Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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)
4,876 ( 598)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 44 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Piano (1993)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A mute woman is sent to 1850s New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.

Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A scheming widow and her manipulative ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer
The Player (1992)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Hollywood studio executive is being sent death threats by a writer whose script he rejected - but which one?

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward
Quills (2000)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In a Napoleonic era insane asylum, an inmate, the irrepressible Marquis De Sade, fights a battle of wills against a tyrannically prudish doctor.

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years leading up to World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty was to his lordly employer.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, John Haycraft
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

HELLO I AM DAVID! is a journey into the world of the outstanding pianist David Helfgott whose life inspired the OSCAR-winning film 'Shine'

Director: Cosima Lange
Stars: David Helfgott, Gillian Helfgott, Matthias Foremny
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a underprivileged white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan
My Left Foot (1989)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan
Quiz Show (1994)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young lawyer, Richard Goodwin, investigates a potentially fixed game show. Charles Van Doren, a big time show winner, is under Goodwin's investigation.

Director: Robert Redford
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, John Turturro, Rob Morrow
Scarface (1932)
Certificate: Passed Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson
Stars: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe
Misunderstood (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Andrew's brave front convinces his father that he is unaffected by his mother's death. Playmate and protector of his little brother Miles, he is often blamed when mischief goes wrong. Only ... See full summary »

Director: Luigi Comencini
Stars: Anthony Quayle, Stefano Colagrande, Simone Giannozzi


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


As a child piano prodigy, David Helfgott's musical ambitions generate friction with his overbearing father, Peter. When Helfgott travels to London on a musical scholarship, his career as a pianist blossoms. However, the pressures of his newfound fame, coupled with the echoes of his tumultuous childhood, conspire to bring Helfgott's latent schizophrenia boiling to the surface, and he spends years in and out of various mental institutions. Written by Jwelch5742

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?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


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


David: It's a tough game, isn't it Roger?
Roger: It's a bloodsport.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Himself: hand double for Geoffrey Rush See more »


Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Memo to the Academy - 1997 (1997) See more »


Piano Concerto No 3 In D Minor, Opus 30
Composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Arranged by David Hirschfelder
Performed by David Helfgott
© PolyGram Music Publishing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

excellent film, good in all departments, seriously moving
23 October 2000 | by (Devizes, England) – See all my reviews

This is a good film in every sense but will mean most to fathers with strong views :).

The story of a brilliant young pianist whose relationship with his father drives him to some sort of mental illness. Watchable, absorbing, brilliantly edited, deeply seriously moving, one of the rare films that pays attention to incidental sound. Wonderful direction and acting. This is a seriously good film.

39 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The film is a big fat lie! critiquer
Rushs Oscar tonyrockafeller
Perfect example of why parents suck voidmind
David Helfgott, a musician. Your cup of tea? polarrr_bear
Best actor to Rush... FattyTuna
Nicole Kidman vali_bm11
Discuss Shine (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: