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The Pianist (2002)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, War  |  28 March 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 453,736 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 752 user | 192 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.



(screenplay), (book)
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Top Rated Movies #42 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 50 wins & 61 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nomi Sharron ...
Anthony Milner ...
Lucy Skeaping ...
Street Musician (as Lucie Skeaping)
Roddy Skeaping ...
Street Musician
Ben Harlan ...
Street Musician


A brilliant pianist, a Polish Jew, witnesses the restrictions Nazis place on Jews in the Polish capital, from restricted access to the building of the Warsaw ghetto. As his family is rounded up to be shipped off to the Nazi labor camps, he escapes deportation and eludes capture by living in the ruins of Warsaw. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Music was his passion. Survival was his masterpiece.


Biography | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Pianist  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,949,422 (France) (27 September 2002)


$32,519,322 (USA) (30 May 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:



(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Roman Polanski's daughter, Morgane Polanski, has a small role role in the movie as a young girl. See more »


When Szpilman crawls past the woman who was shot in the back and died kneeling in front of the hospital, before she reached the staircase, she has moved in front of the stairs. See more »


[first lines]
Dorota: [running from bombing] Mr. Szpilman?
Wladyslaw Szpilman: Hello.
Dorota: Oh, I came specially to meet you. I love your playing.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: Who are you?
Dorota: My name is Dorota. I, I'm Jurek's sister... You're bleeding.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Aside from the Universal and Focus Features credits, there are no opening credits. All credits, including the title, appear at the end of the film. See more »


References To Be or Not to Be (1942) See more »


Tantz, Tantz Yidelekh
Arranged by Roddy Skeaping
Performed by The Burning Bush
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

terrific movie, if relentlessly gritty and realistic
7 April 2005 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing "Schindler's list" about ten years ago, and I remember how weird I felt for being almost completely unmoved by it. Although it showed the horrors of holocaust quite realistically, somehow it all seemed just a bit too fake and exaggerated. Characters were a bit off (I still can't decide who was more over the top, Schindler or Goeth), fake sentimentalism was all over the place, . While it was a work of art and an important reminder of true events that shouldn't be forgotten, on emotional level it just somehow failed to deliver.

Enter "The Pianist". With no Spielberg around to put his trademark sappy material, we finally have a movie that shows the true horror and tragedy of Jewish people in World War II. The story is told through the eyes of one man - Wladislaw Szpielman, Jewish pianist who works in a radio station in Warsaw during the German occupation of Poland. Together with him we watch his world getting torn apart, witness his family being taken away, his existence being reduced to bare essentials. Brody gives a subtle yet spectacular performance, his best work yet. And never once are we reminded that we are watching a movie. Everything is shown from Szpielman's point of view, and it is all very gritty and realistic. While Spielberg's rendition of German atrocities always had a slightly staged feel to augment their dramatic purpose, here they are so true to life there impact is much greater - you watch and are being reminded in horror that this things actually happened.

While being very hard to watch sometimes, this is a movie that "Schindler's List" was supposed to be. This movie doesn't judge anybody, or tries to explain anything - it shows historical events as a reflection of one man's fate, making a powerful testimony that stays with you long after the beautiful last shot and the end credits are over.

149 of 202 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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