In addition to pianos and piano music in movies, Moore Piano is a fan of all things piano. Even if you’re just looking for some light entertainment, these movies that include pianos or chronicle the stories of influential pianists are worth a look!
1. The Green Book
Film about the historic tour of the South by African American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley during the height of segregation, based on true events. Tony Lip Vallelonga, an Italian-American bouncer, becomes Don Shirley’s bodyguard and driver.
Walbridge “Don” Donald “Don” In the 1950s and 60s, Shirley released numerous piano records. Many of his compositions include organ symphonies, piano concertos, and many more. He was a genius at fusing classical elements with jazz.
In the film and Tony Lip’s stories, Don has a strange preference for playing on Steinway pianos. One of Tony’s duties was to make certain that Don had access to a Steinway at each musical venue.
One look at the Green Book is enough to bring you to your knees in laughter or tears. Historically, it is a narrative of racial strife and a tribute to a celebrated concert pianist.
2. The Pianist
The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw is the basis for this 2002 film. Operation Reinhard separates Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, from his family and sends him to the Warsaw Ghetto. Szpilman, a Polish resistance fighter who refused to give up his fight against the Nazis, hid among the war-ravaged debris of Warsaw in order to survive the Holocaust.
It is through music that the human spirit is able to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, and this is a theme that runs throughout The Pianist. The hauntingly lovely Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor by Chopin is the featured song. This video is a cinematic and musical work of art that includes works by Chopin, Bach, and Beethoven.
However, the filmmaker insisted on having Adrian Brody play Wladyslaw Szpilman because he wanted the film to be true to life. The music in any moment where Brody plays the piano was dubbed over afterwards. To ensure that his piano keystrokes matched the music, Brody rehearsed for months before performing in front of an audience that believed he was the one playing.
David Helfgott, an Australian pianist, is the subject of the biographical play Shine. After a mental collapse, Helfgott went to a mental institution for several years.
Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov is included in the film, and Shine earned an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance. An inspiring tale of triumph over seemingly insurmountable obstacles. If you’re interested in learning more about the life of David Helfgott, his sister Margaret has written a book called Out of Tune.
Amadeus was the source material for this film. This is a fictional biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, set in Vienna, Austria. Here, Mozart and Italian composer Antonio Salieri face off at the court of Emperor Joseph II in an epic battle of the ages.
Mozart’s life was no less eventful than the one depicted in Amadeus. At the tender age of five, he began composing his own music. He spent much of his time in Vienna, where he became famous but not rich. In the latter years of his brief life, Mozart created many of his most well-known symphonies and operas.
The cause of Mozart’s death, at the age of 35, remains a mystery. At least one hundred different causes of death are under consideration by researchers. On the final days of Mozart’s life, he worked feverishly on unfinished compositions, including his most renowned Requiem.
Because it’s based on the life of Wolfgang Mozart, Mozart’s music is heard throughout. For those who love the piano, this is a must-see movie.
5. The Piano
The story of a silent piano player and her daughter in a small New Zealand community in the late 1800s is told in this film from 1993. A musician’s dedication and superhuman efforts to reclaim her piano after it is sold are at the center of this story.
The soundtrack was composed by Michael Nyman and went on to become a huge hit. It has been ranked among the best soundtrack albums ever. As a result of the protagonist’s deafness, the soundtrack is all the more impactful.
Actress Holly Hunter insisted on playing her own piano pieces for the film, and she received honors for her performance as Best Actress.
In this biopic, Ray Charles’ life and career as a rhythm and soul legend are explored.
Prior to the age of five, Ray began studying the piano. At the age of seven, he lost his vision due to glaucoma, just a few months after witnessing the heartbreaking death of his younger brother. At St. Augustine School for the Deaf and the Blind, he studied composition and learned to play the alto saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, and organ.
During the era of segregation, Ray Charles began touring the “Chitlin Circuit,” a set of clubs that welcomed African-American performers. He made a name for himself by creating a sound that incorporated elements of rock, blues, gospel, country, and even orchestral music. “Unchain My Heart,” “I’ve Got A Woman,” and “What I’d Say” are just a few of Ray’s top songs.
7. Rhapsody In Blue
George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” is used in this 1930s New York City movie to convey the story of a day in the life of four people who long for more in life. A little girl who longs to spend more time with her parents rather than her governess; a wealthy man whose marriage is on the rocks; and an unemployed man on the lookout for work are just a few of the people we meet along the way.
George Gershwin wrote the song “Rhapsody in Blue” in 1924. It wasn’t until he was 17 years old that Gershwin’s first song was published, making him one of the youngest songwriters in history. Aeolian Company and Standard Music Rolls in New York hired him to record and arrange music for them. Aside from his own identity, he worked under several different aliases.
Rhapsody in Blue is said to have been inspired by Gershwin’s train journey to Boston. Even while the film doesn’t depict the narrative of George Gershwin, it does present a compelling story. In the style of classical music with a jazz touch, Gershwin’s music was unique. Musicals and jazz were the primary genres in his work.
8. Four Minutes
Traude Krueger, a piano teacher in a women’s jail, is the subject of this German film. Jenny, a prisoner who had been barred from piano lessons, surprises Krueger with her raw talent. Krueger agrees to teach Jenny on the condition that she obeys him at all times. In spite of Jenny’s remarkable progress, she runs into numerous difficulties on her journey to the finals of a piano competition.
Without giving anything away, we think this is a movie that should be on everyone’s Netflix watch list. Despite the lack of any notable tunes, this is a heartwarming tale about overcoming obstacles and the power of music that every pianist can relate to.
9. La La Land
There is a love story between an aspirant actress and a struggling jazz pianist in this box office smash from 2016. It’s a musical love story about finding love and going after your goals.
For its soundtrack, cinematography, and production design, it was awarded a record-breaking seven Golden Globes. The music for La La Land was written and orchestrated by Justin Hurwitz, who also provided a number of the film’s gorgeous piano cues.
To play Sebastian in this film, Ryan Gosling had to learn how to play jazz piano in just three months. Prior to filming La La Land, Ryan had to spend months practicing so that he could play all of the piano music onscreen.
The Elton John biopic is set to premiere on May 31st, 2019. He is a British singer, songwriter, pianist and composer known as Sir Elton Hercules John, or Elton John. With over 300 million records sold and more than 50 Top 40 hits to his name, he has earned a long list of accolades, awards, and honors in his stellar career.
Even as a teenager, Sir Elton began playing piano in a local pub on the weekends. From there, his career took off like a rocket. It’s not clear how much of Rocketman’s life will be depicted in the film, or how much of his music will be featured. Elton John fans and anyone who appreciate his effect on modern music should definitely check out this film.
We’ll have to wait for the album’s official release to find out just how much piano music there will be in the film. This album will have a total of 22 tracks and feature a variety of musicians. We’re confident it’ll have all the glitz and glam that epitomize Sir Elton John’s career and legacy.