6.6/10
1,721
31 user 9 critic

The Competition (1980)

The movie centers on a piano competition whose winner is assured of success. It is Paul's last chance to compete, but newcomer Heidi may be a better pianist. Can romance be far away? Will ... See full summary »

Director:

Joel Oliansky

Writers:

Joel Oliansky (screenplay), Joel Oliansky (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A new transfer student to St. Basil's Boys' Prep School tries to fit in while romantically pursuing a troubled young girl.

Director: Michael Dinner
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Andrew McCarthy, John Heard
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being dumped by her live-in boyfriend, an unemployed dancer and her 10-year-old daughter are reluctantly forced to live with a struggling off-Broadway actor.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings
Inside Moves (1980)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a failed suicide attempt leaves him partially crippled, Roary begins spending a lot of time at a neighborhood bar full of interesting misfits. When Jerry the bartender suddenly finds ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: John Savage, David Morse, Diana Scarwid
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's high-school bands contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance they meet Paul Whiteman in person and are ... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
Peyton Place (1957)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A peaceful New England town hides secrets and scandals.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Lana Turner, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

On Christmas Eve, a struggling Hollywood scriptwriter receives a very unexpected present: juvenile delinquent Susan Landis.

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Dick Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Anne Francis
Girl Crazy (1943)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Rich kid Danny Churchill (Rooney) has a taste for wine, women and song, but not for higher education. So his father ships him to an all-male college out West where there's not supposed to ... See full summary »

Directors: Norman Taurog, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton
Tin Men (1987)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A minor car accident drives two rival aluminum-siding salesmen to the ridiculous extremes of man versus man in 1963 Baltimore.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Danny DeVito, Barbara Hershey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands - but she does not say which one.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A dissolute matinee idol is slated to appear on a live TV variety show.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Andy has problems raising the last payment for a used car and juggling three pretty girls with an upcoming country club dance scheduled.

Director: George B. Seitz
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Lewis Stone
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Paul Dietrich
Amy Irving ... Heidi Joan Schoonover
Lee Remick ... Greta Vandemann
Sam Wanamaker ... Andrew Erskine
Joseph Cali ... Jerry DiSalvo
Ty Henderson Ty Henderson ... Michael Humphries
Vicki Kriegler Vicki Kriegler ... Tatjana Baronova
Adam Stern Adam Stern ... Mark Landau
Philip Sterling ... Mr. Dietrich
Gloria Stroock ... Mrs. Dietrich
Bea Silvern Bea Silvern ... Madame Gorshev
James Sikking ... Brudenell (as James B. Sikking)
Delia Salvi Delia Salvi ... Mrs. DiSalvo
Jimmy Sturtevant ... Vinnie DiSalvo
Kathy Talbot Kathy Talbot ... Denise DiSalvo
Edit

Storyline

The movie centers on a piano competition whose winner is assured of success. It is Paul's last chance to compete, but newcomer Heidi may be a better pianist. Can romance be far away? Will she take a dive despite the pressure to win from her teacher, Greta, or will she condemn Paul to obscurity? Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Tears on my boobs, great country-western standards. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La competición See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,163, 7 December 1980

Gross USA:

$14,287,755

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,287,755
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rastar Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer William Sackheim said of the film's writer-director Joel Oliansky: "No writer I know devotes more energy to research than Joel. He's like a sponge. He absorbs every minute detail of a subject." Typical of Oliansky's approach is a scene in which the six musicians choose the pianos they will play during the finals. Heidi passively makes her selection and is assured the instrument will be tuned prior to her performance. She questions whether it will also be voiced and the answer is a flat no. Paul is furious on Heidi's behalf. "What the hell is the good of tuning a piano if you don't voice it?", he storms. "It will be hopeless by intermission". The scene not only mirrors the deepening feeling between the rivals, Sackheim points out, but also the depth of Oliansky's research. "Voicing a piano.bringing the sound levels into balance, is precisely what would drive someone like Paul, with so much at stake, berserk. But who would know that except a trained musician or a hell of a well-researched writer?". See more »

Goofs

Music for piano four-hands, that is two pianists playing at the same piano, is often printed with the two parts on different pages. The "primo" (top) is on the right pages, and the "secondo" (bottom) is on the left pages. So the two players of that Mozart sonata would not be looking at the same place. See more »

Quotes

Heidi Joan Schoonover: Teardrops on my boobs - great country-western standard.
See more »

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 31 minutes from this film for its 1985 network television premiere See more »


Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major
Composed by Sergei Prokofiev (as Prokofiev)
Performed by Daniel Pollack, piano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Romance and rivalry between two classical pianists
12 May 2006 | by roghacheSee all my reviews

It's been quite a few years since I've seen this movie so forget all the details, but remember it more as an engrossing character study than a romance...and all with the added attraction of the classical piano context. The story is set at a prestigious piano competition in San Francisco. Paul is considered an older contestant at age 25. This is his last chance for a prestigious win that will spare him a teaching career and also please the father who is so proud of his son. Heidi is the lovely young newcomer virtuoso who poses his major competition. Winning is much more crucial here to Paul than to Heidi. Not unexpectedly, romantic feelings develop between the two rivals, who must both strive to be at their peak for the competition performances.

The lead roles are well cast with Richard Dreyfuss portraying the talented but desperate musician, Paul, and Amy Irving his gifted & more relaxed competitor, Heidi. I was impressed at the finger synching method used during the piano performances. Though not a musician myself, it seemed convincing to me that these actors were actually playing the pieces. I've remembered all these years that it was a Prokofiev Concerto that Heidi played so brilliantly. Lee Remick is Heidi's teacher, Gretchen, a possessive and demanding taskmaster who naturally does not approve of the budding romance.

The movie is not limited simply to rivals Paul and Heidi, but an assortment of other admittedly rather stereotypical competitors are also featured. This is a drama depicting in general the tension, rivalry, ambition, disappointment & triumph of high stakes competition, whatever the field. Therefore, the themes are something a lot of viewers, even non musicians, can relate to in one way or another. Of course there is a question of potential sacrifice here, as these two competitors have fallen in love. Whatever the chemistry between Paul & Heidi, the romance itself is quite forgettable. The fierce competition rivalry and the backdrop of classical piano are the memorable elements that distinguish this film from all the other love stories out there. This is a must see movie for pianists and indeed all classical music lovers.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed