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The Pianist (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2003]

Adrien Brody , Thomas Kretschmann , Roman Polanski    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
Price: 8.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Pianist (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2003] + 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, Emilia Fox, Michal Zebrowski
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Writers: Ronald Harwood, Wladyslaw Szpilman
  • Producers: Alain Sarde, Daniel Champagnon, Gene Gutowski, Henning Molfenter, Lew Rywin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, German, Russian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Video
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Aug 2003
  • Run Time: 149 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007KGC5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,458 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Based on the extraordinary events of Polish musician Wladyslaw Szpilman's life, The Pianist gave Roman Polanski the chance to revisit and distil his own experiences living as a Polish Jew during World War II. A long-awaited project for the director, this personal angle has resulted in a deeply affecting film that marks a startling return to form for Polanski.

Szpilman (Adrien Brody) is a pianist recording a recital for a local radio station when bombs drop on Warsaw in 1939, just before the Nazi occupation of the city really begins to take hold. As he and his family are slowly stripped of their rights, they endure the humiliation of being forced to live in a walled ghetto, already overcrowded with the entire Jewish population of Warsaw. In a lucky twist, Szpilman is handed the chance to escape, given that he leaves his family in the ghetto to be inevitably shipped off to concentration camps, becoming a fugitive living in terror and isolation.

Taking a classical and measured approach to structure and style, Polanski's elegant film depicts the brutalities and dehumanising experiences that Szpilman endured without making him a hero; he is more of an observer who is tortured by what he helplessly watches. With the film focusing on events entirely from his experiences yet furnished with very little dialogue, Brody gives a subtle yet powerful performance and the end result is devastating. This is as much a standout film for Polanski as it is for his immensely talented leading man.

On the DVD: The Pianist arrives on disc with a surprisingly sparse amount of extras. Only one is really substantial: "A Story of Survival", a 45-minute making of feature which gives a lot of time to Roman Polanski and his own experiences; both of making the film and relating it to his time spent in the Krakow ghetto during World War II. Adrien Brody also features, talking about his preparation for the role and his experiences working with Polanski on such a personal project. Featuring alongside is footage of the real Warsaw ghetto taken by Nazi soldiers and the photographs used as a basis for some of the film's key scenes. Most poignant are the images of the real Szpilman, who died in 2000, still finding pleasure in playing the piano despite his horrendous past. A photo gallery, trailer, posters and filmographies are perfunctory additions. --Laura Bushell

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
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and Symbolic Film 10 Nov 2004
By L. Davidson VINE VOICE
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Paul D
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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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life-Changing Film? 14 Jun 2005
By Joanne
The Pianist is one of those films that you watch and for some time afterwards there is an ache as you remember the horror and sadness suffered by those portrayed. This could and should be a life-changing film but we too often forget as the ache wears off. This is a terrible waste. Watch this film and do not let the memories fade - in fact, buy it and watch it frequently. If there is one good way for us to realise what we have in life it is to see such films as this.
Adrien Brody goes way beyond a performance and the film way beyond a movie. It is a masterpiece. I will never forget it.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful

Case Type - Book style case with removable booklet.

Disc - 50GB, MPEG-4 AVC encoded, Region B Locked.

Video - 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio in a 16:9 frame, Colour, 1080p/24fps

Audio - Original English/German Master Audio DTS-HD 5.1. Dubbed French and Italian Master Audio DTS-HD 5.1

Subtitles - Optional Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish. English Subtitles appear as mandatory during German dialogue when the original audio is selected (apparently this was a problem on the previous vanilla Blu-ray disc release).

Supplements -

'A story of survival: behind the scene of the pianist' Documentary (40 mins. 1.85:1 letterbox in 4:3 frame).
Interview with writer Ronald Harwood (20 mins).
Interview with Andrzej Szpilzman (30 mins).
Interview with Daniel Szpilzman (2 mins).
Theatrical Trailer.

All supplements in Standard Definition.

Censorship? - No cuts or censorship have been applied to this film. The BBFC passed the film without cuts with a 15 certficate. The film contains disturbing and graphic wartime violence, and infrequent strong bad language (towards the end of the film).

This is not an easy film to sit through. Roman Polanski and his crew of filmmakers have created a powerful, upsetting and yet optimistic account of Wladyslaw Szpilman's experiences during the holocaust. Every detail of authenticity is shown in the sets, costumes and props. At the 2003 Academy Awards the film was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing and Best Picture. It won (Deservedly) Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Director -Roman Polanksi and best Leading Actor - Adrien Brody.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend most highly
A superbly acted and most moving film. I recommend most highly.
Published 12 hours ago by artdealer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great service and product
Published 8 days ago by Gerard Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars ... but i watched this film few times and is fantastic
cant remember ordering this but i watched this film few times and is fantastic
Published 10 days ago by justyna
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing true story
This has to be one of my favourite films ever. The range of powerful emotions engendered by this true account of the holocaust, and one particular survivor, is exhausting &... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Eileen
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Movie
Brilliant movie but reminds one of the pain, loss, suffering, humiliation and the horror people went through in times of war. But also reminds of one mans struggle for survival. Read more
Published 25 days ago by manjit
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Story of Survival in WW2 Warsaw.
The Pianist is the faithful and often harrowing true story of Wladyslaw Szpilman's, The Pianist, survival in wartime Warsaw. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nicodemus
5.0 out of 5 stars A very important 1st rate film
Having viewed it several times, its so depressing I don't think I will see it again in the future or at least
for a while.
Published 2 months ago by john salisbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Spelbound from beginning to end. Such an enthraling true story: how this very tallented man survived such
dreadful hardship and abuse and survived is mind blowing.
Published 2 months ago by J. M. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars "Lest we forget"
A film that stirs up all kinds of emotions. A film that must be seen to show mans' inhumanity to man before we all forget what really happened. See it and judge for yourselves.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Tickle the ivories
Seen the film before liked it and wanted to keep a copy of it to watch another day, thank you.
Published 2 months ago by CP
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Subtitles 0 2 Apr 2014
Portuguese Subtitles 1 1 Feb 2014
Please, is region B and audio spanish? 2 24 Jun 2012
Spanish language? 0 9 May 2011
Please, is region B and audio spanish? 0 6 Aug 2010
blue ray 0 9 Mar 2010
German audio? 0 6 Dec 2009
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