7.6/10
77,968
270 user 93 critic

The Piano (1993)

Trailer
1:32 | Trailer
In the mid-19th century, a mute woman is sent to 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
2,576 ( 298)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 61 wins & 56 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Holly Hunter ... Ada McGrath
Harvey Keitel ... George Baines
Sam Neill ... Alisdair Stewart
Anna Paquin ... Flora McGrath
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only Best Picture Oscar nominee of the year to be also nominated for Original Screenplay. See more »

Goofs

Pianos of the period portrayed in the film were made almost entirely of wood, no metal framing at all, and the piano would therefore float, not sink. 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 Cut (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Delft Waltz
Michael Nyman
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User Reviews

88 Keys and a Dozen Problems.
22 September 2003 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

Dark and bleak entry from writer-director Jane Campion (Oscar-winning for the former and Oscar-nominated for the latter) which concerns a mute British woman (electric Oscar-winner Holly Hunter) who moves to newly colonized New Zealand in the mid-19th Century. She has been promised in marriage to Sam Neill by her father. Thus she makes the long trek to the South Island of the small country with little more than her young daughter (surprise Oscar-winner Anna Paquin) and her most prized possession (the titled item). Hunter has refused to speak supposedly since the unfortunate death of her first husband and uses the piano as an outlet to express her feelings and thoughts. Immediately it is realized that Neill is not capable of love and that native Harvey Keitel may be the person that Hunter desperately needs in her life. A forbidden love affair blossoms between Hunter and Keitel, but how will Neill and Paquin react when Hunter's secret disappears? "The Piano" thrives on its performances (Hunter and Paquin in particular) and has a soul of its own with its haunting score. However Campion's screenplay is not near as concrete as I would have liked. She seems unsure of where she wants to go with the story and ultimately her direction suffers as well. Honored left and right in 1993, "The Piano" pales miserably to "Schindler's List" and lacks the overall heart and intensity of "The Remains of the Day". Still a good movie, but never quite hit the right notes with me. 4 stars out of 5.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

New Zealand | Australia | France | USA

Release Date:

11 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Piano See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$151,419, 14 November 1993

Gross USA:

$40,157,856

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,185,556
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | Dolby (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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