6.7/10
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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 »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La competición See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The link between music and temperament determined the six concerti which the finalists would perform. The selection, including Concerto #5 in E Flat Major, Opus 73, "The Emperor" by Beethoven (Dreyfuss), Piano Concerto #3 in C Major, Opus 26 by Prokofiev (Irving), Concerto 4f1 in E Flat Major by Lizst (Stern), Concerto #1 in E Minor, Opus 11 by Chopin (Henderson), Concerto #1 in D Minor, Opus 15 by Brahms (Kreigler) and Concerto #2 in G Minor, Opus 22 by St. Saens (Cali), was made by musical director Lalo Schifrin who then took on the monumental task of abridging each work. See more »

Goofs

The piano fingering is often out of sync with the music, especially during Heidi's performance of Prokofiev's 3rd. See more »

Quotes

Greta Vandemann: [Referring to the piano] That is your first husband, that, you... you marry it the way a nun marries Jesus. You cleave to it, because it gives your life a center that no man... that very few men can possibly give you, least of all a rival for the thing your life is centered on.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
The definitive motion picture about classical pianists for me.
27 November 2001 | by roger.nelsonSee all my reviews

The Competition (1980)

The Main Cast:

Richard Dreyfuss (Paul Dietrich) Amy Irving (Heidi Joan Schoonover) Lee Remick (Greta Vandemann)

Two concert pianists, played by Richard Dreyfuss and Amy Irving, fall in love at a prestigeous competition they are finalists in, but there is much more to the story than that. The film gives an insight as to what takes place in those competitions during which the participants must be aware of and protect themselves from the "competitive edge" of the other pianists. The acting by the entire cast and the directing is exceptional, but what is more exceptional than that is the fingersynching of the actors while appearing to actually play the piano. The late Lee Remick is outstanding as Amy Irving's teacher. A thoroughly enjoyable film with great acting, script, direction and music. A tip of the hat should go to Jean Evensen Shaw and her assistant Dorothy Hull for tutoring the actors about where, when and how to place their fingers on the keyboard. But, since nothing is ever perfect, I can still imagine James Mason, who wasn't in the movie, rapping the knuckles of a few of the pianists because of poor hand position. Richard Dreyfuss was the worst. Amy Irving was perfect! She had her hands always above the keys and did a stellar job of fingersynching the playing of Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto #3, which is actually played by Daniel Pollack. The 5 minutes and 25 seconds Amy Irving spent at the piano during the performance of that piece was one of the highlights of the film. I can't praise this film too highly. However, the end left something to be desired, although not as much as one would think. But I would be remiss in my praise if I didn't at least give the lion's share of the credit to Joel Oliansky for all the hard work he and his crew put into the making of this film and getting it to the public.


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