Shoot the Piano Player

Watch Shoot the Piano Player

"Fran├žois Truffaut, Brilliant Director Who Gave You the Award Winning "The 400 Blows", Now Brings to the Screen a Fascinating New Work That Plays in Many Keys...All of Them Delightful!"
  • NR
  • 1960
  • 1 hr 32 min
  • 7.4  (20,272)

Based on a novel by David Goodis, Shoot the Piano Player is a French film directed by François Truffaut, which had its theatrical release in 1960. The movie follows the story of a professional pianist Charlie Kohler, portrayed by Charles Aznavour, who tries to escape from his past life by working at a small bar in a remote suburb of Paris. The arrival of his brother Chico (Albert Rémy) and some gangsters searching for him, however, interferes with Charlie's peaceful existence, leading to a sequence of violent events.

The movie, which is often considered as a quintessential film noir, combines elements of crime, drama, and romance in a unique way, creating a captivating narrative that still fascinates contemporary audiences. Truffaut's use of unconventional techniques, such as jump cuts, voice-over narration, and non-linear sequencing, adds an innovative and modern flavor to the film, making it a pivotal work in the French New Wave movement.

The protagonist, Charlie, is a complex character, whose motives and feelings are often obscured by a veil of ambiguity. At first glance, he appears to be a shy and introverted musician, who takes pleasure in playing his piano in the bar, ignoring the people around him. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Charlie has a traumatic past, which has left deep scars on his soul. The audience is left to decipher Charlie's enigmatic behavior, as the story progresses, and understand the reasons behind his reluctance to open up to the world.

Marie Dubois and Nicole Berger portray the love interests of Charlie, and their characters bring a refreshing and light-hearted touch to the otherwise somber atmosphere of the film. Léna (played by Dubois) is a waitress at the bar, who falls in love with Charlie, but soon realizes that he is still grieving the loss of his wife. Meanwhile, Clarisse (Berger), a young woman with a mysterious past, becomes infatuated with Charlie after she overhears him playing the piano.

The supporting characters in Shoot the Piano Player, including Chico, the shady gangsters, and the quirky regulars of the bar, add depth and dimension to the overall narrative of the movie. The dynamic between Charlie and Chico, the two brothers with different personalities, is particularly engaging, as their relationship involves a mix of love, resentment, and loyalty.

The visual style of Shoot the Piano Player is another highlight of the movie, with Truffaut's use of a monochromatic palette, contrasting shadows, and unconventional camera angles creating a sense of unease and tension throughout the film. The various locales in which the story unfolds, from the dimly lit bar to deserted alleyways and snow-covered streets, add to the movie's atmospheric quality.

Overall, Shoot the Piano Player is a compelling and unforgettable movie that showcases Truffaut's talent as a storyteller and innovator. The film's mix of genres, memorable characters, and innovative techniques make it a masterpiece of French cinema, which still resonates with audiences today.

Shoot the Piano Player is a 1960 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4.

Shoot the Piano Player
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (20,272)