The Piano Lesson (1995)

The Piano Lesson (1995)
  • 379
  • PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 1995 ()
  • Running time: 95 min
  • Original Title: The Piano Lesson
  • Voted: 379

1930's Pittsburgh, a brother comes home to claim "my half of the piano", a family heirloom; but his sister is not wanting to part with it. This is a glimpse of the conditions for African-Americans as well as some of the attitudes and influences on their lives. But whether he is able to sell the piano so that he can get enough money to buy some property and "no longer have to work for someone else" involves the story (or lesson) that the piano has to show him.

1Charles S. DuttonBoy Willie
2Alfre WoodardBerniece Charles
3Carl GordonDoaker
4Tommy HollisAvery
  • Excellent play & film! by 8

    I first viewed this film in a literature class in 2003, and it quickly became one of my favorites. It rather saddens me that so many people complain that there's no story, no action. There is a lot of story to this film, if you want to take the time to watch and appreciate it. Not every movie has to be a massive epic. This film is a story about a family and how some of the members want a better life and to purge the past of pain, and just like real life, some of the best stories are about the intimate moments and of the struggles we all face.

    If you enjoy a good drama, a story that slowly reveals the history behind the events you first see, this is the movie for you.

  • A family's past or its future - which is more important? by 10

    This play is not as simple as it first appears. There is great complexity in all of the major characters, especially in Bernice. And the use of the 'jazz set' model instead of the traditional Aristotelian'plot graph' makes all the difference! The language of the play is music itself, and eventually erupts into song. This is a wonderful debate on the importance of the past and the future in the lives of these characters, symbolized by the piano which has been passed down through the family. A cast full of excellent actors brings it to life. Loved it! I hope 'The Piano Lesson' and the other plays in Wilson's ten-play cycle will soon be available on film.

  • August Wilson at his Best by 10

    Anyone who doesn't "understand" this movie probably doesn't understand African Americans. It's a beautiful, poignant piece about a family and an heirloom piano. I don't like everything August Wilson has done but this one is a gem. The interaction between the characters is top notch. Alfre Woodward is in her element. For those who don't care for Charles Dutton, I know what they mean, but that's the way he acts -- in everything. It's much more effective on the stage than on the screen. As another reviewer has suggested, I also identify with every character. I have uncles just like these men. It's nice to see a movie that really touches you where you live and come from.

  • Simple and nice by 9

    I liked the movie and its music. The best scene is the one when they sing about Alberta. I also think that actors realisticaly played the rolls of old time peoples way of communication. I love that home feeling in the Berinces house.

    It also true that the story is simple and looks more like the gossip, that someone would tell you about people seeing a ghost.

  • Piano Lesson is wonderful: A play brought to life. by 10

    In all truth, I watched this by mistake, thinking i was about to see the 2006 film by the same name. Although I still have to see the new film, this take of Piano Lesson was a nice surprise. Funny, smart, touching - it had it all. The storyline is great, evolving just at the right pace, without being too expected (as in Boring) or too melodramatic (as in Not my cup of tea). The plot has twists and turns, the characters are 3-D and interesting and the actors convincingly bring them to life. As I said - a very nice surprise for me, and I'm about to watch this all over again - this time with my boyfriend. I give it an easy 10 out of 10. Wonderful. >> Kim B. >>

1Paul Elliottcinematographer
2Dwight Douglas Andrewscomposer
3Stephen James Taylorcomposer
4Lloyd Richardsdirector
5Jim Olivereditor
6August Wilsonwriter