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Pianist (2002)

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Learn more about Pianist:

Format: DVD
Sku: 202715827
UPC: 025193088529
UPC 14: 00025193088529
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Drama
Winner of 3 Academy Awards.
A polish jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the warsaw ghetto of world war II.

"The best film of 2002.  David Edelstein, Slate
"...a near-masterpiece.  Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"...the greatest historical film centered on an enigmatic character since Lawrence of Arabia.  Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun

Editor's 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.


Video Features DVD, Dolby, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, Spanish, French

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Universal
Video Release Date Release Date: 1/23/2007
Video Play Time Running Time: 150 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2002
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 30885
Video UPC UPC: 00025193088529
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English, French Dubbed
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Adrien Brody
Video Cast Info Frank Finlay
Video Cast Info Maureen Lipman
Video Cast Info Thomas Kretschmann
Video Cast Info Herve de Luze - Editor
Video Cast Info Pawel Edelman - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Robert Benmussa, et. al. - Producer
Video Cast Info Roman Polanski - Director
Video Cast Info Ronald Harwood - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Wojciech Kilar - Original Music By


Winner (2003)
   Video Award Name British Academy Awards, Roman Polanski, et. al., Best Film
   Video Award Name British Academy Awards, Roman Polanski, David Lean Award for Direction
   Video Award Name Oscar, Adrien Brody, Best Actor in a Leading Role
   Video Award Name Oscar, Roman Polanski, Best Director
   Video Award Name Oscar, Ronald Harwood, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Winner (2002)
   Video Award Name Cannes Film Festival, Roman Polanski, Golden Palm Award

Professional Reviews

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

"...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

ReelViews 9 of 10
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. - James Berardinelli

Chicago Sun-Times 9 of 10
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. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Brody,Adrien
Product attributeLabel:   Mca Home Video
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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