The pianist (2002)

Music was his passion. Survival was his masterpiece.

Blu-ray, 2h 30min
Rating: 8.5
Votes: 677760
Languages: English, German, Russian
Country: UK, France, Poland, Germany
Director: Roman Polanski

Plot outline

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Personal notes

70

Plots

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II. - Kenneth Chisholm

In this adaptation of the autobiography "The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945," Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, sees Warsaw change gradually as World War II begins. Szpilman is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, but is later separated from his family during Operation Reinhard. From this time until the concentration camp prisoners are released, Szpilman hides in various locations among the ruins of Warsaw. - Wladyslaw Szpilman

Filmmaker Roman Polanski, who as a boy growing up in Poland watched while the Nazis devastated his country during World War II, directed this downbeat drama based on the story of a privileged musician who spent five years struggling against the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody) is a gifted classical pianist born to a wealthy Jewish family in Poland. The Szpilmans have a large and comfortable flat in Warsaw which Wladyslaw shares with his mother and father (Maureen Lipman and Frank Finlay), his sisters Halina and Regina (Jessica Kate Meyer and Julia Rayner), and his brother, Henryk (Ed Stoppard). While Wladyslaw and his family are aware of the looming presence of German forces and Hitler's designs on Poland, they're convinced that the Nazis are a menace which will pass, and that England and France will step forward to aid Poland in the event of a real crisis. Wladyslaw's naivete is shattered when a German bomb rips through a radio studio while he performs a recital for broadcast. During the early stages of the Nazi occupation, as a respected artist, he still imagines himself above the danger, using his pull to obtain employment papers for his father and landing a supposedly safe job playing piano in a restaurant. But as the German grip tightens upon Poland, Wladyslaw and his family are selected for deportation to a Nazi concentration camp. Refusing to face a certain death, Wladyslaw goes into hiding in a comfortable apartment provided by a friend. However, when his benefactor goes missing, Wladyslaw is left to fend for himself and he spends the next several years dashing from one abandoned home to another, desperate to avoid capture by German occupation troops.

A Jewish pianist named Wladislaw Szpilman was playing the piano on the radio station when an explosion occurred outside. It was the beginning of German Nazi occupation in Polland. When he returned home, his family was arguing over how they could keep the rest of their money so the German's couldn't see it. When they looked out the window, they saw their area was fenced. Since then, their life has become in a difficult situation. The German's deported his family and forcibly took on train way to concentration camp. Szpilman was left behind in the Warsaw Ghetto and struggled alone for survival. - judytrinidad

A brilliant pianist, a Polish Jew, witnesses the restrictions Germans place on Jews in the Polish capital, from restricted access to the building of the Warsaw ghetto. As his family is rounded up to be shipped off to the German Nazi labor camps, he escapes deportation and eludes capture by living in the ruins of Warsaw. - Anonymous

The true story of Wladyslaw Szpilman who, in the 1930s, was known as the most accomplished piano player in all of Poland, if not Europe. At the outbreak of the Second World War, however, Szpilman becomes subject to the anti-Jewish laws imposed by the conquering Germans. By the start of the 1940s, Szpilman has seen his world go from piano concert halls to the Jewish Ghetto of Warsaw and then must suffer the tragedy of his family deported to a German concentration camps, while Szpilman is conscripted into a forced German Labor Compound. At last deciding to escape, Szpilman goes into hiding as a Jewish refugee where he is witness to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (April 19, 1943 - May 16, 1943) and the Warsaw Uprising (1 August to 2 October 1944) - Wladyslaw Szpilman