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mystery piano scene


pianomajorUofAZ
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Hi. I don't know if I'm in the right place to be asking this but, I'm in need of some assistance so here goes. To keep it short I'm a piano performance major and I'm currently looking for a virtuosic piece of music for an upcoming recital. Anyway, I remembered an old movie I saw a few years ago with a guy playing a great piece of music that might be perfect, but I can't remember the name of the film or the piece he was playing. I want to play something really original. This is why I'm asking.

 

Unfortunately I don't have much to go on. I think it was a musical, perhaps a comedy. black and white photography for sure. I think the scene takes place in some kind of dance or night club . For some reason I want to say he was wearing a white suit but I'm not sure. Maybe a white piano but once again I definately could be wrong. There were a bunch of people standing around watching him. The scene lasts quite a long time and the camera centers on his hands while he plays an extremely energetic piano work.

 

I'm thinking that the old movies are filled with scenes like this, but it seems like this particular scene would stand out. Any shot in the dark is better than what I can come up with. I don't need the name of the music, just the name of the film and I can take it from there. Remember, a good guess is better than what I have right now so those are welcome and encouraged.

 

Thanx in advance

 

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pianomajor,

 

I know you're trying, but you're not giving us enough information. Was this piano piece in the movie classical or in the classical vein? Or something else? Was it jazzy? Are you a classical pianist? If so, you know the general repetoire and apparently this piece was something that you hadn't heard before, therefore something "original" you would like to play, is that right?

 

At any rate, try hard to give us something more to work on. An actor, something about the story, etc. I love questions about music in movies but there isn't too much to go on.

 

ps Picking up on what SandyPax said, Jose Iturbi played The Ritual Fire Dance, a very virtuosic piece, a number of times in various movies. Could that be it?

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  • 13 years later...

Could have been the hands of Iturbi, who did those "hand shots" and did the actual playing for CORNEL WILDE'S CHOPIN in A SONG TO REMEMBER.  

The camera angle, and "light to shadow" contrast might give someone the impression of white sleeves or a white piano.

Sepiatone

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All of these posts offers scenes with famous piano musicians performing the piece in question. There were also films which had piano scenes within them in which the actor was dubbed by a real musician (MOONLIGHT SONATA, for example.)

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Notice Sage, that in most "classic" movies in which a non-musician actor is portraying an historic or skilled pianist they're usually shot from the opposite end of the piano from where the keys are located, while the music is indeed "dubbed".  The scenes in question that were posted show only the "real" musician's hands playing whichever piece of music where in the scenario I mentioned the actor does his best to make it LOOK as if they're actually playing it.

In the more modern offering THE COMPETITION(1980)  all the actors and actresses portraying piano competitors in the film worked hard at making it LOOK like they were actually playing their "assigned" pieces while their fingers were pounding "dummy" keys on pianos in which the keys were disconnected from the hammers  I remember reading somewhere that they were coached by skilled pianists on how and where to strike certain keys in association with the actual music in an effort to look as if they WERE actually playing.  Personally, I thought they all did a MARVELOUS job of it.

Sepiatone

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You remember a-rightly, 'Sepiatone'. IMDb has the trivia on that flick and it matches your recollection. It's a fine film; Dreyfus was adroit as was Amy Irving...its shocking to reflect that even these kind of simple, quiet, refreshing movies are no longer made anymore! They "don't pay". :(

I always like Oscar Levant in his white tie, tails, and tux by the way. Oh and another movie with manic piano playing--but a horror movie in this case--Alan Alda, Curt Jurgens, and (unng!) Jackie Bissett in 'The Mephisto Waltz'

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