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A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.
[Szpilman is discovered by the Polish army, wearing the German dress coat given him by Capt. Hosenfeld] Wladyslaw Szpilman: No. Please. I'm Polish. I'm not a German. Polish Soldier: Then why the fucking coat? Wladyslaw Szpilman: I'm cold.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: What are you reading? Henryk Szpilman: "If you prick us, do we not bleed? It you tickle us, we we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" Wladyslaw Szpilman: [seeing that it is Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice] Very appropriate.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: I don't know how to thank you. Captain Wilm Hosenfeld: Thank God, not me. He wants us to survive. Well, that's what we have to believe.
Captain Wilm Hosenfeld: What is your name? So I can listen for you. Wladyslaw Szpilman: My name is Szpilman. Captain Wilm Hosenfeld: Spielmann? That is a good name, for a pianist.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: They all want to be better Nazis than Hitler.
Halina: We could hide the money. Look here. We can hide the money under the flower pots. Father: No, no, no, no, I'll tell you what we do. We use tried and tested methods. You know what we did in the last war? We made a hole in the table leg [taps the leg] Father: and hid the money in there. Henryk Szpilman: And suppose they take the table away? Father: What do you mean, take the table away? Henryk Szpilman: The Germans go into Jewish homes and they just take what they want, furniture, valuable, anything. Mother: Do they? Father: Idiot, what would they want with a table, a table like this? [rips a piece of wood off the table] Mother: What on earth are you doing! Halina: No, listen. This is the best place for it. No-one would think of looking under the flower pots. Henryk Szpilman: No, no, no, listen, listen to me, I've been thinking... Wladyslaw Szpilman: Oh, really? That's a change. Henryk Szpilman: You know what we do? We use psychology. Wladyslaw Szpilman: We use *what*? Henryk Szpilman: We leave the money and the watch on the table, and we cover it like this, in full view. Wladyslaw Szpilman: [amazed] Are you stupid? Henryk Szpilman: The Germans will search high and low, I promise you, they'll never notice! Wladyslaw Szpilman: That's the stupidest thing I've ever seen, of course they'll notice it. Look. [takes the violin and a bill, folds it and slips it into the opening of the violin] Wladyslaw Szpilman: Look here... idiot. Henryk Szpilman: And you call me stupid? Mother: No, that is very good, because that is the last place they will ever look. Henryk Szpilman: This will take hours! Mother: We're not in a hurry, we'll get it back... Wladyslaw Szpilman: It won't take hours. Henryk Szpilman: How will you get them out? Tell me that, tell me how, I'd like to know, how would you get them out. You take each one out individually... Halina: No-one listens to me, no-one.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: I'm not going anywhere. Halina: Good. I'm not going anywhere either. Mother: Don't be ridiculous, we've got to keep together. Wladyslaw Szpilman: Look, look... If I'm going to die, I prefer to die in my own home. I'm staying put.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: [taking off his watch] Here, sell this. Food is more important than time.
Dorota: No-one play Chopin like you. Wladyslaw Szpilman: I hope that's a compliment.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: So, you play the cello, Dorota. That's nice. And who's your favorite composer? Chopin? Really? Well, you'll have to learn to play his cello sonata, won't you? And what about you, Wladek? Well, perhaps I can accompany? Me on the piano, you on the cello? Dorota: Mr. Szpilman, you are quite, quite wonderful. Wladyslaw Szpilman: [kisses Dorota's hand] Call me Wladek. Please.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: It's a funny time to say this, but... [trailing off] Halina: What? Wladyslaw Szpilman: I wish I knew you better.
Henryk Szpilman: Ah, more Jewish police. You mean you want me to beat up Jews and catch the Gestapo spirit? I see.
Wailing Woman: Why did I do it? Why did I do it? Why did I do it? Halina: She's getting on my nerves. What did she do, for God's sake? Father: She smothered her baby.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: It's an official decree, no Jews allowed in the parks. Dorota: What, are you joking? Wladyslaw Szpilman: No, I'm not. I would suggest we sit down on a bench, but that's also an official decree, no Jews allowed on benches. Dorota: This is absurd. Wladyslaw Szpilman: So, we should just stand here and talk, I don't think we're not allowed to do that.
Henryk Szpilman: I told her not to worry, you had your papers on you. If you'd been hit by a bomb, they'd have known where to take you.
Henryk Szpilman: What's the matter with you all, huh? You lost your sense of humor? Wladyslaw Szpilman: That's not funny. Henryk Szpilman: Well, you know what's funny? You're funny, with that ridiculous tie. Wladyslaw Szpilman: [getting angry] What're you talking about my tie for? What does my tie have to do with anything? I need this tie for my work! Henryk Szpilman: [mocking] Oh, your work. Wladyslaw Szpilman: Yes, that's right, I work! Henryk Szpilman: Yes, yes, your work. Playing the piano for the parasites in the ghetto. Wladyslaw Szpilman: Parasites... Henryk Szpilman: Yes, parasites. They don't give a damn about people suffering. Wladyslaw Szpilman: And you blame me for their apathy, right? Henryk Szpilman: [accusing] I do, because I see it everyday. They don't even notice what's going on around them. Father: I blame the Americans. Wladyslaw Szpilman: [visibly upset] For what, for my tie?
Feather Woman: Excuse me, have you seen my husband, Izaak Szerman? A tall, a tall handsome man, with a little grey beard. No? Oh, excuse me. Goodbye, sleep well. But if you see him, write to me, yes? Izaak Szerman!
Wladyslaw Szpilman: I love to see a woman playing the cello.
Dorota: I nagged Jurek for weeks and weeks, and at last he gave in and said, "Allright, come with me tomorrow." So I came and... they bombed the station! Wladyslaw Szpilman: Meeting you like that was absolutely wonderful. Dorota: Really? Wladyslaw Szpilman: Yes. It was... it was unforgettable.
Mother: [crying] 20 zloty, that's all we have left, 20 zolty. What can I buy with 20 zloty? I am sick of cooking potatoes, potatoes, potatoes.
Father: What do you think? Should I, should I take Uncle Szymon's portrait? Mother: Take it, don't take it, take what you like! [sigh] Mother: Can't you see I'm worried sick?
Wladyslaw Szpilman: You've got to give me something to do. Yehuda: You're an artist, Wladek. You do enough. Wladyslaw Szpilman: I want to help. I want to do something. Yehuda: You're too well known, Wladek. And you know what? You musicians don't make good conspirators. You're too... too... musical! [laughs]
Wladyslaw Szpilman: Its too small. There's 400,000 of us in Warsaw. Henryk Szpilman: No, there's 360,000. So it will be easy.
Yehuda: [regarding the underground newspapers] These will start the uprising. Majorek hides them in his underpants, and leaves them in toilets. Majorek: As many toilets as I can find. Germans never use Jewish toilets. They're too clean for them.
Regina: Quiet please. Quiet. Order, order! Please! Halina: She's a lawyer, she likes order. Regina: Listen, just listen. The watch we put under the flower pots and the money we stuff in the violin. Father: Will I still be able to play? Wladyslaw Szpilman: Well... you'll find out.
[first lines] Dorota: [running from bombing] Mr. Szpilman? Wladyslaw Szpilman: Hello. Dorota: Oh, I came specially to meet you. I love your playing. Wladyslaw Szpilman: Who are you? Dorota: My name is Dorota. I, I'm Jurek's sister... You're bleeding.
Jurek: [after Dorota meets Wladek] Come on Dorota, you can write him a fan letter later, this isn't the best time. Come on. Wladyslaw Szpilman: Jurek! Where have you been hiding her?
Dorota: I'll get a doctor. Dorota's Husband: You can't, it's too dangerous. Dorota: I'll get Doctor Laczek, we can trust him. Dorota's Husband: Dorota, don't be ridiculous, he's a pediatrician. Dorota: He's still a doctor.
Itzak Heller: What do you think you're doing Szpilman? I saved your life. Now go! Get out! Itzak Heller: [Szpilman begins to run] Don't run!
Wladyslaw Szpilman: They bombed us, we're off the air. Henryk Szpilman: Warsaw's not the only radio station.
Halina: Have you seen this? Wladyslaw Szpilman: [impatient] What? What? I'm working. What? What is this? Halina: It's where they're going to put us. Wladyslaw Szpilman: What do you mean "put us"?
Man Waiting to Cross: And the Germans claim to be intelligent! You know what I think, I think they are totally stupid. I have a family to feed. I spend half my time here, waiting for them to let us through. Why do they think I come here, to listen to the music?
Yehuda: [introducing Wladek] Majorek, this is the greatest pianist in Poland, maybe the whole world.
Mr. Lipa: 2,000 and my advice is to take it. What will you do when you're hungry? Eat the piano?
Man Waiting to Cross: A bridge, a shmidge.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: What does my tie have to do with anything? I need it for work.
Radio announcer: Poland is no longer alone.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: What... what do you think you'll do while you're setting up your new line of defense? Wander around luggin' your suitcases?
Henryk Szpilman: [discussing the star of David] I won't wear it. Regina: *I* won't wear it. I'm not going to be branded.
Henryk Szpilman: I thought you only recruited boys with rich fathers. Look at my father, look at us. Itzak Heller: Yes, I'm looking at you, and that's why I'm here. Your whole family can have a better life. You want to go on struggling for survival, selling books on the street? Henryk Szpilman: Yes, please.
Wladyslaw Szpilman: Where are we going? Mother: Phhhhh, out of Warsaw. Wladyslaw Szpilman: [confused] Out of Warsaw? Where? Regina: You haven't heard? Wladyslaw Szpilman: [exasperated] Heard what? Regina: Haven't you seen the paper? Wladyslaw Szpilman: No! Regina: Ah, where's the paper? Halina: I used it for packing. Regina: [incredulous] Ah, she used it for packing.
Father: Well, to tell you the truth, I thought it would be worse.
Yehuda: Majorek used to be in the army. Brilliant man. The only thing I've got against him is he's not a socialist.