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

4.6 out of 5 stars 462 customer reviews

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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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (462 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007KGC5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,955 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

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).

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Be aware that there are different copies of this blu ray. I watched a friends blu ray copy of this and thought the film was so good that I purchased a copy for myself only to find that it was not the same as my friend's copy. None of the extras are included which was a disappointment but, what is unforgivable is the fact that there are no English subtitles for the Polish or German dialogue in the film. This has not been misrepresented by the vendor or Amazon in any way when advertising it, neither does the manufacturer claim to have extras or subtitles on the cover. The manufacturers have spoilt this blu ray of what is an excellent film by denying access to some of the most important dialogue in the film.
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Horrific film based on a true story. Some shocking scenes and some beautiful moments and awesome piano playing. There is good and bad in all people and some surprises. I can't say I loved the film due to the very sad and awful story, it certainly opened my eyes to what life was like.
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Four stars means I like it, I didn't love but I liked it a lot.
Perhaps it goes on a bit, about two and a half hours.
Probably could get rid of thirty minutes.
Interesting story, well acted and directed.
Bit's of Schindler's List in here if you look closely.
Well worth a watch.
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Ordered for my sister as she had missed seeing it at the cinema.
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Received in good condition Thankyou
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Excellent cheers!
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Absorbing, realistic, moving true story of survival.
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Love this
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