The Pianist (2002)



Critic Consensus: Well-acted and dramatically moving, The Pianist is Polanski's best work in years.

Movie Info

An adaptation based on the autobiography of the acclaimed Polish composer, Wladyslaw Szpilman, who detailed his survival during World War II, and narrowly escaped a roundup that sent his family to a death camp. A composer and pianist, Szpilman played the last live music heard over Polish radio airwaves before Nazi artillery hit. There, in Poland, Szpilman struggled to stay alive--even when cast away from those he loved. He spent the duration of the war hiding in the ruins of Warsaw and … More

Rating: R (for violence and brief strong language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Wladyslaw Szpilman, Ronald Harwood
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 27, 2003
Box Office: $32.5M
Focus Features - Official Site


as Wladyslaw Szpilman

as Dorota

as Capt. Wilm Hosenfeld

as Henryk

as The mother

as The father

as Janina

as SS Officer who Slaps...

as Mr. Lipa

as Woman with the Feath...

as Man Waiting to Cross

as Street Musician

as Street Musician

as Street Musician

as Schutzpolizei

as Schutzpolizei

as Itzak Heller

as Child at the Wall

as Client with Change

as Client with Change

as Rubenstein

as Woman with Soup

as the Soup Snatcher

as SS Officer Addressed...

as Woman Addressing SS ...

as Woman with Child

as Dr. Ehrlich

as Mr. Grun

as Boy with Sweets

as Fellow Worker

as SS Officer who Shoot...

as SS Officer Making Sp...

as Janina's Husband

as the Neighbor

as Dorota's Husband

as Dr. Luczak
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Pianist

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Critic Reviews for The Pianist

All Critics (186) | Top Critics (39)

Old-fashioned in both visual and narrative style and in its overall restraint, the film clearly benefits from the director's first-hand knowledge of the territory.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

True story of a Jewish pianist; OK for older kids.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Roman Polanski's "The Pianist" is the director's finest achievement, and elevates Adrien Brody (Oscar win for Best Actor 2002) to eminence in his representation of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew who survived the Nazi occupation of Warsaw.

Full Review… | May 26, 2009

A film that rivals every one of the greatest Holocaust films ever made...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

While the film itself may not live up to the advance hype, Brody exceeds expectations.

Full Review… | February 1, 2009

Une belle réussite fait menant à une réflexion honnête sur un sujet face auquel on aurait pu croire que tout aavait déjà été dit.

Full Review… | July 4, 2007

Audience Reviews for The Pianist

There are very few films of the Holocaust that aren't huge in scope, and often cover the tragedies of that time. "The Pianist" isn't as bloody or deathly as "Schindler's List" but it definitely shows that survivors came out of it due to pure luck, and that life is very fragile. Adrien Brody as the pianist, Szpilman, lives in the Warsaw Ghetto and after his family is taken to concentration camps, he must survive on luck and his own willpower. He works manual labor and hides at every opportunity. The film is very tense, because his fate is often uncertain, and his allies are often thwarted for their immeasurable help in hiding him. Brody gives an impeccable and heart wrenching performance, starting out with his family and trying to remain light about the situation, but eventually he becomes frail and hollow inside. The film is a shocking depiction of the war, as it should be, and comes from the uncommon perspective of a direct survivor. Haunting and absolutely horrifying, "The Pianist" broaches its subject with thoughtfulness and care.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


A fine film; worth watching.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

Hard to watch and heartrending but also masterfully made.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

The Pianist Quotes

– Submitted by John Raymond J (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Typhon Q (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Alenor L (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Teja A (3 years ago)

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