Tirez Sur Le Pianiste [Shoot The Pianist] was the second feature film directed by François Truffaut. His basic idea when he started this project was to make something completely opposite from Les 400 Coups. How did he succeed? It was simple for such a film lover who had seen hundreds of movies starting since his childhood.
The plot was inspired by a noir novel written by David Goodis. The main character, Charlie Kohler (Charles Aznavour), finds himself caught in the middle of a fight between two gangster bands. As one can imagine, Charlie has a troubled past: a famous pianist (known by the name of Edouard Saroyan) who retires after his wife’s tragic death. The movie is a juxtaposition of styles, Truffaut mixes genres and emotions and takes us from suspense to comical lines (many of them during the kidnapping scene) and flashbacks into Charlie’s melodramatic past. Filmed in natural settings because of financial difficulties, Tirez sur le pianiste gives the impression of being invented with every scene. At the time of its release it was a commercial disaster, but its success among the film lovers was huge, it was simply a movie ahead of its time.
Tirez Sur Le Pianiste was a production of Les Films de la Pléiade