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Product Overview

Music was his passion, survival was his masterpiece.


Studio Universal Home Video
SKU 40219930
UPC 025192276620
UPC 14 00025192276620
Format DVD
Release Date 1/17/2006
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
Ed Stoppard - Actor
Emilia Fox - Actor
Frank Finlay - Actor
Jessica Kate Meyer - Actor
Julia Rayner - Actor
Maureen Lipman - Actor
Thomas Kretschmann - Actor
Rainer Schaper - Associate Producer
Wladyslaw Szpilman - Based On The Book By
Celestia Fox - Casting
Gene Gutowski - Co-Producer
Anna Sheppard - Costume Designer
Roman Polanski - Directed By
Pawel Edelman - Director of Photography
Herve De Luze - Editor
Lew Rywin, Henning Molfenter, Timothy Burrill - Executive Producers
Wojciech Kilar - Music
Roman Polanski, Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde - Produced By
Allan Starski - Production Designer
Ronald Harwood - Screenplay By
Alain Sarde - Producer
Frederic Chopin - Non-Original Music
Pawel Edelman - Cinematographer
Robert Benmussa - Producer
Roman Polanski - Director
Roman Polanski - Producer
Ronald Harwood - Screenplay
Wladyslaw Szpilman - Based On Novel By
Wojciech Kilar - Original Music
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2002
Catalog ID 22766
UPC 00025192276620
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 150 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English, French Dubbed, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Oscar (2003) Roman Polanski, Winner, Best Achievement in Directing,Adrien Brody, Winner, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role,Ronald Harwood, Winner, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published,Pawel Edelman, Nominee, Best Achievement in Cinematography,Herve de Luze, Nominee, Best Achievement in Editing,Roman Polanski, et al., Nominee, Best Motion Picture of the Year
Cannes Film Festival (2002) Roman Polanski, Winner, Golden Palm
ReviewSource James Berardinelli's ReelViews
Review Recognizing that The Pianist is a true story adds another layer to its impact (although it is
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource San Francisco Examiner
Review The Pianist is performed in English, but it is filmed in Polanski's home country of Poland--t
Reviewer Jeffrey M. Anderson
ReviewRating 10
ReviewSource L.A. Times
Review There are, perhaps, a limited number of ways to narrate the catastrophe of the Holocaust. One way is
Reviewer Manohla Dargis
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Widescreen, No Longer Produced
Atlanta Journal Constitution A Stunning Epic.
The New York Times One of the best pictures of the year!
Rex Reed, New York Observer A riveting adventure story!
Los Angeles Times The Pianist Achieves Greatness!
The Washington Post Keeps you holding your breath!
Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly It will break your heart many times over.
John Venable, Supercala.com One of the best films of the year, and one for the ages.
Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune The Pianist is the film Roman Polanski may have been born to make.

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