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The Competition (1980)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance, Music  |  3 December 1980 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,398 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 7 critic

The movie centers on a piano competition whose winner is assured of success. It is Paul's last chance to compete, but newcomer Heidi may be a better pianist. Can romance be far away? Will ... See full summary »

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Title: The Competition (1980)

The Competition (1980) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Paul Dietrich
...
Heidi Joan Schoonover
...
Greta Vandemann
...
Andrew Erskine
Joseph Cali ...
Jerry DiSalvo
Ty Henderson ...
Michael Humphries
Vicki Kriegler ...
Tatjana Baronova
Adam Stern ...
Mark Landau
Philip Sterling ...
Mr. Dietrich
Gloria Stroock ...
Mrs. Dietrich
Bea Silvern ...
Madame Gorshev
...
Brudenell (as James B. Sikking)
Delia Salvi ...
Mrs. DiSalvo
Jimmy Sturtevant ...
Vinnie DiSalvo
Kathy Talbot ...
Denise DiSalvo
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Storyline

The movie centers on a piano competition whose winner is assured of success. It is Paul's last chance to compete, but newcomer Heidi may be a better pianist. Can romance be far away? Will she take a dive despite the pressure to win from her teacher, Greta, or will she condemn Paul to obscurity? Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He has been working for this moment his entire life. This is his last chance. For her, this could be the beginning. And it would be the perfect love story if it weren't for... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La competición  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First, final and only ever theatrical feature film directed by Joel Oliansky. See more »

Goofs

The piano fingering is often out of sync with the music, especially during Heidi's performance of Prokofiev's 3rd. See more »

Quotes

Greta Vandemann: [Referring to the piano] That is your first husband, that, you... you marry it the way a nun marries Jesus. You cleave to it, because it gives your life a center that no man... that very few men can possibly give you, least of all a rival for the thing your life is centered on.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto in E Minor
Composed by Frédéric Chopin (as Chopin)
Performed by Lincoln Mayorga (as Lincoln Maorga), piano
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Glorious music as pianists vie for first prize in a competition
2 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Amy Irving, Richard Dreyfuss, Lee Remick, and Sam Wanamaker star in "The Competition," a 1980 film, written and directed by Joel Oliansky. The story concerns pianists gathering for the semifinals of a competition in San Francisco. Paul Dietrich (Dreyfuss) has one last shot at a career as a pianist, given his age, and the fact that his parents have been supporting him, and his dad is in bad shape. Heidi (Irving) knew Paul from a summer program. She studies with a top teacher, Greta Vandeman (Remick) and is there basically to see how far she can go. Despite Paul's attempts to put off the smitten Heidi, he finally admits his feelings, and the two fall in love. Greta isn't happy - she's afraid Heidi is going to lose her competitive edge and take a back seat so that Paul can win.

This very good movie is just about overshadowed by the brilliant music and the magnificent fingerings and look of the actors as they're playing. They obviously had the benefit of great coaching.

The film gives a realistic look at the tension of competitions, and the various states of mind that people have going into them. For Paul, it's his last shot; the Joseph Cali character wants to use it as a steppingstone to Vegas and a Liberace-type act; Heidi has nothing to lose. There is a lot of psychoanalysis throughout the film, which some may find off-putting. It does go on.

Amy Irving is an excellent actress, and she does a beautiful job here. Dreyfuss is also excellent, coming off as desperate, arrogant, and sad. Lee Remick is the ultimate piano teacher who knows too well the pitfalls of being a woman, particularly a woman in love.

If you like classical piano, don't miss "The Competition."


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Not her mother! adam-stern
Why'd she pick the bad piano ccguy
Things I learned from 'The Competition' ccguy
Real Pianists? evensong_07
How realistic/correct are the details of the competition? ciocio-2
Where's the DVD? gingercaffee
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