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Shine (1996) More at IMDbPro »

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Shine -- This moving drama focuses on promising pianist David Helfgott's mental breakdown and re-emergence after a decade of total obscurity to find peace that drove him to the edge his music.
Shine -- 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.
Shine -- 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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Up 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jan Sardi (screenplay)
Scott Hicks (story)
View company contact information for Shine on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 February 1997 (USA) See more »
A true story of the mystery of music and the miracle of love See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 45 wins & 44 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the great biopics. See more (103 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Geoffrey Rush ... David Helfgott - Adult
Justin Braine ... Tony

Sonia Todd ... Sylvia

Chris Haywood ... Sam
Alex Rafalowicz ... David Helfgott - Child
Gordon Poole ... Eisteddfod Presenter

Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Peter

Nicholas Bell ... Ben Rosen
Danielle Cox ... Suzie - Child
Rebecca Gooden ... Margaret
Marta Kaczmarek ... Rachel
John Cousins ... Jim Minogue

Noah Taylor ... David Helfgott - Adolescent
Paul Linkson ... State Champion Announcer

Randall Berger ... Isaac Stern
Ian Welbourne ... Boy Next Door
Kelly Bottrill ... Louise - Baby
Beverley Vaughan ... Rabbi
Phyllis Burford ... Synagogue Secretary
Daphne Grey ... Society Hostess
Edwin Hodgeman ... Soviet Society Secretary

Googie Withers ... Katharine Susannah Prichard
Maria Dafnero ... Sonia
Reis Porter ... Postman
Stephen Sheehan ... Roger Woodward - Younger
Brenton Whittle ... Announcer
Marianna Doherty ... Suzie - Teenager
Camilla James ... Louise - Child

John Gielgud ... Cecil Parkes
David King ... Viney
Danny Davies ... Registrar
Helen Dowell ... Sarah
Louise Dorling ... Muriel
Sean Carlsen ... Student

Richard Hansell ... Ashley
Robert Hands ... Robert

Marc Warren ... Ray
Neil Thomson ... RCOM Conductor
Joey Kennedy ... Suzie - Adult
Ellen Cressey ... Nurse
Beverley Dunn ... Beryl Ascott
Andy Seymour ... Bar Customer

Lynn Redgrave ... Gillian

Ella Scott Lynch ... Jessica
Jethro Heysen-Hicks ... Rowan
John Martin ... Roger Woodward - Older
Bill Boyley ... Celebrant
Teresa La Rocca ... Opera Singer
Lindsey Day ... Opera Singer
Grant Doyle ... Opera Singer
Leah Jennings ... Musician
Kathy Monaghan ... Musician
Mark Lawrence ... Musician
Gordon Coombes ... Musician
Luke Dollman ... Musician
Margaret Stone ... Musician
Tom Carrig ... Musician
Helen Ayres ... Musician
Suzi Jarratt ... Vocalist
Samantha McDonald ... Vocalist
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Sandi Gardiner ... Restaurant Customer (uncredited)
Peter Osborn ... Priest (uncredited)
Louise Siversen ... Extra in Ballroom Scene (uncredited)

Directed by
Scott Hicks 
Writing credits
Jan Sardi (screenplay)

Scott Hicks (story)

Produced by
Jane Scott .... producer
Original Music by
David Hirschfelder 
Cinematography by
Geoffrey Simpson 
Film Editing by
Pip Karmel 
Production Design by
Vicki Niehus 
Art Direction by
Tony Cronin 
Costume Design by
Louise Wakefield 
Makeup Department
Sue Black .... makeup assistant: UK
Liz Dingle .... additional hair stylist
Liz Dingle .... additional makeup artist
Pamela Haddock .... makeup artist: UK
Rick Martin .... additional hair stylist
Rick Martin .... additional makeup artist
Fiona Rees-Jones .... additional hair stylist
Fiona Rees-Jones .... additional makeup artist
Lesley Vanderwalt .... makeup artist
Paul Williams .... hair stylist
Production Management
Peter Hoyland .... music production manager
Andrew Marshall .... unit manager
Elizabeth Symes .... production manager
Sylvia Walker-Wilson .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Guy Campbell .... second assistant director
Toby Coke .... third assistant director: UK
Carolynne Cunningham .... first assistant director
Henry Osborne .... second assistant director
Tom Read .... third assistant director
Stephen Woolfenden .... second assistant director: UK
Art Department
Michael Bartlett .... dressing props: UK (as Mike Bartlett)
Perscia Brokensha .... art department runner
Louise Cameron .... art department coordinator
Jacqui Canty .... art department attachment
Judy Farr .... property buyer: UK
Judy Farr .... set dresser: UK
Alastair Gow .... stand-by carpenter: UK (as Alistair Gow)
Jo Graysmark .... assistant art director: UK (as Johanna Graysmark)
John Haratzis .... scenic artist
Kevin Jarrett .... carpenter
Ben Johnson .... painter
Peter Looby .... stand-by prop: UK
Adam McCulloch .... draftsman
David McHenry .... art director: UK
Leroy Plummer .... stand-by props
Paul Purdy .... property master: UK
John Santucci .... painter
Andrew Short .... property buyer
Andrew Short .... set dresser
Brock Sykes .... greensman
Arthur Vette .... construction manager
Alicia Walsh .... property buyer
Alicia Walsh .... set dresser
Will Ayres .... dressing props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Martin Bayley .... assistant sound editor
Steve Burgess .... foley artist
Helen Field .... sound liaison
Jim Greenhorn .... sound recordist: UK
Toivo Lember .... sound recordist
Gerard Long .... foley artist
Scott Piper .... boom operator
Livia Ruzic .... dialogue editor
Roger Savage .... sound re-recording mixer
Joanne Stephens-Smith .... boom operator: UK
Gareth Vanderhope .... sound effects editor
Nick Roberts .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Ray Fowler .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Paul Cross .... optical effects
Roger Cowland .... visual effects (uncredited)
Richard Boué .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Arnold .... electrician: UK
Scott Brokate .... assistant grip
Tony Burns .... generator operator: UK (as Tony Burnes)
Jasmine Yuen Carrucan .... clapper loader (as Jasmine Carrucan)
John Donoghue .... gaffer: UK
Sally Eccleston .... focus puller
Warren Ewen .... best boy: UK (as Warren Ewan)
David Foreman .... camera operator: second unit
Sam Garwood .... Steadicam focus puller: UK
Werner Gerlach .... best boy
Jon Goldney .... key grip
Renee Hanna .... video split operator
Richard Anthony Hyde .... fourth electrician (as Richard Hyde)
Robertto Karas .... third electrician
Lorraine Luke .... clapper loader: UK
Alix Mumford .... camera trainee: UK
Jan Pester .... Steadicam operator: UK
Craig Philpott .... assistant camera: second unit
Barry Read .... grip: UK
Peter Santucci .... assistant grip
Graeme Shelton .... gaffer: second unit
Geoffrey Simpson .... camera operator
Andy Smith .... second electrician
Mark Tillie .... still photographer: UK
Lisa Tomasetti .... still photographer
Trevor Toune .... gaffer
David Dunkley .... underwater camera assistant (uncredited)
Philip Le Masurier .... special photographer (uncredited)
Gary Parnham .... rigging electrician: UK (uncredited)
Casting Department
Sharon Howard-Field .... casting: USA (as Sharon Howard Field)
Jan Killen .... extras casting
Karen Lindsay-Stewart .... casting: UK
Liz Mullinar .... casting: Australia
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Iona Kenrick .... wardrobe assistant: UK
Mariot Kerr .... costume assistant
Mariot Kerr .... cutter
Jeanette Luke .... costume assistant
Jenny Miles .... costume supervisor
Nina Parsons .... stand-by wardrobe
Jenny Ramos .... costume assistant
Ros Ward .... wardrobe supervisor: UK
Monica Willis .... costume assistant
Angela Winters .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Arthur Cambridge .... color grader: Atlab
Mark Ellis .... assistant film editor
Sue Nicola .... cutter
Rohan Wilson .... negative matcher
Music Department
Michael Costa .... assistant music editor
Ricky Edwards .... assistant musical director
Ricky Edwards .... musician: piano
Sandy Edwards .... music production assistant
Robin Gray .... additional music engineer
Kim Green .... source music clearances
David Helfgott .... musician: piano
Robert John .... orchestra leader
Michael Letho .... music mixing engineer
Stella O'Malley .... music production assistant
Adam Rhodes .... additional music engineer
Sam Schwarz .... music notation editor
David Williams .... additional music engineer
Christine Woodruff .... source music clearances
Ricky Edwards .... conductor (uncredited)
Ricky Edwards .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Jim Atkins .... driver: UK
Jon Blaikie .... action vehicle coordinator
Clive Randall .... driver: UK
Harry Smith .... unit driver: UK
John Smith .... unit driver: UK
Paul Thompson .... driver: UK
Paul Venezia .... driver: UK
Other crew
Lee Abberley .... stand-in: Mr. Taylor: UK
Sal Alba .... Yiddish advisor
Ian Anderson .... laboratory liaison
Hilary Benson .... production coordinator: UK
Jenny Bichard .... unit nurse
Maurice Burns .... location manager
Julie Byrne .... second assistant attachment
Lesley Campion .... cashier: UK
Vladimir Chishkovsky .... harpsichord technician
Ross Clunes .... studio technician
Martin Cousin .... hand double: Noah Taylor
Steve Crook .... psychiatric advisor
Rikke Dakin .... assistant location manager: UK
Christina Díaz Norman .... assistant to producer (as Christina Norman)
Cherry Fiddaman .... production accountant: UK
Rabbi Figdor .... advisor: bar mitzvah
Frederic N. Gaines .... lawyer: USA
Serena Gattuso .... production coordinator
Debbie Hanson .... unit assistant (as Deb Hanson)
Yiani Harpas .... stand-in: Master Rafalowicz
Tina Hennel .... unit assistant
Kerry Heysen .... creative consultant
Scott Heysen .... production runner
Charles Hubbard .... location manager: UK
Colleen Kennedy .... accounting assistant
Susanna Lenton .... continuity: UK
Paul Lightfoot .... unit assistant
Paul Linkson .... stand-in: Mr. Mueller-Stahl
John Macgregor .... story research and development
Tracey Mair .... publicist: Australia
Steve Marcus .... caterer
Ronald Markham .... stand-in: Sir John Gielgud, UK
Chris McGuire .... production accountant
Susie Menzies .... production secretary: UK
Josh Moore .... location assistant
Sara Morris .... production runner: UK
Heather Muirhead .... production secretary
Brent Ottley .... disklavier technician
Melinda Parker .... catering assistant
Carolyne Pool .... stand-in: Ms. Redgrave: UK
Paul Sarony .... production advisor: UK
Leilah Schubert .... third assistant attachment
Fiona Searson .... publicist: international
Greg Sitch .... lawyer: Australia
Sara Abel Smith .... stand-in: Ms. Redgrave
Peter Spaeth .... stand-in: Mr. Taylor
Simon Tedeschi .... hand double: Alex Rafalowicz
Bernadette Van Gyen .... safety reporter
Jo Weeks .... continuity
Alice Carrard .... thanks
David Helfgott .... thanks
Gillian Helfgott .... thanks
Brian Rosen .... thanks
Win Warren .... thanks
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for nudity/sensuality and intense thematic elements
105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Based on the life of pianist David Helfgott.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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 »
Peter:No-one will love you like me, no-one like me.See more »
Movie Connections:
Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 In C Sharp MinorSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
One of the great biopics., 23 July 2008
Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands

"Shine" is one of the great movies of the '90's, that became an unexpected success in 1996 and was the movie that earned Geoffrey Rush his as of yet only Oscar win and got the movie 6 more Oscar nominations, including best director and best picture.

The movie shows how Australian born David Helfgott gets formed and influenced in his early life by his demanding and abusive father (wonderfuly played by Armin Mueller-Stahl), who is in strict control of the family. He asks a lot from the already very unstable David and influences ever step in his life, probably also to make up for his own shortcomings in life. He's an unpredictable character with two faces and you can really feel the fear he puts in the family and David in particular. Things go worse and worse mentally for David as he grows up and eventually goes to study in England at the Royal College of Music. He has a breakdown which for once and for all definitely labels him as a psychotic man. His personality could definitely been described as crazy.

He gets perfectly and beautifully portrayed by Geoffrey Rush, who truly deserved the Oscar he received for his role. But in fact he is only in the movie for perhaps halve the running time. For "Shine" uses lots of flashbacks about Helfgott's early life and as a young adult, when he is being played by different actors. One of those actors is the know very well known Noah Taylor, who also plays the part fine. Also really impressive is Armin Mueller-Stahl. He doesn't usually have very big parts in English spoken movies but in this movie he plays one of his bigger and more interesting roles. It's a true memorable performance from him and he also truly deserved his Oscar nomination for this movie. I keep thinking it's a great shame he got discovered so late by the big-money movie industry, since he is already close to 80 by now, which should mean that his biggest and greatest roles should already be behind him by now. But who knows, some actors just go on forever, till a very old age. Take for instance John Gielgud, who also stars in this movie. At the time he was already well over 90 years old and he would continue to play on in many more great and big productions, till his death in 2000. Some actors are just truly born as actors. It simply is in their blood and they can't stop playing.

Moments in Helfgott's life are never portrayed too long but also never too short. This means that the story always comes right to the point and doesn't dance around it. The movie becomes very effective because of this and on top of that gets presented with a good steady pace. It's a reason why this movie is really one of the better autobiographic movies ever made. It's a really great directed and told movie, from Scott Hicks.

But of course like every good biopic, the movie doesn't only presents facts and some things are altered, in order to enhance the movie and its story or characters. For instance right after this movie the real Helfgott became a true full God, while in all honesty David Helfgott is a great piano player but just not the genius one as portrayed in this movie. It's kind of like the piano man. The mysterious mute man who was found in Kent England in 2005. It was said he was a brilliant piano player, while in fact he just simply knew how to play a piano well but was by no means a great or professional player. Just like David Helfgott, it are just the unusual circumstances and character personalities that makes people say they are geniuses, rather than it's an objective reflection of their actual qualities. But like I said, this isn't anything unusual to do for a biopic, to play around a little with the facts and it certainly is no objection when it actually enhances the movie. "Shine" truly benefits from its approach and story.

I also enjoyed David Hirschfelder nice little musical score (also Oscar-nominated). Of course the movie also benefits from it's classical compositions that are being featured. It's of course a very musical movie, since it's about the life of a musician but you really don't need a classic musical lover to enjoy or to appreciate this movie though.

The movie ends quite abrupt and perhaps not satisfying enough but this is of course simply due to the fact that David Helfgot is still alive and active today. Who knows, perhaps they could had better waited for another 30 years to come up with a movie about his life, for who knows what more strange and beautiful moments his life shall know.

Perhaps it's not the most stylish or greatest made movie but the combination of the interesting unique story, pace and main character (and of course Geoffrey Rush his performance of him) are what makes this movie such a basically flawless (you simply just forgive the movie for its flaws and shortcomings while you're watching it) and captivating one to watch.


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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Did anyone else think this question sounded strange? richardbeirne
Was That Julian Fellowes with John Gielgud? film_ophile
Perfect example of why parents suck voidmind
Best actor to Rush... FattyTuna
Rushs Oscar tonyrockafeller
This is by far the best movie I ever seen. tbatbchar
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