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Five film favorites - piano scenes

Updated on October 21, 2015

Favorite piano scenes in movies

I was sent for piano lessons when I was a kid. I hated them and didn't pay attention.

But like most people who had the same experience, I wish now that I could play the piano.

It's an instrument that I've always loved and it's amazing how those innocent-looking black and white keys can produce the most amazing music.

I've also got several favorite musical scenes from films and I realized that several of them feature the piano so I've collected them together here.It's a pretty eclectic collection that's for sure, but I have a wide range of favorite films - comedies, classics and more - but quite often, music is a huge feature in the movies I prefer.

I wonder if you'll agree that these are great scenes?


Possibly the most romantic

There are many romantic pieces of music in many movies but this is probably the most famous of all.This classic was made in 1942 and the famous line which supposedly caused him to play this song was never actually said in any of the scenes. You can see that in the clip below. The song itself was written eleven years before the movie was made and is considered one of the best songs in film by the American Film Institute. In fact, it's the second in their list preceded by Over the Rainbow. I disagree!She asks for the song but the pianist says he's forgotten how to play it. Actually, his boss has told him to never play that particular melody. I'm pretty sure that you can guess what this one will be...

Casablanca 70th Anniversary: Special Edition (DVD)
Casablanca 70th Anniversary: Special Edition (DVD)

Casablanca is one of the all-time classics. People still know the phrase 'Play it again, Sam' even though it wasn't actually in the dialogue.

But it's a phrase that almost everyone knows thanks to this wonderful classic.


A frightening one

What makes this so appealing to me is that the instrument sounds out of tune but that makes it seem even more macabre.This song is called The Loneliness and it was written by the director of this movie's father. The composer was also a flutist, playing with well-known orchestras. His granddaughter was also in this movie as a baby. This film was part of a trilogy. Have you guessed which this scene could be? As you might expect from this genre, at the end of this video, the visuals are not for the squeamish...

The Godfather Collection (The Coppola Restoration) [Blu-ray]
The Godfather Collection (The Coppola Restoration) [Blu-ray]

What can I say about the Godfather series? They must be amongst the best known films in the world.

They have everything - drama, adventure, romance, politics, music - and are an essential part of my collection.


This scene makes me laugh

This was made in 2002 and is an adaptation of a classic play. This is set in Victorian times and the entire film is fabulous as it stars some very well known and prestigious actors. The original play was written by an Irishman and some of his best quotes come from this play. It was first performed in London on Valentine's Day, 1895 and yet the dialogue is as crisp and amusing today as it was then. Does this give you clues as to what this one will be?The actor who plays the piano on this clip was classically trained.Part of the reason I love this song is the way the singers move as and when necessary - complete with servants carrying the bulky instrument.

The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of Being Earnest

I have always loved The Importance of Being Earnest as a play since I read it when I was at school but this movie brings it to life in the best possible way.

Wonderful actors and a brilliant, funny dialogue.


An unexpected pianist

The person playing the keyboard here isn't usually known as a pianist. And yet, if you watch his hands carefully, I'm sure that he is genuinely playing. He started his career in vaudeville where performers were all expected to be able to sing, dance, act and play musical instruments. That was a great apprenticeship. He played the clarinet and the accordion too and he certainly could act, dance and sing.In vaudeville, he was in a double act with his sister. (I think you've guessed now who this is going to be). I love this clip because I love all his movies. Note the cigarette!

Follow the Fleet
Follow the Fleet

When I was a kid, I used to watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers on rainy weekend afternoons.

I've always loved them and have many in my movie collection. This is a favorite. I love the music, the dancing and Ginger Rodgers' outfits!


Probably my favorite

It's hard to choose one favorite from my list of piano scenes from the movie world. In this scene, the actor isn't playing the keyboard himself - but he had to train hard during the making of the movie to be able to look convincing.The younger protagonist is entirely fictional but the older guy playing the part of a famous jazz pianist - one of the forerunners in jazz in the early twentieth century. One of his pieces was the first recording ever of jazz piano.This entire film is one of my favorites. Coincidentally, like the last clip, a cigarette feature at the end but is far more important to the story.Note - f-word alert in the dialogue.

The Legend of 1900
The Legend of 1900

What an amazing story this is and a deeply important part of my collection. I have watched this time after time and always enjoy it so much.

I've bought it for others as gifts too - always appreciated.


Thanks for reading - please say hi!

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    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Karen1960: I'll add it to my film page -thank you!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Have you ever seen 'The Seventh Veil', with James Mason and Ann Todd (as a concert pianist)? Terrific British classic with a famous scene where Mason brings his cane down on Todd's knuckles while she's practising.


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