History Main / ThePianist

15th Feb '13 9:51:21 AM erforce
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pianist_5988.jpg]]

->'''Władysław Szpilman''': I don't know how to thank you.
->'''Captain Wilm Hosenfeld''': Thank God, not me. He wants us to survive. Well, that's what we have to believe.

Adapted from the memoirs of Władysław Szpilman, the 2002 film ''The Pianist'' was directed by RomanPolanski and stared AdrienBrody. Both star and director won Oscars, as did screenwriter Ronald Harwood. Basically, the film follows Szpilman's struggles in Nazi-occupied Poland as [[WorldWarII hell breaks loose around him]]. Even as his family is deported to the German Concentration camps, Szpilman himself must find it in him to survive.

Not to be confused with the Holly Hunter movie ''The Piano''.
----
!!This film features examples of:

* AudibleSharpness: Heard when an SS officer yanks a bayonet out of a scabbard to slice open a sack of grain.
* BasedOnATrueStory: A highly faithful adaptation of Szpilman's memoir, down to quotes and small details, like the woman who is shot in the back and falls down and dies in an odd kneeling position.
** Subverted somewhat in the character of Hosenfeld. Although the graphic at the end correctly identifies him as a captain, in the film he appears to be a senior combat officer; the men in headquarters stand at attention when he enters and he signs written orders. The real Hosenfeld was in fact only a captain, and served as a [[http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/stories/hosenfeld.asp "sports and culture officer"]].
* BilingualBonus: While most of the spoken German has subtitles, there's a lot of information that you can pick up from the dialogue that isn't translated.
** The Nazis address Jews by the familiar you "du", [[HeyYou an insult in German when addressing strangers.]] (This is most notable in a couple of scenes where Nazis are picking Jews out of a line: "du!...du!...du!".) When the Good German, Capt. Hosenfeld, speaks to Szpilman he addresses him with the respectful formal "you", "Sie".
** Towards the end, Szpilman tells Hosenfeld his name, and Hosenfeld says it's "a good name for a pianist". The Polish name "Szpilman" is pronounced almost exactly the same as the German word "spielmann", meaning a minstrel/entertainer.
* BittersweetEnding: Szpilman survives and resumes his career as a pianist. But his whole family was gassed in Treblinka.
* BookEnds: The film begins and ends with Szpilman playing piano.
* CreatorCameo: That's Polanski complaining about a Gentile street running through the Jewish ghetto.
* DescriptionCut: A dark example of what is usually a humorous trope. The family hears the declaration that Britain and France have declared war against Germany. They toast, and Father says "All will be well". Cut to a shot of the Wehrmacht marching through Warsaw as Father, Władysław and Henryk look on in dismay.
* DesolationShot: The Warsaw ghetto, post-uprising.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Accidentally, and at the worst possible time. Szpilman receives a coat from Hosenfeld, which causes the Russian soldiers arriving later to mistake him for German. Szpilman barely escapes being shot.
--> '''Szpilman''': Stop! I'm Polish!
--> '''Polish Soldier''': He is Polish! ...Why the fucking coat?
--> '''Szpilman''': I'm cold.
* DyeingForYourArt: Adrien Brody lost a significant percentage of body weight for the role, an amount daunting enough to make him look nearly as starved as the Jews in the ghetto.
** He also sold his car, his apartment and much of what he owned and even broke up with his girlfriend in order to truly understand the feelings of loss the character endured. His Oscar win was very much earned.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: If it can even be called that.
* FakeNationality: New York native Adrien Brody as the Polish Wladyslaw.
* GoKartingWithBowser: Early in the film, a Jewish entertainer amuses two Nazi officers and manages to bum a cigarette off them. And then there's Hosenfeld, at the end.
* GreedyJew: Alluded to in-universe by an SS officer who enlists the Jews in a black market scheme.
* HiddenInPlainSight: Szpilman's brother suggests doing this with the family bankroll to keep it from the Nazis. The rest of the family instantly dismisses this as a crazy idea.
* HeyYou: See BilingualBonus above.
* KickTheDog: Used extensively by the Nazis.
** Brought to new extremes when a Nazi lines up workers on their faces and shoots them all in the head, even reloading when his magazine runs out. No reason beyond amusement can be understood for this. Other actions include beating up an old man for not saluting and for walking on the pavement.
* LaResistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. And then the later Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
* LesCollaborateurs: The Jewish ghetto police. Szpilman's brother scornfully refuses to join them; one saves Szpilman's life later. In RealLife they were eventually gassed along with the rest of the ghetto.
* LonelyPianoPiece: Evoked in-story when Szpilman plays Chopin's "Ballade in G minor" for Hosenfeld.
* MadnessMantra / BrokenRecord: Why did I do it? Why did I do it? Why did I do it? WHY DID I DO IT?
** MostAnnoyingSound: {{Invoked}}; her whining gets on Aleena's nerves, before she realizes just why she's been repeating that. [[spoiler: The woman had tried to hide her baby from the Germans, but in doing so smothered it and subsequently killed her own baby. The Germans heard the death rattle, and they were found.]]
* MeaningfulName: See BilingualBonus above.
* MoodLighting: Many of the scenes (such as those in the ghetto and in Szpilman's apartment near the German hospital) are tinted blue.
* NaziGermany: Obviously. Just about every Nazi in the movie is a bastard, [[CaptainObvious no surprises there]], except for Hosenfeld, who was a good man both in the movie and IRL (he felt ashamed at his country's actions, and in Warsaw, he used his position to refuge people, and made an effort to learn Polish so he could converse with those he befriended).
* NeverGotToSayGoodbye: Happens with almost all of Szpilman's family, save for his sister, to whom he says moments before being separated:
-->"I wish I knew you better."
* OhCrap: The look on Szpilman's face when he meets Hosenfeld.
** Also, when poor Szpilman is trying to get an object off the top shelf in one of his better homes, the shelves collapse and all the plates break, leading a neighbor to find out he's hiding there. The look on his face is simultaneously a {{Tearjerker}}.
* OscarBait
* ThePianoPlayer: Well, [[CaptainObvious yeah]]. Although he's a classical concert pianist, once the Nazis move in Szpilman must take cheap gigs in restaurants. (Until it gets worse.)
* PinballProtagonist: Szpilman manages to survive the Holocaust only through the goodness of strangers and sheer dumb luck. Of course, this is totally justified considering it's based on a true story, and the real Szpilman's real experiences.
* PlummetPerspective: During the aftermath of the Polish uprising, when Szpilman is shot at by Nazis and ends up dangling from a rooftop, slate falling to the streets far below him.
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: A closeup of a headshot is seen midway through the film. The victim gains a tiny hole on their cranium, out which there flows a little trickle of blood.
* [[ShoutOut/ToShakespeare Shout Out to To Shakespeare]]: ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'', which deals, of course, with Christians persecuting Jews.
* SliceOfLife: It's mostly just about Szpilman and his family trying to live a normal life in Warsaw.
* TalentDouble: Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak, who also performed much of the soundtrack, appears as Adrien Brody's piano-playing hands.
** It's worth noting that Adrien Brody studied piano for the role and actually learned to play the pieces Szpilman performs on-screen, though the playing you hear on the final soundtrack is Olejniczak's.
* TranslationConvention: Used with all the Polish characters, but averted with the Germans, who speak German.
* TruthInTelevision: Sadly enough. Polanski supplemented Szpilman's memoirs with some details from his own experience as a Holocaust survivor. (The moment where Szpilman is stumbling away from the Treblinka train and the Jewish policeman says "Don't run!" was something that happened to Polanski.)
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The movie doesn't quite make it clear what happened to Szpilman's family after they were deported to Treblinka, though the audience would know that their chances weren't good. In RealLife, Szpilman's entire family died in the camps.
** Andrzej Bogucki and his wife Janina, who helped Szpilman hide in the "Aryan" side of Warsaw, disappear after the Warsaw Uprising and are never mentioned again in the film. In real life they survived the war.
* WhereAreTheyNow: At the end of the film, the viewer is told what ultimately happens to Szpilman and Hosenfeld.
* WorldWarII
* YourDaysAreNumbered: Discussed by the three old men in ''Umschlagplatz'' before they are herded off to the cattle cars to Treblinka.
----

to:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pianist_5988.jpg]]

->'''Władysław Szpilman''': I don't know how to thank you.
->'''Captain Wilm Hosenfeld''': Thank God, not me. He wants us to survive. Well, that's what we have to believe.

Adapted from the memoirs of Władysław Szpilman, the 2002 film ''The Pianist'' was directed by RomanPolanski and stared AdrienBrody. Both star and director won Oscars, as did screenwriter Ronald Harwood. Basically, the film follows Szpilman's struggles in Nazi-occupied Poland as [[WorldWarII hell breaks loose around him]]. Even as his family is deported to the German Concentration camps, Szpilman himself must find it in him to survive.

Not to be confused with the Holly Hunter movie ''The Piano''.
----
!!This film features examples of:

* AudibleSharpness: Heard when an SS officer yanks a bayonet out of a scabbard to slice open a sack of grain.
* BasedOnATrueStory: A highly faithful adaptation of Szpilman's memoir, down to quotes and small details, like the woman who is shot in the back and falls down and dies in an odd kneeling position.
** Subverted somewhat in the character of Hosenfeld. Although the graphic at the end correctly identifies him as a captain, in the film he appears to be a senior combat officer; the men in headquarters stand at attention when he enters and he signs written orders. The real Hosenfeld was in fact only a captain, and served as a [[http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/stories/hosenfeld.asp "sports and culture officer"]].
* BilingualBonus: While most of the spoken German has subtitles, there's a lot of information that you can pick up from the dialogue that isn't translated.
** The Nazis address Jews by the familiar you "du", [[HeyYou an insult in German when addressing strangers.]] (This is most notable in a couple of scenes where Nazis are picking Jews out of a line: "du!...du!...du!".) When the Good German, Capt. Hosenfeld, speaks to Szpilman he addresses him with the respectful formal "you", "Sie".
** Towards the end, Szpilman tells Hosenfeld his name, and Hosenfeld says it's "a good name for a pianist". The Polish name "Szpilman" is pronounced almost exactly the same as the German word "spielmann", meaning a minstrel/entertainer.
* BittersweetEnding: Szpilman survives and resumes his career as a pianist. But his whole family was gassed in Treblinka.
* BookEnds: The film begins and ends with Szpilman playing piano.
* CreatorCameo: That's Polanski complaining about a Gentile street running through the Jewish ghetto.
* DescriptionCut: A dark example of what is usually a humorous trope. The family hears the declaration that Britain and France have declared war against Germany. They toast, and Father says "All will be well". Cut to a shot of the Wehrmacht marching through Warsaw as Father, Władysław and Henryk look on in dismay.
* DesolationShot: The Warsaw ghetto, post-uprising.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Accidentally, and at the worst possible time. Szpilman receives a coat from Hosenfeld, which causes the Russian soldiers arriving later to mistake him for German. Szpilman barely escapes being shot.
--> '''Szpilman''': Stop! I'm Polish!
--> '''Polish Soldier''': He is Polish! ...Why the fucking coat?
--> '''Szpilman''': I'm cold.
* DyeingForYourArt: Adrien Brody lost a significant percentage of body weight for the role, an amount daunting enough to make him look nearly as starved as the Jews in the ghetto.
** He also sold his car, his apartment and much of what he owned and even broke up with his girlfriend in order to truly understand the feelings of loss the character endured. His Oscar win was very much earned.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: If it can even be called that.
* FakeNationality: New York native Adrien Brody as the Polish Wladyslaw.
* GoKartingWithBowser: Early in the film, a Jewish entertainer amuses two Nazi officers and manages to bum a cigarette off them. And then there's Hosenfeld, at the end.
* GreedyJew: Alluded to in-universe by an SS officer who enlists the Jews in a black market scheme.
* HiddenInPlainSight: Szpilman's brother suggests doing this with the family bankroll to keep it from the Nazis. The rest of the family instantly dismisses this as a crazy idea.
* HeyYou: See BilingualBonus above.
* KickTheDog: Used extensively by the Nazis.
** Brought to new extremes when a Nazi lines up workers on their faces and shoots them all in the head, even reloading when his magazine runs out. No reason beyond amusement can be understood for this. Other actions include beating up an old man for not saluting and for walking on the pavement.
* LaResistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. And then the later Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
* LesCollaborateurs: The Jewish ghetto police. Szpilman's brother scornfully refuses to join them; one saves Szpilman's life later. In RealLife they were eventually gassed along with the rest of the ghetto.
* LonelyPianoPiece: Evoked in-story when Szpilman plays Chopin's "Ballade in G minor" for Hosenfeld.
* MadnessMantra / BrokenRecord: Why did I do it? Why did I do it? Why did I do it? WHY DID I DO IT?
** MostAnnoyingSound: {{Invoked}}; her whining gets on Aleena's nerves, before she realizes just why she's been repeating that. [[spoiler: The woman had tried to hide her baby from the Germans, but in doing so smothered it and subsequently killed her own baby. The Germans heard the death rattle, and they were found.]]
* MeaningfulName: See BilingualBonus above.
* MoodLighting: Many of the scenes (such as those in the ghetto and in Szpilman's apartment near the German hospital) are tinted blue.
* NaziGermany: Obviously. Just about every Nazi in the movie is a bastard, [[CaptainObvious no surprises there]], except for Hosenfeld, who was a good man both in the movie and IRL (he felt ashamed at his country's actions, and in Warsaw, he used his position to refuge people, and made an effort to learn Polish so he could converse with those he befriended).
* NeverGotToSayGoodbye: Happens with almost all of Szpilman's family, save for his sister, to whom he says moments before being separated:
-->"I wish I knew you better."
* OhCrap: The look on Szpilman's face when he meets Hosenfeld.
** Also, when poor Szpilman is trying to get an object off the top shelf in one of his better homes, the shelves collapse and all the plates break, leading a neighbor to find out he's hiding there. The look on his face is simultaneously a {{Tearjerker}}.
* OscarBait
* ThePianoPlayer: Well, [[CaptainObvious yeah]]. Although he's a classical concert pianist, once the Nazis move in Szpilman must take cheap gigs in restaurants. (Until it gets worse.)
* PinballProtagonist: Szpilman manages to survive the Holocaust only through the goodness of strangers and sheer dumb luck. Of course, this is totally justified considering it's based on a true story, and the real Szpilman's real experiences.
* PlummetPerspective: During the aftermath of the Polish uprising, when Szpilman is shot at by Nazis and ends up dangling from a rooftop, slate falling to the streets far below him.
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: A closeup of a headshot is seen midway through the film. The victim gains a tiny hole on their cranium, out which there flows a little trickle of blood.
* [[ShoutOut/ToShakespeare Shout Out to To Shakespeare]]: ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'', which deals, of course, with Christians persecuting Jews.
* SliceOfLife: It's mostly just about Szpilman and his family trying to live a normal life in Warsaw.
* TalentDouble: Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak, who also performed much of the soundtrack, appears as Adrien Brody's piano-playing hands.
** It's worth noting that Adrien Brody studied piano for the role and actually learned to play the pieces Szpilman performs on-screen, though the playing you hear on the final soundtrack is Olejniczak's.
* TranslationConvention: Used with all the Polish characters, but averted with the Germans, who speak German.
* TruthInTelevision: Sadly enough. Polanski supplemented Szpilman's memoirs with some details from his own experience as a Holocaust survivor. (The moment where Szpilman is stumbling away from the Treblinka train and the Jewish policeman says "Don't run!" was something that happened to Polanski.)
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The movie doesn't quite make it clear what happened to Szpilman's family after they were deported to Treblinka, though the audience would know that their chances weren't good. In RealLife, Szpilman's entire family died in the camps.
** Andrzej Bogucki and his wife Janina, who helped Szpilman hide in the "Aryan" side of Warsaw, disappear after the Warsaw Uprising and are never mentioned again in the film. In real life they survived the war.
* WhereAreTheyNow: At the end of the film, the viewer is told what ultimately happens to Szpilman and Hosenfeld.
* WorldWarII
* YourDaysAreNumbered: Discussed by the three old men in ''Umschlagplatz'' before they are herded off to the cattle cars to Treblinka.
----
[[redirect:Film/ThePianist]]
13th Feb '13 1:03:50 PM Fighteer
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* StarvingArtist



* {{Tearjerker}}: And how!
5th Feb '13 2:51:55 PM egvesel
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Added DiffLines:

* StarvingArtist
28th Jan '13 1:57:33 PM Tuckerscreator
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** Brought to new extremes when a Nazi lines up workers on Their faces and shoots Them all in the head, even reloading when his magazine runs out. No reason beyond amusement can be understood for this. Other actions include beating up an old man for not saluting and for walking on the pavement.

to:

** Brought to new extremes when a Nazi lines up workers on Their their faces and shoots Them them all in the head, even reloading when his magazine runs out. No reason beyond amusement can be understood for this. Other actions include beating up an old man for not saluting and for walking on the pavement.


Added DiffLines:

* PrettyLittleHeadshots: A closeup of a headshot is seen midway through the film. The victim gains a tiny hole on their cranium, out which there flows a little trickle of blood.
20th Jan '13 9:17:45 PM spoonofevil
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Added DiffLines:

* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The movie doesn't quite make it clear what happened to Szpilman's family after they were deported to Treblinka, though the audience would know that their chances weren't good. In RealLife, Szpilman's entire family died in the camps.
** Andrzej Bogucki and his wife Janina, who helped Szpilman hide in the "Aryan" side of Warsaw, disappear after the Warsaw Uprising and are never mentioned again in the film. In real life they survived the war.
20th Jan '13 9:05:32 PM spoonofevil
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** He also sold his car, his apartment and much of what he owned in order to truly understand the feelings of loss the character endured. His Oscar win was very much earned.

to:

** He also sold his car, his apartment and much of what he owned and even broke up with his girlfriend in order to truly understand the feelings of loss the character endured. His Oscar win was very much earned.
16th Jan '13 10:10:25 AM Jeduthun
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* LonelyPianoPiece: Evoked in-story when Szpilman plays Chopin's "Ballade in G minor" for Hosenfeld.



* PinballProtagonist: Szpilman manages to survive the Holocaust only through the goodness of strangers and sheer dumb luck. Of course, this is totally justified considering it's based on a true story, and the real Szpilman's real experiences.



** It's worth noting that Adrien Brody studied piano for the role and actually learned to play the pieces Szpilman performs on-screen, though the playing you hear on the final soundtrack is Olejniczak's.



----

to:

----
6th Jan '13 9:17:04 PM patrckred
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** MostAnnoyingSound: {{Invoked}}; her whining gets on Aleena's nerves, before she realizes just why she's been repeating that. [[spoiler: The woman had tried to hide her baby from the Germans, but in doing so smothered it and subsequently killed her own baby.]]

to:

** MostAnnoyingSound: {{Invoked}}; her whining gets on Aleena's nerves, before she realizes just why she's been repeating that. [[spoiler: The woman had tried to hide her baby from the Germans, but in doing so smothered it and subsequently killed her own baby. The Germans heard the death rattle, and they were found.]]
3rd Jan '13 9:07:15 AM Deusirae76
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* DyeingForYourArt: Adrien Brody lost a significant percentage of body weight for the role, an amount daunting enough to make him look nearly as starved as the Jews in the camps.

to:

* DyeingForYourArt: Adrien Brody lost a significant percentage of body weight for the role, an amount daunting enough to make him look nearly as starved as the Jews in the camps.ghetto.
28th Dec '12 8:23:10 PM nitpickeryandsuch
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Adapted from the memoirs of Władysław Szpilman, the 2002 film ''The Pianist'' was directed by RomanPolanski and stared {{AdrienBrody}}. Both star and director won Oscars, as did screenwriter Ronald Harwood. Basically, the film follows Szpilman's struggles in Nazi-occupied Poland as [[WorldWarII hell breaks loose around him]]. Even as his family is deported to the German Concentration camps, Szpilman himself must find it in him to survive.

to:

Adapted from the memoirs of Władysław Szpilman, the 2002 film ''The Pianist'' was directed by RomanPolanski and stared {{AdrienBrody}}.AdrienBrody. Both star and director won Oscars, as did screenwriter Ronald Harwood. Basically, the film follows Szpilman's struggles in Nazi-occupied Poland as [[WorldWarII hell breaks loose around him]]. Even as his family is deported to the German Concentration camps, Szpilman himself must find it in him to survive.



** The Nazis address Jews by the familiar you "du", [[HeyYou an insult in German when addressing strangers.]] (This is most notable in a couple of scenes where Nazis are picking Jews out of a line: "du!...du!...du!".) When the Good German, Capt. Hosenfeld, speaks to Szpilman he adresses him with the respectful formal "you", "Sie".

to:

** The Nazis address Jews by the familiar you "du", [[HeyYou an insult in German when addressing strangers.]] (This is most notable in a couple of scenes where Nazis are picking Jews out of a line: "du!...du!...du!".) When the Good German, Capt. Hosenfeld, speaks to Szpilman he adresses addresses him with the respectful formal "you", "Sie".
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