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Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

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(screenplay), (story)
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4,627 ( 351)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 44 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Justin Braine ...
Tony
...
Sylvia
...
Sam
Alex Rafalowicz ...
Gordon Poole ...
Eisteddfod Presenter
...
...
Ben Rosen
Danielle Cox ...
Suzie - Child
Rebecca Gooden ...
Margaret
Marta Kaczmarek ...
Rachel
John Cousins ...
Jim Minogue
...
Paul Linkson ...
State Champion Announcer
...
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Storyline

Based on the true story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, this delightful movie charts the traumatic early years through adulthood. Telling the story in flashback we see David as a child prodigy and as he grows up while his patriarchal father abuses him and his siblings with the memory of his childhood in Europe and the loss of his family in the concentration camps. David finally breaks away from his father and goes away to study overseas, he later suffers a breakdown and returns to Australia and a life in an institution. Many years later he is released and through several twists of fate (in reality even more unlikely than film portrays) he starts playing a piano in a bar before finally returning to the concert hall. Written by randbanks@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A father whose life was his family. A son whose music was his life. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity/sensuality and intense thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Claroscuro  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$162,179 (USA) (22 November 1996)

Gross:

$35,811,509 (USA) (30 May 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Geoffrey Rush and John Gielgud; and two Oscar nominees: Armin Mueller-Stahl and Lynn Redgrave. See more »

Goofs

The mezzuzah, a Jewish religious scroll attached to a home's door posts, on Ben Rosen's home is angled the wrong way; it should be angled toward the entrance of the home. See more »

Quotes

Cecil Parkes: The page! For God's sake, the notes!
Peter Helfgott: I'm sorry sir, I keep forgetting the notes.
Cecil Parkes: Will it be asking too much to learn them first?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Himself: hand double for Geoffrey Rush See more »

Connections

Referenced in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: The Wrap Party (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude in D flat major, Opus 28 No.15
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

Who Knew That Playing a Piano Could Be So Much Work?
25 June 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Shine" is a pure joy to behold. Produced in Australia, it tells the true story of piano prodigy David Helfgott. Helfgott suffered a major nervous breakdown on the threshold of an imminently great career. The story shows him through a psychologically trying childhood, to his teenage years when he perfected his skills, to a stay in a mental asylum, and his subsequent return to stardom. Noah Taylor and Geoffrey Rush (in a well-deserved Oscar-winning turn) played Helfgott during his teenage and adult years. Armin Mueller-Stahl is also excellent as the abusive father (in an Oscar-nominated performance). However, the film stalls on several occasions. This is bad considering that the film is only 1 hour and 45 minutes long. Lynn Redgrave's role is terrible, she is totally wrong for this film. "Shine" is a prime example of a near miss. The film is very good in almost all aspects, but these problems keep "Shine" from being the masterpiece it should have been. 4 out of 5 stars.


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