6.7/10
1,459
24 user 7 critic

The Competition (1980)

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Dr. Peter Carey is a pathologist at a Boston hospital. The daughter of the hospital's Chief of Staff dies after an illegal abortion goes wrong, and Carey's friend and colleague Dr. David ... See full summary »

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: James Coburn, Jennifer O'Neill, Pat Hingle
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Ken Harrison is an artist who makes sculptures. One day he is involved in a car accident, and is paralyzed from his neck down. All he can do is talk, and he wants to die. In hospital he ... See full summary »

Director: John Badham
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, John Cassavetes, Christine Lahti
Ice Castles (1978)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young girl is on top of the world until a tragic accident dashes her hopes and dreams of becoming a world-class figure skater. Only with the help of those who love her can she prove to ... See full summary »

Director: Donald Wrye
Stars: Lynn-Holly Johnson, Robby Benson, Colleen Dewhurst
Désirée (1954)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Merle Oberon
Ulee's Gold (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A reclusive beekeeper slowly pulls his dysfunctional family back together, but not without having to fight his son's previous dastardly cohorts.

Director: Victor Nunez
Stars: Peter Fonda, Patricia Richardson, Christine Dunford
Music | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Willie Nelson is a country singer on the road caught in a romantic triangle with Dyan Cannon and Amy Irving, the daughter of one of his longtime musical sidekick.

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Willie Nelson, Dyan Cannon, Amy Irving
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being dumped by her live-in boyfriend, an unemployed dancer and her 10-year-old daughter are reluctantly forced to live with a struggling off-Broadway actor.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Cleveland 1951. Pre-med student Artie Shoemaker dreams not so much of a medical career but a life in the theater, against the wishes of his working class parents. Despite having no ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Pressman
Stars: Frank Langella, Glynnis O'Connor, Tom Hulce
Certificate: M Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Katharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn.

Director: Charles Jarrott
Stars: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Irene Papas
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A clever fortune-hunter with a penchant for murder does in his elderly, supposedly rich, wife and manages to get away with it. After an investigation results in a decision of 'accidental ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Margaret Lockwood, Kay Walsh
The Sniper (1952)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A sniper kills young brunettes as the police attempt to grapple with the psychology of the unknown assailant.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Arthur Franz, Adolphe Menjou, Gerald Mohr
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Armed with a "How to..." manual, an ambitious window washer seeks to climb the corporate ladder.

Director: David Swift
Stars: Robert Morse, Michele Lee, Rudy Vallee
Edit

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
...
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
Edit

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:

They broke the cardinal rule of the competition...they fell in love. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La competición  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

With the screenplay completed, Joel Oliansky's concern for authenticity segued into his role as director. Rather than resort to the time-honored Hollywood trick of placing the camera behind the keyboard so that the actor's hands are obscured, with someone else's fingers intercut into the scene, Oliansky engaged concert pianist Jean Evensen Shaw to coach the cast in such skills as fingering, pedaling, posture, and arm-and-wrist coordination. 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

Paul Dietrich: I don't think it's possible to rehearse two concerti at once, Heidi-Ho!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: The Competition (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major
Composed by Sergei Prokofiev (as Prokofiev)
Performed by Daniel Pollack, piano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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."


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Things I learned from 'The Competition' ccguy
Not her mother! adam-stern
Real Pianists? evensong_07
Why'd she pick the bad piano ccguy
Where's the DVD? gingercaffee
Paul's piece in the semifinal ccguy
Discuss The Competition (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?