6.6/10
1,703
31 user 9 critic

The Competition (1980)

The movie centers on a piano competition whose winner is assured of success. It is Paul's last chance to compete, but newcomer Heidi may be a better pianist. Can romance be far away? Will ... See full summary »

Director:

Joel Oliansky

Writers:

Joel Oliansky (screenplay), Joel Oliansky (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being dumped by her live-in boyfriend, an unemployed dancer and her 10-year-old daughter are reluctantly forced to live with a struggling off-Broadway actor.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ken Harrison is an artist who makes sculptures. One day he is involved in a car accident, and is paralyzed from his neck down. All he can do is talk, and he wants to die. In hospital he ... See full summary »

Director: John Badham
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, John Cassavetes, Christine Lahti
Tin Men (1987)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A minor car accident drives two rival aluminum-siding salesmen to the ridiculous extremes of man versus man in 1963 Baltimore.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Danny DeVito, Barbara Hershey
Stakeout (1987)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two detectives observe an escaped convict's ex-girlfriend, but complications set in when one of them falls for her.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Emilio Estevez, Madeleine Stowe
Julia (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

At the behest of an old and dear friend, playwright Lillian Hellman undertakes a dangerous mission to smuggle funds into Nazi Germany.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Jay Thomas
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A sheltered young high society woman joins the United States Army on a whim and finds herself in a more difficult situation than she ever expected.

Director: Howard Zieff
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Eileen Brennan, Armand Assante
The Big Fix (1978)
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An ex-'60s radical now working as a private eye is hired by an old flame to investigate a political smear campaign. The case becomes more dangerous as it unfolds.

Director: Jeremy Kagan
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Anspach, Bonnie Bedelia
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A clueless, recently single graduate unwittingly takes a job as a servant in a mansion inhabited by dozens of young women.

Director: Jerry Lewis
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Helen Traubel, Pat Stanley
Silkwood (1983)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A worker at a plutonium processing plant is purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing worker safety violations at the plant.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A quiet school truant officer, Joe, uncovers a young boy's attempt to fake a residential address, and subsequently gets involved romantically with the boy's mother. The truant officer ... See full summary »

Director: Glenn Jordan
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Nancy Allen
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a U.S. Naval captain shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship, the first officer relieves him of command and faces court martial for mutiny.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Paul Dietrich
Amy Irving ... Heidi Joan Schoonover
Lee Remick ... Greta Vandemann
Sam Wanamaker ... Andrew Erskine
Joseph Cali ... Jerry DiSalvo
Ty Henderson Ty Henderson ... Michael Humphries
Vicki Kriegler Vicki Kriegler ... Tatjana Baronova
Adam Stern Adam Stern ... Mark Landau
Philip Sterling ... Mr. Dietrich
Gloria Stroock ... Mrs. Dietrich
Bea Silvern Bea Silvern ... Madame Gorshev
James Sikking ... Brudenell (as James B. Sikking)
Delia Salvi Delia Salvi ... Mrs. DiSalvo
Jimmy Sturtevant ... Vinnie DiSalvo
Kathy Talbot Kathy Talbot ... Denise DiSalvo
Edit

Storyline

The movie centers on a piano competition whose winner is assured of success. It is Paul's last chance to compete, but newcomer Heidi may be a better pianist. Can romance be far away? Will she take a dive despite the pressure to win from her teacher, Greta, or will she condemn Paul to obscurity? Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Tears on my boobs, great country-western standards. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La competición See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,163, 7 December 1980

Gross USA:

$14,287,755

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,287,755
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rastar Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"The genesis for the film took place when [producer William] Sackheim and I almost simultaneously got the idea for a love story set against the background of a world class piano competition said director Joel Oliansky. Sackheim said: "It occurred to me that at that level, winning involved more than talent. It required dedication, fire, selfishness, tunnel vision, inexhaustible reserves of energy, perhaps most of all, competitive drive. It seems like rich source material for a movie". Oliansky agreed and characteristically began doing his homework. He spent months traveling extensively, visiting music schools and conservatories, talking with students, and attending concerts and festivals. See more »

Goofs

Music for piano four-hands, that is two pianists playing at the same piano, is often printed with the two parts on different pages. The "primo" (top) is on the right pages, and the "secondo" (bottom) is on the left pages. So the two players of that Mozart sonata would not be looking at the same place. See more »

Quotes

Greta Vandemann: What can you play on 24 hours notice if Serkin or Gilels cancels?
Heidi Joan Schoonover: Serkin Gilels 24-Hour Cancellation Blues.
See more »

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 31 minutes from this film for its 1985 network television premiere See more »


Soundtracks

Piano Concerto in E Minor
Composed by Frédéric Chopin (as Chopin)
Performed by Lincoln Mayorga (as Lincoln Maorga), piano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Glorious music as pianists vie for first prize in a competition
2 September 2010 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Amy Irving, Richard Dreyfuss, Lee Remick, and Sam Wanamaker star in "The Competition," a 1980 film, written and directed by Joel Oliansky. The story concerns pianists gathering for the semifinals of a competition in San Francisco. Paul Dietrich (Dreyfuss) has one last shot at a career as a pianist, given his age, and the fact that his parents have been supporting him, and his dad is in bad shape. Heidi (Irving) knew Paul from a summer program. She studies with a top teacher, Greta Vandeman (Remick) and is there basically to see how far she can go. Despite Paul's attempts to put off the smitten Heidi, he finally admits his feelings, and the two fall in love. Greta isn't happy - she's afraid Heidi is going to lose her competitive edge and take a back seat so that Paul can win.

This very good movie is just about overshadowed by the brilliant music and the magnificent fingerings and look of the actors as they're playing. They obviously had the benefit of great coaching.

The film gives a realistic look at the tension of competitions, and the various states of mind that people have going into them. For Paul, it's his last shot; the Joseph Cali character wants to use it as a steppingstone to Vegas and a Liberace-type act; Heidi has nothing to lose. There is a lot of psychoanalysis throughout the film, which some may find off-putting. It does go on.

Amy Irving is an excellent actress, and she does a beautiful job here. Dreyfuss is also excellent, coming off as desperate, arrogant, and sad. Lee Remick is the ultimate piano teacher who knows too well the pitfalls of being a woman, particularly a woman in love.

If you like classical piano, don't miss "The Competition."


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed