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Shoot the Pianist [DVD]

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Serge Davri, Charles Aznavour, Marie Dubois, Nicole Berger, Albert Remy
  • Directors: François Truffaut
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 28 July 2014
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00K80QH4A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,635 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

François Truffaut portrays a film noir world of gangsters and intrigue, with Charles Aznavour as a famous concert pianist who leaves his former life behind to play in a sleazy Parisian bar. He gradually becomes involved the the criminal activities of the big-city underworld.

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Format: Blu-ray
Even before seeing it, Francois Truffaut's "Shoot the Piano Player" was special to me as it is based on David Goodis' 1956 novel "Down There". Goodis' work, including "Down There" seemed destined for oblivion; but he has been recognized as an important writer following the publication of "Down There" and several other novels in the Library of America. Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s: The Killer Inside Me / The Talented Mr. Ripley / Pick-up / Down There / The Real Cool Killers (Library of America) (Vol 2) ;David Goodis: Five Noir Novels of the 1940s and 50s (Library of America) I have become taken with his work over the past several years.

Truffaut's film captures much of Goodis' book, but it goes its own way and stands on its own. Truffaut wrote the screenplay in addition to directing the film. The setting is moved from the gritty streets of Philadelphia that Goodis knew to Paris. The film's main character, Charlie, (Charles Aznavour) is a barroom pianist who had an earlier career on the concert stage when he was known as Eduard. Charlie has become a down-and-out loner when one of his brothers rushes into the bar needing help because he is being pursued by gangsters. At the same time, the bar waitress, Lena, (Marie Dubois) has recognized Charlie and fallen in love with him. The movie, as does Goodis' novel explores themes of love, loyalty to family, connectedness, and the power of music.

Truffaut's film has a lighter and different touch than the novel. The film has many more moments of comedy and satire than does the book. Charlie is a much more introspective, more shy character in Truffaut's portrayal. The film draws on slapstick, particularly in the portrayal of the vicious but still foolish gangsters, more than does the novel.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
What is it about French singers - they make such great actors, in complete contrast with British stars?! Look at Johnny Halliday, for example. Here, Charles Aznavour shows himself to be a complete natural, in a complex role that you could not imagine, say, Cliff Richard, managing. There's no way I can comment further on this superb film, but one word says it all - Truffaut.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is not a typical noir, but a playful one. But I should mention that at one point there is a lengthy piano song being sung in a bar. The original producer correctly pointed out that the scene is just too long, static and boring. So Truffaut wrote all of the lyrics on the screen, and added a little dancing ball that bounced along the words as they were being sung. This blu-ray transfer of the film is mysteriously missing the written lyrics and ball, leaving this entire sequence untranslated and a bit dead... quite odd.

Otherwise a good transfer of a wonderful film.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Only average as a film noir. It is self-indulgent at several points with tangential conversations that add nothing to the plot. Highly regarded in some quarters but if you are just after a few hours entertainment it might be best to look elsewhere.
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Format: DVD
In my opion pretty weak noir movie.There are at least 50 out there that are better.Look out for them instead.
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