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Shine (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  14 February 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 41,357 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 104 user | 72 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

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.



(screenplay), (story)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 42 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


A true story of the mystery of music and the miracle of love See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Claroscuro  »

Box Office


$5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$35,811,509 (USA) (30 May 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dustin Hoffman expressed interest in playing David Helfgott, as his music and life story have both moved him. See more »


Aluminium roller shutters on the Helfgott family home. See more »


Cecil Parkes: You must play as if there's no tomorrow.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Himself: hand double for Geoffrey Rush See more »


Featured in 20 to 1: Great Aussie Movies (2006) See more »


Gloria, rv 589
Composed by Antonio Vivaldi
Arranged by David Hirschfelder & Ricky Edwards
© PolyGram Music Publishing/Mushroom Music
See more »

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User Reviews

What a difference a 2nd viewing makes
17 August 2001 | by (Korea) – See all my reviews

I don't now why but when I first viewed this a few years back I did not care for it, but after watching it again I was very impressed. Maybe because I have grown more of an appreciation for classical music in that timeframe. I really don't understand how I could have missed the outstanding portrayal of the nuturing/stultifying father-son relationship, or the moving way that David can only express himself via the piano (notice how he speaks in virtually only apothems). This is a very great film.

27 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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