wind up living next door to each other with their respective spouses. Forbidden passions ensue.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, Henri Garcin
Breathless (1960)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Léna
...
Thérèse Saroyan
...
Clarisse
Serge Davri ...
Plyne
Claude Mansard ...
Momo
Richard Kanayan ...
Fido Saroyan (as Le jeune Richard Kanayan)
Albert Rémy ...
Chico Saroyan
Jean-Jacques Aslanian ...
Richard Saroyan
Daniel Boulanger ...
Ernest
Claude Heymann ...
Lars Schmeel
Alex Joffé ...
Passerby
Boby Lapointe ...
Le chanteur
Catherine Lutz ...
Mammy
Edit

Storyline

Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, Momo and Ernest. We will discover that Charlie's real name is Edouard Saroyan, once a virtuose who gives up after his wife's suicide. Charlie now has to deal wih Chico, Ernest, Momo, Fido (his youngest brother who lives with him), and Lena... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Francois Truffaut, Brilliant Director Who Gave You the Award Winning "The 400 Blows", Now Brings to the Screen a Fascinating New Work That Plays in Many Keys...All of Them Delightful! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 July 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shoot the Piano Player  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1963)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Dyaliscope)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Lena and Charlie walk home after work you can see the shadow of the camera on their coats. See more »

Quotes

Thérèse Saroyan: You know how a spider works on her prey? It is as if he were cutting me in two. As if the heart were one thing and the body another.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Punch-Drunk Love (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Dialogue d'Amoureux
Written by Félix Leclerc
Performed by Félix Leclerc and Lucienne Vernay
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Waking the taste-buds of your heart
29 November 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The opening scene is of a man running in dark streets. We only hear his steps and the menacing mechanical sound of traffic which we assume to be made by the pursuer. He collides with a post and is stunned. A man carrying a bouquet of flowers, helps him to his feet. As they walk, the man is expansive and briefly describes the course of his relationship with his wife, from simple selfish lust leading to marriage and only later, leading to true love. The man excuses himself, turning towards his home, and in an instant the original victim returns to his role as prey to some all-pervasive, inhuman, pursuer.

For me, this is Truffaut, the viewer identifying with the victim for a few moments, being safe in the domestic harmony of the man, only to be launched anew into the role of the hopeless quarry. The talkative man's recognition of his dependence on his wife contrasts with a later scene, in a car, where the two gangsters reveal highly cynical attitudes towards women. The irony is that their cynicism is capped by Charlie (Edward), who quotes his father as saying "when you've seen one woman, you've seen them all". It is significant how timid and respectful he is when daring to interrupt the macho diatribe of the two hoods. With this one statement, we have the background to the whole story.

Big brother, Chico, the "prey", needs help from Eddy, who is very reluctant to be drawn in, but family ties prove too strong. We see Chico as being a demanding,selfish, brute and can guess he takes after his father. We also guess where Eddy's timidity originates.

In the dialogue between Eddy and the brutish bar-owner, who is jealous of Eddy's attractiveness to the waitress, Lena, Eddy even offers to leave. When the bar-owner tells Eddy he is scared, Eddy repeats the phrase, playing with it as if it were a new flavour. This seems to be the ultimate in humility or humiliation, yet Eddy respectfully almost accepts it as advice. This short conversation suggests a life of victimisation, from father and big brother. Yet, most touching of all, is that his submission does not mask underlying contempt; Eddy still cares for the bar-owner as he does for his brother. Later, when the two are collapsed in the alley after a struggle, Eddy tosses aside his advantage of the knife and is then tricked by the bar-owner, who appears to be offering to make peace with a manly hug, but then attempts to strangle Eddy.

In his relations with Lena, Therese and Clarisse we witness tenderness, spontaneity, playfulness and trust. I don't know if it's my imagination, but these scenes seem to have brighter lighting. With each woman, there is a different mood. For instance, those involving Therese are all flashbacks and seem to involve more classical, static camera-work, lending an appropriate quality of distance. With Clarisse, the prostitute, there is bawdy, but innocent humour and no physical embarrassment, while with Lena there is adolescent awkwardness, reminiscent of Woody Allen, followed by such delicate, romantic scenes of physical discovery.

There are unexpected cameos, such as Boby Lapointe, in the bar singing "Framboises" and Fido, Eddy's kid brother being fascinated by the two gangsters who have kidnapped him. The final moment of the film, ignores the outcome of the feud between gangsters and brothers. We are only concerned with Lena.


9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?