Entertainment Weekly - 12/09/2005
"Sophomore outings by major directors don't get much riskier or more playful than this....He'd never again get so experimental..." -- Grade: A-
Premiere - 03/01/2006
"Truffaut suffuses the film with humor. Aznavour, in a career-defining role, is wonderful..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Francois Truffaut is drunk on the possibilities of cinema in this, his most playful film. Part thriller, part comedy, part tragedy, Shoot the Piano Player relates the adventures of mild-mannered piano player Charlie (Charles Aznavour) as he stumbles into the criminal underworld and a whirlwind love affair. Loaded with gags, guns, clowns, and thugs, this razor-sharp homage to the American gangster film is pure nouvelle vague.
A former concert pianist, now the piano player in a seedy Parisian bar, is surrouned by gansters and hoodlums. He is befriended by a woman who tries in vain to restore him to his former glory, but his own timidity and inability to act lead to tragic consequences for both.
Francois Truffaut's second feature is a tender, playful but ultimately tragic story of a man who has never recovered from a past betrayal. Charlie, once a renowned concert pianist, now plays background music in a run-down bar. A sympathetic waitress there loves him, but Charlie can neither forgive nor forget his former wife's infidelity. His simple life takes a turn for the violent, however, when his brother comes into the bar one day with two gangsters in tow -- gangsters bent on getting even with Charlie for a past offense.