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A wonderful story of hope!

by Rich Stones on 8/7/2008

This movie is a great compliment to Schindler's List...and it's in wonderful color. It's a story of hope and how even in the darkest times, some decent people emerge to bring hope to those afflicted. Read More

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Product Overview

A polish jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the warsaw ghetto of world war II.


Studio Universal
SKU 202715827
UPC 025193088529
UPC 14 00025193088529
Format DVD
Release Date 1/23/2007
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
World War II
Editors Note
Note 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.
Box Office "...THE PIANIST is a worthy Holocaust drama and a welcome return to form for Roman Polanski..." 08/01/2002 p.55
Film Comment "...A monument to the indestructibility of the human spirit..." 11/01/2002 p.77
Los Angeles Times "...THE PIANIST achieves the monumental without abandoning the modesty of its origins....Polanski's strange genius serves Szpilman's remembrance..." 12/27/2002 p.C1
New York Times "...Mr. Polanski approaches this material with a calm, fierce authority. This is certainly the best work Mr. Polanski has done in many years..." 12/27/2002 p.E19
USA Today "...[Polanski] brings history to life....It stays with you..." 12/18/2002 p.11D
Premiere "...One of the most quietly moving stories in survivor literature, and now the cinema....Polanski tells the story with all of his cinematic mastery..." 02/01/2003 p.18
Entertainment Weekly "...[A film] of riveting power and sadness, a great match of film and filmmaker -- and star, too..." 01/10/2003 p.53
Rolling Stone "...A portrait of hell so shattering it's impossible to shake..." 02/06/2003 p.68
Sight and Sound "...A work of sustained tension and ferocious clarity, and as near-perfect a marriage of subject and artist as could be imagined..." 02/01/2003 p.57-8
Total Film 4 stars out of 5 -- "Roman Polanski's unflinching Holocaust movie draws personal power from restraint." 10/01/2010
Roman Polanski
Thomas Kretschmann
Frank Finlay
Adrien Brody
Emilia Fox
Cast & Crew
Adrien Brody - Actor
Frank Finlay - Actor
Herve de Luze - Editor
Maureen Lipman - Actor
Pawel Edelman - Cinematographer
Robert Benmussa, et. al. - Producer
Roman Polanski - Director
Ronald Harwood - Screenplay
Thomas Kretschmann - Actor
Wojciech Kilar - Original Music By
Technical Info
Catalog ID 30885
UPC 00025193088529
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 150 minutes
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English, French Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Winner (2003) British Academy Awards, Roman Polanski, et. al., Best Film,British Academy Awards, Roman Polanski, David Lean Award for Direction,Oscar, Adrien Brody, Best Actor in a Leading Role,Oscar, Roman Polanski, Best Director,Oscar, Ronald Harwood, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Winner (2002) Cannes Film Festival, Roman Polanski, Golden Palm Award
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review To lump The Pianist in with all of the other Holocaust stories brought to the screen does a great disservice to this powerful, compelling motion picture. Crafted without a whiff of melodrama, this motion picture takes a steady, unflinching look at the plight of Jews in Warsaw during the years when Poland was occupied by the Nazis. For director Roman Polanski, this represents his most effective film in nearly three decades. Not since 1974's Chinatown has Polanski reached such dramatic heights.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review The title is an understatement, and so is the film. Roman Polanski's "The Pianist" tells the story of a Polish Jew, a classical musician, who survived the Holocaust through stoicism and good luck. This is not a thriller, and avoids any temptation to crank up suspense or sentiment; it is the pianist's witness to what he saw and what happened to him. That he survived was not a victory when all whom he loved died; Polanski, in talking about his own experiences, has said that the death of his mother in the gas chambers remains so hurtful that only his own death will bring closure.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Dolby, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, Spanish, French
Product Attributes
Actor Brody,Adrien
Label Mca Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
David Edelstein, Slate The best film of 2002.
Desson Thomson, Washington Post ...a near-masterpiece.
Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun ...the greatest historical film centered on an enigmatic character since Lawrence of Arabia.

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Recent Product Reviews

A wonderful story of hope! by Rich Stones on Aug 07, 2008