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The Piano (1993)

R  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  11 February 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 60,569 users   Metascore: 89/100
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A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.



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Won 3 Oscars. Another 66 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kerry Walker ...
Aunt Morag
Geneviève Lemon ...
Nessie (as Genevieve Lemon)
Tungia Baker ...
Ian Mune ...
Peter Dennett ...
Head Seaman
Te Whatanui Skipwith ...
Chief Nihe
Pete Smith ...
Blind Piano Tuner
Carla Rupuha ...
Heni - Mission Girl
Mahina Tunui ...
Mere - Mission Girl


It is the mid-nineteenth century. Ada is a mute who has a young daughter, Flora. In an arranged marriage she leaves her native Scotland accompanied by her daughter and her beloved piano. Life in the rugged forests of New Zealand's North Island is not all she may have imagined and nor is her relationship with her new husband Stewart. She suffers torment and loss when Stewart sells her piano to a neighbour, George. Ada learns from George that she may earn back her piano by giving him piano lessons, but only with certain other conditions attached. At first Ada despises George but slowly their relationship is transformed and this propels them into a dire situation. Written by Patrick Dominick <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for moments of extremely graphic sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


Release Date:

11 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Piano  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,301,338 (UK) (10 December 1993)


£3,512,343 (UK) (4 February 1994)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jane Campion became the first woman to win the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival with this film, though she was unable to receive the award in person as she was due to give birth. See more »


Ada writes a note to George on a piano key, but earlier George had told her that he can't read. See more »


[first lines]
Ada: The voice you hear is not my speaking voice - -but my mind's voice. I have not spoken since I was six years old. No one knows why - -not even me. My father says it is a dark talent, and the day I take it into my head to stop breathing will be my last. Today he married me to a man I have not yet met. Soon my daughter and I shall join him in his own country. My husband writes that my muteness does not bother him - and hark this! He says, "God loves dumb creatures, so why not I?" '...
See more »


Referenced in Dog Park (1998) See more »


The Flowers of the Forest
Written by Jane Elliot
Performed by Anna Paquin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

the heart asks pleasure first...
21 September 2006 | by (France,Paris) – See all my reviews

Can someone explain to me why "The Piano" ain't in the IMDb top 250 and, for example, movies like "Sin City" or "Crash" (!!!!!!!!!!) are????????????? This movie,is,by far, one of the most delicate and intelligent ever; it softly touches you, emotionally AND physically, for the filming and the photography are exceptional. Actors in it are troubling, beautiful and so... beautiful(again,i know)! Holly Hunter, who plays a mute piano goddess and manages with her not enough known acting skills to express more with her eyes,her grace and her tiny hands than 100 Gwyneth paltrows put together!!!(no offense,i much enjoyed Shakespeare in love,but,come on...)Harvey Keitel in this broken-hearted warrior/peasant role is more than touching;love embraces him as it embraces us,viewers. Still, Jane Campion avoids the unfortunately fashionable arrogant and tutorial directors touch (oscar for best movie, Crash?????? where the hell are we??????) and lets the viewer flow on his own in this huge ocean of naked and oh so true feelings and respects the pain and/or the anger (Sam Neil,probably the only role in his carrier that shows his great talent) of her clearly beloved characters.Landscapes,seashores,humid forests,mud,rain: nature, as well as human nature, are captured by Campion's eyes and heart in the most sensitive and unartificial way. And, of course, Michael Nyman's score,which, once heard, becomes a part of you. Yes, definitely, the heart asks pleasure first. So treat your hearts and eyes with this unique and sensual Chef d'oeuvre.

23 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Unflattering portrayal of Maoris? MisterDalliman
yuck sayawkimy
This movie is CREEPY hoot-16
Things You Didn't Notice Until Multiple Viewings of The Piano kathgray_k
WHY MARRY grace194
Who Tuned the Piano? lexnlido2
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