IMDb > Shine (1996)
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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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7.7/10   40,369 votes »
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Up 1% 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 & 43 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Powerful film See more (104 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?

Breakthrough film role of Australian actor Geoffrey Rush.See more »
Factual errors: The character shows all signs of schizophrenia; not bipolar disorder (formerly known as "manic-depressive disorder"), as is claimed in the film. The real David Helfgott likewise displays many symptoms of schizophrenia and none of bipolar disorder.See more »
Gillian:How do you feel?
David:I'm shocked, stunned and amazed.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Appassionata Sonata, No. 23 In F Minor, Opus 57See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Powerful film, 3 April 2009
Author: blanche-2 from United States

"Shine" purports to tell the story of David Helfgott (Geoffrey Rush, who plays the adult Helfgott), a promising pianist who overcame mental illness, with the help of his wife, and returned to performing.

The 1996 film is actually a fictionalized version of Helfgott's life - but even had it not been based on a true story, it remains a powerful, intriguing film.

David is the child of German émigrés who now live in Australia. His father Peter (Armin Mueller-Stahl) is a self-taught pianist who teaches David his same love of piano and classical music. There is love there, but as portrayed in the movie, Peter is a rigid man who gives his son mixed signals. He drives his son to succeed as a pianist, teaching him that winning is everything, and yet, when David has opportunities that would take him away from the family, Peter won't permit it. The reason for this is that Peter and his wife lost relatives in the Holocaust. Peter is also given to physical abuse toward David when he loses his temper.

David finally gets away from him and attends the Royal Conservatory in London, where, with the help of his teacher (John Gielgud), he wins an important competition but then suffers a severe nervous breakdown. The rest of the movie deals with the road back, which leads him home to Australia and to his wife, Gillian. Gillian is actually his second wife, though the first marriage isn't mentioned in the film.

The dominant performances belong to Rush and Mueller-Stahl. Rush does a brilliant job of showing us the likable but stuttering David who speaks rapidly and repetitively, expressing himself through music. Mueller-Stahl as the tortured Peter is fabulous, a man who is both monstrous and pitiable. In a small role, John Gielgud of course makes a fine impression as an elderly teacher, a wonderful pianist himself, who believes in David's talent.

The best scene is David playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #3 - Helfgott's own recording of the piece is used - and the aftermath. What I missed in this film is music - there was a lot of talk about David's promise, but until the Rachmaninoff not much playing.

Helfgott's work today has been deeply criticized for being - well, lousy. A review in The New York Times of one of his concerts is horrible. The reviewer, however, mentions that Helfgott occasionally showed vestiges of excellent technique. I think it's safe to assume that his playing nowadays is more erratic than it was in his earlier years. There are several examples of Helfgott's playing in the movie: "La Campanella," "Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 In C Sharp Minor," "Flight of the Bumble Bee," Rachmaninoff's "Prelude In C Sharp Minor, Opus 3, No. 2," the previously mentioned Rachmaninoff 3, and Liszt's "Sospiro," and it is all quite stunning. Rush does the fingerings himself. One of the comments also claims that Helfgott's wife has Helfgott perform on no medication so that he'll seem crazy - it's common for performers on medication for mental problems to have to cycle off of it before performing. I don't think the commenter has any idea what Helfgot is like on his medication - certainly in the film, he acts strangely.

"Shine" is highly recommended for its fantastic performances, beautiful music, and its inspiring story.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Shine (1996)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
This is by far the best movie I ever seen. tbatbchar
Re: Places you cried in the movie chocoholic_00
Was the father there? (POSSIBLE SPOILERS) rpk59
The film is a big fat lie! critiquer
Rushs Oscar tonyrockafeller
The father was crazy... richardbeirne
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