The Competition

Watch The Competition

"If you're really in love... nothing's going to stand in your way"
  • PG
  • 1980
  • 2 hr 5 min
  • 6.7  (2,806)

The Competition is a romantic drama film from the year 1980, directed by Joel Oliansky. The movie stars Richard Dreyfuss as Paul Dietrich, a pianist, and Amy Irving as Heidi Joan Schoonover, also a pianist. The film revolves around Paul and Heidi, who are participants in the prestigious Van Cliburn piano competition held in Fort Worth, Texas.

Paul is an established pianist but is struggling to overcome his insecurities. He feels that he no longer has the drive to compete and win. On the other hand, Heidi is an up-and-coming pianist, talented and ambitious. She is single-minded in her pursuit of winning the competition and wants to become a music superstar.

As the story unfolds, we see the two protagonists slowly develop a romantic relationship. However, their love is put to the test as they become fierce competitors in the competition. The movie depicts the ups-and-downs of a high-pressure competition and how it affects the personal and professional lives of the two pianists.

Throughout the film, we see the intense preparation that the pianists undergo, rehearsing for long hours, and perfecting their pieces. This is what makes the competition so prestigious and coveted, as it is an opportunity to showcase one's talent on a global platform. The pressure is immense, as failure can mean the end of their careers, or at the very least, a setback.

Apart from the competition, the movie also focuses on the personal lives of the two pianists. Paul is married to Sarah (Lee Remick), a writer, but their marriage is on the brink of collapse. He is unhappy with his career and feels that he has not achieved his full potential. Heidi is single and is completely focused on winning the competition. She does not have time for relationships as she feels that it would hinder her in achieving her goal.

As the competition progresses, Paul and Heidi grow closer, and their relationship becomes more intimate. This creates a conflict of interest, as they are competing against each other. They try to keep their relationship a secret, but it eventually comes out, leading to tension between them.

The film has several memorable scenes, including the competition performances themselves, which are stunningly executed. The camera captures the players' fingers rippling keys and the piano’s lid raised all the way up. The audience can feel the tension in the air as they await the judges' scores, and the exhilaration when they receive their marks.

Overall, The Competition is a well-crafted movie that not only showcases music but also delves into the lives of the pianists themselves. It highlights the sacrifices that they make in order to achieve their dream of becoming a world-class pianist. The chemistry between the lead actors is palpable, and the performances are stellar, especially in the musical pieces. The film ends on a bittersweet note, with both Paul and Heidi realizing the cost of their love and ambition.

The Competition is an interesting and entertaining film that holds up to this day. It portrays a realistic look at the world of piano competition, while also exploring the personal lives and emotions of the characters. The movie is surely worth watching for anyone who enjoys music, drama, or romance.

The Competition is a 1980 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 5 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

The Competition
Where to Watch The Competition
The Competition is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Competition for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 5 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (2,806)