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

Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   10,839 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
David Goodis (novel)
François Truffaut (adaptation) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Shoot the Piano Player on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 July 1962 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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:
One of Truffaut's best See more (53 total) »

Cast

  (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)

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"

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Tirez sur le pianiste" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
UK:80 min | USA:92 min | Finland:82 min (1963) | Argentina:85 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White (Dyaliscope)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
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?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
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 »
Quotes:
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 Film Geek (2005)See more »
Soundtrack:
FramboiseSee more »

FAQ

Chicago Opening Happened When?
See more »
36 out of 47 people found the following review useful.
One of Truffaut's best, 21 October 2004
Author: MovieAddict2014 from UK

François Truffaut's second feature, Tirez sur le pianiste, is a deliberately wild and chaotic satire of the American gangster pictures of the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Truffaut tried to make Tirez sur le pianiste, or Shoot the Pianist, the complete opposite of his first picture, The 400 Blows, doing away with the sentimentality of the predecessor and making his second feature far more vicious, nonlinear and, occasionally, quite funny.

Based off of a pulp novel by David Goodis, the movie is about a once-famous piano player (Charles Aznavour) who gives up looking for the reason his wife left him, and now plays piano in a run-down Paris bar where he falls for a waitress, and must overcome his natural shyness in order to express his love for her. Unfortunately his brother gets him involved in a gangland feud, which gives the story an unnecessary (but welcomed) edge to the romance.

There are some highly amusing scenes, such as when Charles and his soon-to-be-girlfriend walk down a Paris sidewalk and he contemplates what to say, do, and how to act, without offending her or making a fool out of himself. We hear Charles' neurotic thoughts in voice-over – an effect now overused in cinema but back in 1960, very new. It wasn't until the intrusion of Woody Allen comedies such as Annie Hall that sporadic first-person narratives became popular – in the noir movies of the earlier decades voice-overs were sometimes used by narrators (such as in the cult classic Detour) but never in such a way as Shoot the Pianist's. It's one of the best scenes in the movie, and a great way of expressing the inner-workings of Charles, the character.

Shoot the Pianist's chaotic structure confused and overwhelmed many audiences when the film was released in 1960. Its content (violence, nudity, etc.) was not as welcomed by audiences as it is now, and as a result the film was a financial and critical failure. The humor was not appreciated, the insightful look at a French Everyman was not even noticed – it was ruled out as a dud, and that's all that mattered to anyone.

Over the years it has picked up a rather small cult following and fans of Truffaut's films have declared it to be one of his best pictures. Looking back now in light of such recent gangster genre hybrids such as Reservoir Dogs and Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Truffaut's movie not only seems more understandable but far ahead of its time. In relation to Reservoir Dogs it contains the same sort of standard, everyday nonchalance in accordance with gangsters – while it contains the narrative flow of Guy Ritchie's British gangster cult hit.

Regardless of how brilliant Shoot the Pianist seems forty years later, Truffaut was scarred by the negative press surrounding his second feature and never made another movie as daring (so to speak) or, more likely, downright fun as Tirez sur le pianiste. It's a very amusing movie, and it is one of the few 1960s films that doesn't seem dated compared to the film-making standards of modern-day Hollywood. The performances are flawless, the characters likable and realistic, the movie overall highly enjoyable and worth seeing more than just once. It is sadly one of Truffaut's most underrated movies, although hopefully in another forty years it will only be all the more appreciated for its qualities.

5/5

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