Sometimes a pianist is not just a pianist
April 20, 2007 10:12 AM   Subscribe

Shoot the Piano Player, The Beat My Heart Skipped, Five Easy Pieces, and . . .

Other past-piano-player (or in the case of Shoot the Piano player, ex-virtuoso now bar piano player) films?
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Piano
posted by iconomy at 10:16 AM on April 20, 2007

Oh I didn't parse the past piano player part (too many Ps ;) at first. I'm pretty sure there was one starring Tyrone Power, will try to find.
posted by iconomy at 10:18 AM on April 20, 2007

Shine? Or do you only want films where the pianist stops playing the piano completely?
posted by churl at 10:20 AM on April 20, 2007

posted by macadamiaranch at 10:21 AM on April 20, 2007

In The Birthday Party (based on the Harold Pinter play of the same name), the main character, Stanley Webber, is a former piano player.
posted by cerebus19 at 10:23 AM on April 20, 2007

The excellent noir film Detour from 1945 has a main character who stops playing the piano during the story.
posted by cerebus19 at 10:33 AM on April 20, 2007

There's the 1978 James Toback film Fingers, on which The Beat That My Heart Skipped was based, with Harvey Keitel. Except I think he's trying to become a pianist (rather than used to be one). I haven't seen it yet but plan to...

Are you doing research, or are you a pianist yourself?
posted by frosty_hut at 10:43 AM on April 20, 2007

Perhaps The Piano Teacher.
posted by dobbs at 10:50 AM on April 20, 2007

Mad Love (aka The Hands Of Orlac) sort of fits, though the piano playing resumes after a brief interval...

And seconding Detour. Warning: it is a completely ludicrous film, but it works.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:33 AM on April 20, 2007

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore has Alice playing the piano in a bar, though I can't remember whether she is supposed to have previously been a virtuoso
posted by poppo at 11:41 AM on April 20, 2007

There's The Page Turner, which happens to be showing right now in NYC.
posted by staggernation at 12:19 PM on April 20, 2007

I honestly can't recall whether the piano player ever actually quits playing in The Legend of 1900, but no list of piano-related films should be without it!
posted by platinum at 12:31 PM on April 20, 2007

I am also unsure whether you want films with ex-piano players or merely past films about piano players.

At any rate, The Favour, the Watch, and the Very Big Fish is an amusing absurdist comedy with a central character who is at various times in the film a pianist, a prisoner, and a creepy ex-con.

Johnny Staccato was an above-par 50's detective show about a jazz piano player who became a private dick.
posted by zebra3 at 12:33 PM on April 20, 2007

Beautiful Girls. Timothy Hutton's character visits his childhood home and wades through small town relationships to conclude he's happy playing the piano and dating a yuppie lady in the big city.
posted by GPF at 12:49 PM on April 20, 2007

An Oscar-nominated short from 2006, Two Hands is a documentary about Leon Fleisher, a renowned concert pianist who for many years lost the use of his right hand.
posted by rob511 at 4:38 PM on April 20, 2007

Jeff Bridges in The Fabulous Baker Boys is a virtuoso jazz player who's stuck playing crappy bar gigs with his brother (actually played by Beau). He's playing way under his level of talent for the paychecks.
posted by cgc373 at 6:02 PM on April 20, 2007

Anatomy of a Murder, where the most ignominious scene has Jimmy Stewart pretending to sit in for Duke Ellington on piano. Note exactly what you're asking for, but related.
posted by OmieWise at 6:46 PM on April 20, 2007

Groundhog's Day

Bill Murray's character becomes a piano virtuoso.
posted by Cochise at 2:30 AM on April 21, 2007

« Older MS Word query   |   Sources for non-crap maternity clothing for... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.