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The Pianist (2002) Poster

(2002)

Trivia

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During the shooting of the movie, while scouting locations in Krakow, Roman Polanski met a man who had helped Polanski's family survive the war.
Roman Polanski himself experienced the Holocaust. His parents were sent to two different concentration camps: his father to Mauthausen-Gusen in Austria, where he survived the war, and his mother to Auschwitz where she was murdered.
Adrien Brody became the youngest person to date to win an Academy Award for Best Actor when he won for this film at the age of 29.
In order to connect with the feeling of loss required to play the role, Adrien Brody got rid of his apartment, sold his car, and didn't watch television.
This is the first film ever to receive the Best Film Award at the Césars (France's national film award) with not a single word of French spoken in it.
"Szpilman" is the Polish phonetic spelling of the German word/name "Spielmann", meaning bandsman or minstrel, hence Hosenfeld's remark that it is a "good name for a pianist."
The scene in which Wladyslaw Szpilman is saved from going to the concentration camps and is told "Don't run!" is inspired by a similar event in director Roman Polanski's life.
Adrien Brody lost 14 kg (31 lb) for the role of Wladyslaw Szpilman by eating a daily diet of two boiled eggs and green tea for breakfast, a little chicken for lunch, and a small piece of fish or chicken with steamed vegetables for dinner over a six week period. Initially his weight was 73 kg (161 lb).
The film is based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman. The director Roman Polanski tried to make the film as faithful of an adaptation as possible, with additional inspiration coming from events that happened to him while he was a boy during the war.
Daniel Szpilman, the real grandson of the main character Wladyslaw Szpilman, plays the part of the boy in the ghetto (on the market place and later again on the Umschlagplatz).
The music played for the German officer in the film was actually an edit of Frédéric Chopin's Ballade No.1 in G Minor, (Op. 23, No. 1). In real life, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne No.1 in C# Minor.
Over 1,400 actors auditioned for the role of Wladyslaw Szpilman at a casting call in London. Unsatisfied with all who tried, director Roman Polanski sought to cast Adrien Brody, who he saw as ideal for the role during their first meeting in Paris, around the time Brody was shooting The Affair of the Necklace (2001).
Proceeds from the Amsterdam, Netherlands premiere were donated to the Anne Frank House.
Jurek's voice is dubbed by Roman Polanski.
Adrien Brody and Marion Cotillard are the only actors to win both a César and an Oscar for the same performance. Brody won both awards in 2003 for 'The Pianist' and Cotillard won in 2008 for La Vie en Rose (2007). Brody is also the only american actor to win a César.
Production of the film was stopped and delayed for one day following the death of associate producer Rainer Schaper. The film was dedicated to him.
Adrien Brody and Marcia Gay Harden are the only actors to win an Oscar without being awarded for the same performance in none of its predecessor awards (Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA). Harden was not even nominated for those awards for her performance in Pollock (2000).
Lew Rywin (the producer) was supposed to play the "Customer with Coins" who quiets Szpilman in restaurant. Because of Rywin's unexpected sunburn, the role was eventually given to Zbigniew Zamachowski.
This was Cyril Shaps' final acting role before his death on January 1, 2003 at the age of 79.
Roman Polanski provides the voice of the man waiting to cross the street who complains about a Gentile street running through the ghetto.
Chosen by "Telerama" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2002 (#06)
Director Roman Polanski considers this his best film. At the end of the documentary Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011), interviewer Andrew Braunsberg asks him which of his own films he believes to be absolutely perfect, and wouldn't change a frame if he could. To this, Polanski replies: "If any film cannisters were to be placed on my grave, I'd like them to be The Pianist's".

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

A nuance for those who don't speak German: In general, the German officers use the informal version of "you" ("du," etc.) when talking to the Jews, which reflects their views (you wouldn't talk to adult strangers that way); however, Hosenfeld (the officer who discovers Wladyslaw Szpilman in hiding) always uses the proper formal form ("Sie," etc.) because of the way he personally feels.
The music playing out of the truck toward the end of the film is the Polish National Anthem, which is why Wladyslaw Szpilman knows he is safe.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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