The Pianist
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The Pianist

150 min | Spain:142 min (DVD edition)
Biography | Drama | War
IMDB rate:
Roman Polanski
Won 3 Oscars. Another 54 wins & 52 nominations
Country: France
Release Date: 2003-03-28
Filming Locations: Babelsberg, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
Budget: $35,000,000
Opening Weekend: $2,456,117 (USA) (30 March 2003)
Gross: $32,572,577 (USA) (8 June 2003)
Adrien Brody
Wladyslaw Szpilman
Emilia Fox
Michal Zebrowski
Ed Stoppard
Maureen Lipman
Frank Finlay
Jessica Kate Meyer
Julia Rayner
Wanja Mues
SS Slapping Father
Richard Ridings
Mr. Lipa
Nomi Sharron
Feather Woman
Anthony Milner
Man Waiting to Cross
Lucy Skeaping
Street Musician (as Lucie Skeaping)
Roddy Skeaping
Street Musician
Ben Harlan
Street Musician
Thomas Lawincky
Schutzpolizei (as Thomas Lawinky)
Joachim Paul Assböck
Roy Smiles
Itzak Heller
Paul Bradley
Daniel Caltagirone
Andrzej Blumenfeld
Darian Wawer
Child at the Wall
Zbigniew Zamachowski
Customer with Coins
Lejb Fogelman
Customer with Coins
Detlev von Wangenheim
SS Officer (as Detlev Von Wangenheim)
Zofia Czerwinska
Woman with Soup
Emilio Fernandez
The Soup Snatcher
Udo Kroschwald
Uwe Rathsam
SS Shooting the Woman
Joanna Brodzik
Woman Shot in the Head
Katarzyna Bargielowska
Wailing Woman
Maja Ostaszewska
Woman with Child
John Bennett
Dr. Ehrlich
Cyril Shaps
Mr. Grün
Wojciech Smolarz
Boy with Sweets
Lech Mackiewicz
Fellow Worker
Ruth Platt
Frank-Michael Köbe
SS Shooting Benek (as Frank Michael Köbe)
Torsten Flach
Zig Zag
Peter Rappenglück
SS Making a Speech
Krzysztof Pieczynski
Katarzyna Figura
Valentine Pelka
Dorota's Husband
Andrew Tiernan
Tom Strauss
Dr. Luczak
Thomas Kretschmann
Captain Wilm Hosenfeld
Cezary Kosinski
Grzegorz Artman
Adam Bauman
Pawel Burczyk
Polish Workman
Zbigniew Dziduch
Marian Dziedziel
Nina Franoszek
Polish Woman
Jerzy Góralczyk
(as Jerzy Goralczyk)
John Keogh
Polish Officer
Jaroslaw Kopaczewski
Patrick Lanagan
Dmitri Leshchenko
Russian Soldier (as Dymitr Leszczenko)
Dorota Liliental
Rafal Mohr
Andrzej Pieczynski
Morgane Polanski
Norbert Rakowski
Piotr Siejka
Weronika Szen
Andrzej Szenajch
Tomasz Tyndyk
Andrzej Walden
Zbigniew Walerys
Maciej Winkler
Tadeusz Wojtych
Andrzej Zielinski
Maurycy Zylber
German Film Crew
Xawery Zylber
Tomasz Ciszewski
Jew (uncredited)
Rafal Dajbor
Soldier (uncredited)
Roman Garbowski
Anna Gryszka
Woman in Ghetto (uncredited)
Adrian Hood
Piano Buyer (uncredited)
Ryszard Kluge
Jew Working on the Bulding Site (uncredited)
Maciej Kowalewski
SS Officer (uncredited)
Ireneusz Machnicki
SS Officer (uncredited)
Pawel Malaszynski
Man in Ghetto (uncredited)
Adam Malecki
German Soldier in the Ghetto (uncredited)
Aleksandra Nizynska
Girl (uncredited)
Axel Prahl
German Soldier - Rummage Bags (uncredited)
Dagmara Sieminska
Women in Ghetto (uncredited)
Izabella Szolc
Women in Ghetto (uncredited)
Daniel Szpilman
Boy in Warsaw Ghetto (uncredited)
Dawid Szurmiej
Man in Ghetto (uncredited)
Borys Szyc
Young Gestapo (uncredited)
Jacek Wolszczak
Man in Ghetto (uncredited)
Pawel Zdun
Did you know?
Roman Polanski himself experienced the Holocaust. His parents were sent to two different concentration camps: his father to Mauthausen-Gusen in Austria, where he survived the war, and his mother to Auschwitz where she was murdered.
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Proceeds from the Amsterdam, Netherlands premiere were donated to the Anne Frank House.
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The scene in which Wladyslaw Szpilman is saved from going to the concentration camps and is told "Don't run!" is inspired by a similar event in director Roman Polanski's life.
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When the German officer slaps Wladyslaw Szpilman's father, the officer is wearing gloves which would not have made a sharp sound.
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When Wladyslaw Szpilman is told he has to leave the first apartment he's hiding in, his hair is parted and hanging down either side of his face. In the next shot, when he sits down to try to smoke the cigarette, his hair is combed back with no part visible.
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When Wladyslaw Szpilman is playing in the closing scenes, the piano's "Steinway & Sons" logo is the style first used in the 1990s.
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Wladyslaw Szpilman: [taking off his watch] Here, sell this. Food is more important than time.
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Yehuda: [introducing Wladek] Majorek, this is the greatest pianist in Poland, maybe the whole world.
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Henryk Szpilman: Ah, more Jewish police. You mean you want me to beat up Jews and catch the Gestapo spirit? I see.
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Was anyone else confused by the two similar-looking blonde women, both of whom took turns hiding Szpilman?
Indeed, there were two blonde women in the movie, making it confusing to tell one from the other. The blonde whom Szpilman meets during the bombing of Polish radio and with whom he seems to have a budding romance is Dorota. Dorota is not in Szpilman's book and appears to be a made-up character for the movie, probably to give a look at Szpilman's life before the occupation and to evoke audience sympathy for all that he lost during the war. The later scenes, in which Szpilman stays with pregnant Dorota and her husband, are also fabricated for the movie. Janina Godlewska (Ruth Platt) is the other blonde. The real Janina Godlewska was a Polish singer. She and her actor husband, Andrzej Bogucki (Ronan Vibert), knew Szpilman through their shared involvement in the performing arts. It was Godlewska that Szpilman saw in the marketplace and her and her husband to whom he turned when he decided to go into hiding. To read a two-page excerpt from Szpilman's book that tells how the real Janina and Andrzej helped him go into hiding, go to Google Books and do a search on "Szpilman Janina".
How did Henryk and Halina get back to the Umschlagplatz after being selected for work detail?
According to the Pabst plan, Warsaw's ghetto population was to be reduced in half, to 500,000. Jewish policemen were to accomplish this by delivering five people a day to the deportation area, an extremely difficult task because the unfortunates would try to hide or run away. After Henryk (Ed Stoppard) and Halina (Jessica Kate Meyer) were selected as fit to work in the ghetto, they found out that the rest of the family was taken away to the Umschlagplatz so they volunteered to join them even though they were not on the list for resettlement. The policeman was delighted because they made his job easier.
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Pianist can be found here.
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Photos from cast
Ronan Vibert