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The Pianist

4.3 out of 5 stars 231 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Adrien Brody
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Distribution Select
  • Release Date: Dec 9 2003
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 231 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00009KO08
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,241 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Roman Polanski's THE PIANIST is based on the memoirs of the talented pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrian Brody), a Polish Jew, who miraculously survived World War II. The first half of the film transports viewers to 1939 Poland, and brings it to life clearly and believably. Szpilman is a tall, handsome, winsome man who is revered for his piano performances on public radio. He lives with his family--an intelligent, loving, and spirited bunch--in an upscale flat in central Warsaw. Bombings have begun to torment the citizens of Warsaw, and step by step, the Nazis infiltrate, the Jews are branded and set apart from their neighbors, imprisoned in a ghetto, and slowly exterminated. The story is told through Szpilman's eyes, and thus carries as much confusion and fear as disgust and torment. Polanski paints Warsaw in bleak shades of gray and black, expressing the helplessness of the Jewish people and the cruelty of the Nazis with captivating photography. In the second half of the film, which takes place in the early 1940s, Szpilman is alone, having managed to avoid the trains to the death camps. His struggle to survive, with some help from non-Jews but mostly his own will to thrive, takes place in long, silent, languid stretches filled with the imagined piano music that inspires Szpilman to live. In a climactic scene of immense beauty and spine-tingling tension, Szpilman must actually perform for a German soldier who is inexplicably patrolling the near-deserted and utterly dilapidated Warsaw ghetto. THE PIANIST, in the subtlety of its sublime and heartbreaking tale, is carried by the intensely moving performance of Brody, whose transformation is truly unforgettable.

Grand gagnant de la course aux récompenses de l’année 2003, Le Pianiste de Roman Polanski méritait amplement sa palme d’or, ses trois oscars et ses sept césars. Adapté de l’autobiographie de Wladyslaw Szpilman, ce film empreint d’une grande dignité raconte la lutte pour sa survie d’un pianiste juif, en Pologne, pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

Polanski, lui-même juif, a attendu des années avant d’aborder ce sujet douloureux. Avec un classicisme tout en retenue, loin de la dramatisation excessive, le cinéaste au passé sulfureux tente ici d’exorciser des démons qui hantent le monde et sa vie depuis plus d’un demi-siècle. De la construction du ghetto de Varsovie à la libération de la ville par les Russes, Polanski nous fait vivre, de l’intérieur, l’incompréhension puis la terreur absolue de ce peuple persécuté.

Porté par l’interprétation subtile et émouvante d’Adrien Brody, en accord parfait avec la sobriété de la mise en scène et du propos, Le Pianiste offre des scènes finales bouleversantes, porteuses d’espoir. Un film qui, au-delà de l’horreur, a le mérite de laisser croire que l’humanité peut renaître de ses cendres. --Helen Faradji

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but the word 'cowardly' grates on my nerves when describing the action or inaction of the central character. Unless one is in the same situation, how can we know how we'll react? It's unfathomable. We must remember that the persecution, confinement, and ultimate genocide of the Jews in Europe was a process that took many years. The Jews were systematically disenfranchised and dehumanized. Watching the mini-series Holocaust hits this truth home - and there is a scene in Holocaust near the end where the main character and his friend walk resignedly off to the gas chambers...We wonder how, we wonder how 2 armed soldiers could lead twenty men shambling to their deaths....We also wonder how Jews can serve the Nazis in positions of authority over their own people. People survive in different ways. People also, after years of dehumanization, realize the futility of their own actions. When the load becomes too heavy, even death can be a relief. Different people, different situations, different responses....

As far as the character in this movie, and his lack of resistance, we are omniscient observers. We know how long the war will last and how it will all turn out. We know how many Jews are ultimately slaughtered. We understand the motivation of the 3rd Reich. The character doesn't! But he is plucked out of that line and given a chance. He survives by waiting. How do we honestly know if we'd do anything different? One could say that his inaction makes him a hero because he must be warring within himself. The gentle artistic man faced with a world of unimaginable ugliness.

This movie is a treasure.
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Format: DVD
this is an absolutely brilliant movie set during World War stars
Adrian Brody as Jewish musician Wladyslaw Szpilman,whose only escape
from the wartime hell is playing the piano.the screenplay is written by
Ronald Harwood,based on the book by the real life Wladyslaw
Szpilman,and is directed by Roman Polanski.the movie is touching and
heartwarming,and also heartbreaking at can be depressing,but
is is also an man survives hell through music.but more
than that that,others too are uplifted and have hope,all because of one
humble pianist.Brody is brilliant ,as always,inhabiting his
character,as he always does.i don't think he's made a bad movie yet.or
at least,he's always been great in every film,even if the film itself
isn' this case,though,the film is brilliant. and say what you want
about Polanski,he knows how to direct a movie(we won't count
"Rosemary's Baby").if this film doesn't have an impact on you,i'd be
surprised. 5/5
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By A Customer on June 29 2004
Format: DVD
Even though barely deserving a rebuttal, some of the reviews here are so beyond asinine that I cannot restrain myself, particularly with regard to those reviewers who had the gall to call Mr. Szpilman a coward. Mr. Szpilman risked immediate death every time he helped to smuggle a weapon or ammunition into the ghetto. The ghetto uprising itself was essentially a suicide mission, and everyone involved probably knew that. So Mr. Szpilman was a coward because he wanted to live, then? How dare you. While I don't believe that any work of art should be above criticism no matter what its subject matter, I have not read a single negative review here that has any remotely intelligent criticism of this film whatsoever. They pretty much describe it as "boring" or "another Holocaust movie." Schmucks. One reviewer couldn't even remember the protagonist's name, yet had no shortage of would-be scathing things to say about the movie. Almost as absurd are the unfavorable comparisons to "Schindler's List." Yes, Oskar Schindler was a great man, but the very straightforward good vs. evil nature of the subject matter must have appealed to Steven Spielberg's very American sensibilities. "The Pianist," on the other hand, boldly treads a ground that is decidedly messier, morally less clear-cut, and I think that only a man like Roman Polanski, who understands the particular time and place where these events transpired, could have made this film. And Adrien Brody fully deserved the Academy Award for this performance. And, yes, he does spend a good deal of time searching like a "rat" for food. What do these buffoons think it means to survive in such an environment? Idiots. Anyhow, this film is a masterpiece, an artistic triumph of the highest rank. The naysayers have not been able to level a single legitimate criticism against it.
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Format: DVD
For the record, let me comment on Dennis Littrell on his same review of this film. I find his opening statement repulsive, as he used the persecution of Jews during WW II as an excuse to justify Zionist persecution against the Palestinians here. Littrell is solely wrong if he thinks The Pianist is a film of Jewish supremacy overcoming all odds. Adrian Brody commented that in Szpilman's book (which this film is based), he narrates his experiences in an objective view. There were not just evil Nazis running around persecuting Poles and Jews, but there good Poles and bad Poles, good Jews and bad Jews and even good Germans among Nazi ranks. Even Polanski allows this in his film, where poor and suffering Jews complain of rich and influential Jews doing nothing to allevate their suffering. You can see the extreme contrast of rich and poor gap where you see the Jews in the restaurant where Szpilman plays the piano and the streets where you can see corpses lying on street, victims of starvation.
In the beginning of the film, the Germans have invaded Poland and the Szpilman family are adjusting their lives to the new ruling of the Nazi Germans. They find their living conditions deteriorate as they are hustled away from their comfortable home to Ghetto and finally to the "melting pot". We see two brothers conflicting with each other as Hendrik, Szpilman's brother did not like the way he supposedly grovel to the authorities and using his privilage as a famous pianist which many Jews may envy. Even Hendrik was ungrateful when his brother freed him from prison. "Are you mad?" Szpilman asked. Hendrik's reply was "That is also my business."
Szpilman's influence was so great that he was spared when his family was sent off to the gas chambers.
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