7.6/10
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258 user 83 critic

The Piano (1993)

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A mute woman is sent to 1850s New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.

Director:

Jane Campion

Writer:

Jane Campion
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Popularity
2,664 ( 40)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 60 wins & 56 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Holly Hunter ... Ada
Harvey Keitel ... Baines
Sam Neill ... Stewart
Anna Paquin ... Flora
Kerry Walker Kerry Walker ... Aunt Morag
Geneviève Lemon Geneviève Lemon ... Nessie (as Genevieve Lemon)
Tungia Baker Tungia Baker ... Hira
Ian Mune ... Reverend
Peter Dennett Peter Dennett ... Head Seaman
Te Whatanui Skipwith Te Whatanui Skipwith ... Chief Nihe
Pete Smith ... Hone
Bruce Allpress ... Blind Piano Tuner
Cliff Curtis ... Mana
Carla Rupuha Carla Rupuha ... Heni (Mission Girl)
Mahina Tunui Mahina Tunui ... Mere (Mission Girl)
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Storyline

It is the mid-nineteenth century. Ada cannot speak and she has a young daughter, Flora. In an arranged marriage she leaves her native Scotland accompanied by her daughter and her beloved piano. Life in the rugged forests of New Zealand's North Island is not all she may have imagined and nor is her relationship with her new husband Stewart. She suffers torment and loss when Stewart sells her piano to a neighbor, George. Ada learns from George that she may earn back her piano by giving him piano lessons, but only with certain other conditions attached. At first Ada despises George but slowly their relationship is transformed and this propels them into a dire situation. Written by Patrick Dominick <ptd@ccadfa.cc.adfa.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for moments of extremely graphic sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Release Date:

11 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Piano See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$40,158,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play performed in the movie is an adaptation of "Bluebeard", which is a French fairy tale recorded by Charles Perrault about a man who marries, kills his wives after they fail a test, stashes their bodies in a small chamber, then marries again. In the original story, the main character (Bluebeard's current wife) escapes her psychopathic husband and finds happiness elsewhere. See more »

Goofs

When the boat leaves the island, Ada trails her hand in the water, which is still and calm. On long shots, it is foaming from the action of the oars, and the boat on the water. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ada: The voice you hear is not my speaking voice - -but my mind's voice. I have not spoken since I was six years old. No one knows why - -not even me. My father says it is a dark talent, and the day I take it into my head to stop breathing will be my last. Today he married me to a man I have not yet met. Soon my daughter and I shall join him in his own country. My husband writes that my muteness does not bother him - and hark this! He says, "God loves dumb creatures, so why not I?" '...
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Connections

Referenced in The Phantom of the Opera (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Delft Waltz
Michael Nyman
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Is there something I'm not getting?
14 December 2008 | by leewatts1See all my reviews

A vaguely pornographic account of a love triangle between three completely repellent people. The woman hasn't spoken in years, but is absolutely obsessed with her piano, seeming to care more about it than about any living person. Her emotions are expressed in either childish outbursts or soft caresses, depending on what point the filmmakers want to make. The husband himself is clearly SUPPOSED to be repellent. We know this because he combs his hair, because he doesn't hold much stock in Aboriginal superstition, and because . . . well, I don't know, just because the movie needs an annoying white guy so it can argue that it's bad to discriminate against people. The love interest, meanwhile, is downright creepy, lying under the piano and looking up the woman's skirt, but he's apparently supposed to be cool and dashing. And don't get me started on the Aborigines, at once held up as trophies of natural living and made "exotic" in a manner that mostly involves making them seem stupid. I confess I cannot figure out what anyone could have liked about this film.


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