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The Pianist [2002] [DVD]

Adrien Brody , Thomas Kretschmann , Roman Polanski    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
Price: 6.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Pianist [2002] [DVD] + Schindler's List - Special Edition [DVD] (1993) + Auschwitz - The Nazis And The Final Solution [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Producers: Roman Polanski, Alain Sarde, Robert Benmussa
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Jan 2007
  • Run Time: 149 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KRNMOO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,663 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Winner of the prestigious Golden Palm award at the 2002 Cannes film festival, The Pianist is the film that Roman Polanski was born to direct. A childhood survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland, Polanski was uniquely suited to tell the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew and concert pianist (played by Adrien Brody) who witnessed the Nazi invasion of Warsaw, miraculously eluded the Nazi death camps, and survived throughout World War II by hiding among the ruins of the Warsaw ghetto. Unlike any previous dramatization of the Nazi holocaust, The Pianist steadfastly maintains its protagonist's singular point of view, allowing Polanski to create an intimate odyssey on an epic wartime scale, drawing a direct parallel between Szpilman's tenacious, primitive existence and the wholesale destruction of the city he refuses to abandon. Uncompromising in its physical and emotional authenticity, The Pianist strikes an ultimate note of hope and soulful purity. As with Schindler's List, it's one of the greatest films ever made about humanity's darkest chapter. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Award-winning drama telling the true story of pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's experiences in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. When the Jews of the city find themselves forced into a ghetto, Szpilman finds work playing in a café; and when his family is deported in 1942, he stays behind, works for a while as a labourer, and eventually goes into hiding in the ruins of the war-torn city. The film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Oscars for Best Actor (Adrien Brody), Best Adapted Screenplay (Ronald Harwood) and Best Director (Roman Polanski).


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and Symbolic Film 10 Nov 2004
By L. Davidson VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
Unlike the previous reviewer, I have decided to go for the Full Monty and give "The Pianist" a 5 star rating. The film is a biopic of the talented Jewish pianist Wladislaw Szpilman ,set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of Warsaw throughout World War Two. The full scale of the persecution of the Polish Jews during this period is laid bare, as verbal abuse turned to physical assault, dehumanisation , ghettoisation and ultimately extermination."The Pianist" is the story of Szpilman's personal experience of these times as he is thrown from the cosseted surroundings of his prime time slot playing Chopin on Polish Rundfunk into the grim surroundings of the Warsaw ghetto with all its deprivation,uncertainty and terror.As he gets separated from his family and friends, a primeval and astonishing lust for survival consumes Szpilman as he faces all manners of peril."The Pianist" is a gripping film from beginning to end with Adrien Brody playing Szpilman with great skill and emotion as chaos and confusion engulf his well ordered life. It is as harrowing, but not as graphic as "Schindlers List" , but it captures perfectly the demonic nature of the Nazis and the sense of dread and terror that surrounded their occupation. However I rated "The Pianist" so highly because of the thread of metaphysical symbolism that ran through it. Szpilman and his music were the corporeal expression of the human spirit, perhaps even of the Holy Spirit, surrounded by an almost supernatural hate, forced into hiding , stalked by terror, but never extinguished.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Paul D
Format:DVD
The Pianist is Wladislaw Szpilman, a young man from a Jewish family who works as a musician in Warsaw. The early part of the film shows that increasing tension as the Nazi menace spreads ever closer, until the invasion finally happens. At this point, Szpilman loses his recording opportunities, and has to take up a job in a restaurant, playing tunes to diners who aren’t listening. Day by day the degradation grows ever worse, with Szpilman’s father (Frank Finlay) being forced to walk in the gutter, and other mistreatment of increasingly desperate Jews. The Warsaw ghetto is set up, with able-bodied men and women forced to work in degrading positions, until the ghetto is cleared and everyone is sent off to the camps. Szpilman himself is spared by an old friend, now a Jewish policeman (basically a collaborator), who tells him to get away. The young man manages to find shelter in a variety of safe houses, until the end of the war.
The film is far less harrowing than Schindler’s List, though infinitely better in every way. The underlying theme is the strength of the human spirit in the face of terrible adversity, which keeps a kind of optimism in the mind of the viewer. Allied to this is the knowledge that the film is based on a true story, as Szpilman survived as a professional pianist until his death in 2000. Watching this film is to see just how strong and determined some people can be. Director Polanski also went through a similar experience, though in a different ghetto, and also lost most of his family to the death camps. The extras include an excellent behind the scenes documentary, looking at the lives of both Polanski and Szpilman, and this really brings home the true terror and evil of the Nazi’s acts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Survival, Yes, But of What? 1 Nov 2005
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
When Adrien Brody received the Academy Award for best actor in a leading role earlier this year, I was at first surprised. (I had expected Daniel Day-Lewis to be elected because of his incandescent portrayal of William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting in Gangs of New York.) Then I began to think again about The Pianist and realized that Brody's character -- Wladyslaw Szpilman -- was the focal point of that film from beginning to end...and that most of his portrayal was non-verbal. (Some may assert that the Warsaw Ghetto, not Szpilman, is the main character. They have a point.) Directed by Roman Polanski who also won an Academy Award -- as best director -- and deservedly so, this film examines a five-year period during World War Two when Warsaw was invaded and occupied by German and then Allied forces.
For me, the defining moment in this film occurs when a bomb exploding in the studio drives Szpilman from the piano and ends the broadcast of his performance. His obsession with creating art seems to exclude from his consciousness any deep concern about his family (parents, two sisters, and a brother) or about the brutalities amidst German occupation, especially in response to Jewish resistance. I have not read Szpilman's memoirs, first published as Death of a City (1946) and then as The Pianist (1998). All I know about him is based entirely on Brody's portrayal in the film. This detachment from the world around him is evident again later, as when Szpilman, in hiding, silently moves his fingers across a piano keyboard, lost in the creation of music only he can hear in that situation but which the film's soundtrack effectively provides.
Polanksi's film obviously celebrates human survival during one of history's worst periods.
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