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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 1,403 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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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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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:

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:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In preparation for their roles playing pianists in this film, actors Amy Irving and Richard Dreyfuss trained in piano playing for around four months. See more »

Goofs

When Heidi and Paul are playing piano together (looking at vs. reading the sheet music), they're obviously not playing the same measure, as he's looking at the left page and she's looking at the right page. It's right before Heidi laughs and points out something, to Paul, about the way it was played before by a certain musician. It revealed the fact that the actors were not real musicians, knowing how to read music. See more »

Quotes

Andrew Erskine: [Heidi's piano needs adjusting and she wants to play a different concerto] Well, maybe I'm not in the mood to conduct the Profofiev Third!
Greta Vandemann: [to Andrew Erskine] Andrew! It costs extra to carve "schmuck" on a tombstone, but you would definitely be worth the expense!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Sonata for Piano
Composed by Alberto Ginastera (as Ginastera)
Performed by Eduardo Delgado, piano
See more »

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User Reviews

A flawed movie with moments of greatness
10 August 2001 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

First the flaws: the extraneous characters of the various competitors are pretty blatant stereotypes, not offensive, but not particularly compelling either. The time spent on them would have been better spent on further development of the relationship between Paul (Richard Dreyfuss) and Heidi (Amy Irving) two pianists facing off in the same competition who fall in love while preparing for it. Secondly, the "contemporary" music...it was released in 1980, but all you hear in bars and at parties is disco music. It makes everything seem a little too quaint and cute to be real.

Moments of greatness: The clashes and arguments that ensue between Paul and Heidi make it obvious why they fall in love, but it happens very quickly. Which is fine in a standard romance, but that isn't what this movie is. These two people are complex individuals with various insecurities and desires that make the love story so great, so interesting and so real. But the ending feels strange...a lot happens before the film's resolution, and leaves me feeling that the characters haven't been explored enough. The movie's shining moment is during the second half of the competition, when Paul has already played and Heidi proceeds to blow him out of the water. Irving's performance onstage is totally convincing, and Dreyfuss conveys an incredible amount of emotion and intelligence simply in his reactions to the piece.

The tension here is incredible, and very, very real. A good movie--one that dares to show its characters in an unglamorous, real way few movies have


18 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
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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