IMDb > Shoot the Piano Player (1960)
Tirez sur le pianiste
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Shoot the Piano Player (1960) More at IMDbPro »Tirez sur le pianiste (original title)

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Shoot the Piano Player -- Clip: Montage


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7.7/10   10,325 votes »
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David Goodis (novel)
François Truffaut (adaptation) ...
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Release Date:
23 July 1962 (USA) See more »
Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Waking the taste-buds of your heart See more (52 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Aznavour ... Charlie Kohler / Edouard Saroyan
Marie Dubois ... Léna
Nicole Berger ... Thérèse Saroyan
Michèle Mercier ... 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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Laure Paillette ... La mère (uncredited)
Alice Sapritch ... Concierge (uncredited)
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Directed by
François Truffaut 
Writing credits
David Goodis (novel "Down There")

François Truffaut (adaptation) (as F. Truffaut) and
Marcel Moussy (adaptation)

François Truffaut (dialogue)

Produced by
Pierre Braunberger .... producer
Original Music by
Georges Delerue 
Cinematography by
Raoul Coutard 
Film Editing by
Claudine Bouché 
Cécile Decugis 
Production Design by
Jacques Mély (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Jacqueline Pipard .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Serge Komor .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Bober .... assistant director
Francis Cognany .... assistant director
Bjorn Johansen .... assistant director (as Björn Johansen)
Sound Department
Jacques Gallois .... sound
Jean Philippe .... assistant sound (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Claude Beausoleil .... camera operator (uncredited)
Raymond Cauchetier .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jean-Louis Malige .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Other crew
Luce Deuss .... production secretary
Roger Fleytoux .... administrator
Suzanne Schiffman .... script girl
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Philips  record company: "Dialogue d'Amoureux"
  • Royalty  music published by
  • Tutti  music publisher: "Dialogue d'Amoureux"
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Tirez sur le pianiste" - France (original title)
See more »
UK:80 min | USA:92 min | Finland:82 min (1963) | Argentina:85 min
Black and White (Dyaliscope)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Germany:12 (re-rating) | South Korea:15 | Sweden:15 (cut) | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12 (re-rating) (2001) | UK:15 (video rating) (1994) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:18 (original rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The film was released in France under the title, "Ne tirez pas sur le pianiste" ("Don't Shoot the Piano Player"), or the exact opposite of the title in the United States.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: When Lena and Charlie walk home after work you can see the shadow of the camera on their coats.See more »
Momo:My pop used to say, "If someone knocks, assume it's a murderer. If it's just a robber, you'll be happy."See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in A Woman Is a Woman (1961)See more »
Dialogue d'AmoureuxSee more »


Chicago Opening Happened When?
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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Waking the taste-buds of your heart, 29 November 2007
Author: bob stafford from United Kingdom

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.

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Major themes isadork
Question about the song at the end. zygfryd666
Third Man homage? BillyFisher
Simpsons Connection rspnov
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Kohler / Koller dasfabu
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