François Truffaut

Shoot the Piano Player

Shoot the Piano Player

François Truffaut is drunk on the possibilities of cinema in this, his most playful film. Part thriller, part comedy, part tragedy, Shoot the Piano Player relates the adventures of mild-mannered piano player Charlie (Charles Aznavour, in a triumph of hangdog deadpan) as he stumbles into the criminal underworld and a whirlwind love affair. Loaded with gags, guns, clowns, and thugs, this razor-sharp homage to the American gangster film is pure nouvelle vague.

Film Info

Special Features

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Raoul Coutard
  • Audio commentary by film scholars Annette Insdorf and Peter Brunette
  • Exclusive new video interviews with actors Charles Aznavour and Marie Dubois and director of photography Raoul Coutard
  • Rare interview with François Truffaut collaborator Suzanne Schiffman
  • Two documentary excerpts featuring Truffaut on the film and the source novel
  • The Music of George Delerue, an illustrated audioessay
  • Dubois’ screen test
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: a 28-page booklet featuring film critic Kent Jones, an interview with Truffaut, and the director on Aznavour and Dubois

Cover based on a theatrical poster

Purchase Options

Special Features

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Raoul Coutard
  • Audio commentary by film scholars Annette Insdorf and Peter Brunette
  • Exclusive new video interviews with actors Charles Aznavour and Marie Dubois and director of photography Raoul Coutard
  • Rare interview with François Truffaut collaborator Suzanne Schiffman
  • Two documentary excerpts featuring Truffaut on the film and the source novel
  • The Music of George Delerue, an illustrated audioessay
  • Dubois’ screen test
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: a 28-page booklet featuring film critic Kent Jones, an interview with Truffaut, and the director on Aznavour and Dubois

Cover based on a theatrical poster

Shoot the Piano Player
Cast
Charles Aznavour
Charlie Koller/Edouard Saroyan
Marie Dubois
Léna
Nicole Berger
Thérésa Saroyan
Michèle Mercier
Clarisse
Serge Davri
Plyne
Claude Mansard
Momo
Daniel Boulanger
Ernest
Jean-Jacques Aslanian
Richard Saroyan
Richard Kanayan
Fido Saroyan
Claude Heymann
Lars Schmeel
Albert Rémy
Chico Saroyan
Credits
Director
François Truffaut
Cinematography
Raoul Coutard
Editing
Claudine Bouché
Editing
Cécile Decugis
From the novel “Down There” by
David Goodis
Adaptation by
François Truffaut
Adaptation by
Marcel Moussy
Producer
Pierre Braunberger
Music
Georges Delerue
Sound
Jacques Gallois
Production supervisor
Serge Komor
Production manager
Roger Fleytoux
Script girl
Suzanne Schiffman

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Explore

Georges Delerue

Composer

Composer Georges Delerue, once named “the Mozart of cinema” by the French newspaper Le Figaro, wrote more than 350 film and television scores, along with pop songs, ballads, and orchestral pieces. In the course of his work with such titans of cinema as Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Alain Resnais, Mike Nichols, and Oliver Stone, Delerue, a native of Roubaix, France, created some of the most evocative film music of all time. Although he was trained in metallurgy, and began his working life in a metal factory, his lineage was musical (grandfather a choral singer, mother a pianist), and he found himself drawn in that direction, first studying the clarinet and eventually beginning to compose. After doing some scoring for television and short films (including Agnès Varda’s early short L’opéra mouffe, which is available on Criterion’s edition of Cléo from 5 to 7), Delerue was approached by Resnais and Truffaut to write the themes to Hiroshima mon amour and Shoot the Piano Player, two works at the forefront of the French New Wave movement. The scores for which he is now best known followed close on their heels: his energetic, lovely melody for Jules and Jim and his grand, swoony, undulating theme for Contempt—the latter appropriated years later by Martin Scorsese for his 1995 drama Casino. Delerue’s stature grew, thanks to scores for such films as The Two of Us and King of Hearts, and eventually he would not only win an Oscar (for 1979’s A Little Romance) and three Césars in a row (for Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, Love on the Run, and The Last Metro) but also be named a Commander of Arts and Letters, one of France’s highest cultural honors. He came to Hollywood in the eighties and wrote music for Platoon, Beaches, and Steel Magnolias, among others. Delerue died in 1992.