How well do you know "The Pianist?" Take this quiz to find out.

By: Olivia Cantor
Estimated Completion Time
6 min
How well do you know "The Pianist?" Take this quiz to find out.
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About This Quiz

"The Pianist" is an award-winning 2002 bio flick of a real-life artist who miraculously survived the Holocaust. While it’s a heart-wrenching tale of survival, it’s also a good story to tell us how the human spirit triumphs over adversities. Test your knowledge of the movie with this quiz.
The film’s story opens in Poland during 1939. In which city is the film set?
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Wrong Answer

Warsaw, Poland is the primary setting of "The Pianist." It follows the protagonist from 1939 until several years into the war.

The film centers on the life of acclaimed Polish-Jewish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman. Which American actor portrayed him?
Mark Wahlberg
Billy Bob Thornton
Adrien Brody
Matt Damon
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Adrien Brody was only 29 years old when he won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in "The Pianist." He can play serious and comedic roles.

In the film’s opening sequences, Szpilman is shown performing live. Over which medium was the performance being broadcast.
in a restaurant
the radio
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Aside from playing concert halls and composing music, Szpilman also earns a decent living playing live music over Polish radio. His music reached out to all classes of society, hence his popularity.


As the Polish people listened to news of an impending war reaching their country, some parts of Europe were already in this war.
Kremlin War
World War II
Civil War
Pacific War
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Germany was already waging World War II against parts of Europe, and Poland was on the brink of it. Szpilman and his family listened closely to news about this development, as they will be affected because they’re Jews.

Szpilman’s piano-playing over Polish radio was suddenly interrupted by this war-related action.
Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor
Hitler arrived
the radio station was bombed
Hiroshima was nuked
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Szpilman was suddenly interrupted with his scheduled piano playing when the radio station was bombed. No one was hurt badly, and he made his way out.

Which two prominent European countries finally declared war on Nazi Germany?
Great Britain and France
Italy and Netherlands
Finland and Greece
Spain and Norway
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When news that Great Britain and France had already declared war on Nazi Germany, the Polish people were relieved. There might be salvation for European Jews, after all. Might.


Szpilman’s family was preparing for sudden evacuation. They panicked when discussing where to hide these specific valuables.
their gold
their silverware
their watch and money
their musical instruments
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The Szpilman patriarch was lamenting where they could possible hide a family watch and some money when times get rougher. It was a source of sudden tension for all.

The Nazi-felt segregation of the looming war was first felt by Wladyslaw Szpilman when he went to a lunch date with a woman. What happened in the restaurant?
no Jews were allowed to come inside
Hitler was dining there
Nazis poisoned the customers
the cook died
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Social segregation was the first war-related activity to manifest in Poland. No Jews were allowed in restaurants, especially those owned by non-Jews.

European victory was short-lived, and the Nazis soon controlled part of Poland, where Szpilman lived. What were the Polish people made to wear?
arm bands with an inverted red triangle
arm bands with the Star of David
arm bands with a big black X mark
arm bands with a pink triangle
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All Jews were required to wear arm bands depicting the blue Star of David. This helped to easily identify — and segregate — them from the crowd.


Eventually, all Jews were made to transfer under a Nazi-controlled area known as the Warsaw Ghetto, bringing with them only some of their belongings. Which prized possession did the Szpilmans sell during this time?
their silverware
their gold teeth
their piano
their watch
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Just to have some money to bring with them, Wladyslaw allowed the family to sell their piano.

In order to make some money, Wladyslaw and his bother started selling these on the streets.
gold teeth
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Selling books on the streets doesn’t seem like a lucrative trade, but the Szpilman brothers did it nonetheless. It didn’t bring them much luck, though.

A friend of the Szpilman family, also a Jew, came to their house and tried to do this.
kill their father
made them play live music again
buy their sister
recruit the brothers for the Jewish police
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Recruiting for the Jewish police, a friend of the Szpilman family approached the men in the family and explained how they wouldl be safer if they serve under the Nazis who controlled them. But the Szpilmans didn't want anything to do with it..


Amidst the changing landscape in the cramped and walled Warsaw Ghetto, Szpilman secured another kind of employment related to his field of expertise. What was this job?
repairing radio transistors
playing piano inside a restaurant
teaching piano lessons to Jewish kids
writing music for Hitler
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Szpilman secured decent wages by playing piano inside a restaurant. While the Warsaw Ghetto faced harsh realities, there were still some people there who held their realities with rose-colored glasses, like the diners.

Szpilman started helping an anti-Nazi resistance when he visited a friend in this kind of place.
flea market
newspaper press
bus station
Catholic church
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A friend told him that “musicians don’t make good conspirators” but Szpilman started helping out the resistance. The newspaper press owner revealed that they hid their resistance newspapers in toilets.

Atrocities were getting to be daily occurrences in the ghetto. It didn’t hit the Szpilmans until this event happened.
soldiers shot bystanders
a child they pulled inside the wall died
his brother got picked up on the street
Nazis threw over a man in wheelchair
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Wladyslaw got word that his brother was picked up on the streets by the Jewish police. He then approached a former friend there, asking for help to release his brother. Luckily, he got it.


News of getting booted out of the ghetto reached the Szpilmans so they tried to secure their father with this.
employment certificate
some money
a senior citizen’s card
a hiding place
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Every able-bodied person was required to present an employment certificate, or else they got deported outside of the ghetto. Luckily, the Szpilmans had good friends in the proper places, and got their aging father one.

One day, most of the Jews were hauled to wait for loading on freight trains. As they waited for boarding, Wladyslaw’s brother read a timely excerpt from the book, "The Merchant of Venice." Who wrote that material?
Sir Thomas Malory
William Shakespeare
Christopher Marlowe
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Wladyslaw’s brother started quoting William Shakespeare’s "The Merchant of Venice" while reading it to pass time. His chosen quote started with "If you prick us, do we not bleed?” which was also about the persecution of the Jews.

As the Jewish families were lined up and loaded into the freight train carts, what happened to Wladyslaw?
he ran away
he suffered a heart attack
he got pulled out of the line
he vomited
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Wladyslaw, spotted by his family’s former friend in the Jewish police, got pulled out of the line of Jews who were going inside the freight train carts. In history, that event was to be known as Operation Reinhard, the Nazis' secret plot to ship Warsaw Ghetto Jews to extermination camps. His family died there.


Inside the ghetto, Szpilman got another decent job in this industry.
factory work
auto industry
theater plays
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Szpilman got work in construction, carrying bricks on his back. His co-workers, who knew of his reputation as a pianist, pitied him and helped him out.

Living alone and without his family, Szpilman was one of the 60,000 Jews left in the ghetto. How many were estimated to be there originally?
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After Operation Reinhard, which shipped out Szpilman’s family with many Jews out of the ghetto and into extermination camps, only 60,000 Jews were left out of the original 500,000 inhabitants there. He was now left alone to survive.

As part of his survival, Szpilman continued to help the resistance. What did he do?
tried to decode the enemy’s movements
encoded secret messages
took up arms and became a sniper
smuggled guns inside potato sacks
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Szpilman continued to help building the resistance by smuggling guns inside potato or food grain sacks. He nearly got caught doing this.


Szpilman ran into a non-Jewish couple who were his good friends before the war. They helped him by taking him to their home, where he took a very long one of these.
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Things that humans usually take for granted, such as taking a long bath and shaving, are luxuries during war time. Szpilman finally got to enjoy both.

Szpilman’s friends got him a secret hiding place near the ghetto wall, but on the other side of the Jewish walls. What kind of hiding place was this?
an attic
an apartment
an underground bunker
a cave
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His friends gave Szpilman an apartment near the ghetto wall. They occasionally visited him to deliver food and news.

Once in his fully-furnished apartment, Szpilman was relieved when sitting on one of these.
a hay bale
a cushioned sofa
a wicker chair
a wooden floor
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Sitting on a cushioned sofa seat is another luxury that people take for granted. That’s why when Szpilman sat in one again, it felt like heaven.


Szpilman was able to witness the resistance, but from the other side of the wall. What was it that his friend theorized the Nazis did not see happening?
Jews begging for mercy
Jews dying
Jews fighting back
Jews being killed
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The Jewish resistance started on the other side of the wall where Szpilman witnessed it firsthand. The Nazis were taken aback that Jews could fight back like that.

Bad news came to Szpilman when his friend came back to the apartment and told him that his wife was picked up by the Gestapo. What is the Gestapo?
Nazi secret police
Lenin’s personal bodyguards
the Vatican’s personal army
a KGB faction
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The Gestapo got Szpilman’s friend’s wife, Nina, so he ordered the pianist to leave the apartment for fear his hiding place would be discovered.

His friend advised Szpilman to not allow himself to be captured alive by the Nazis. He had devised a way of avoiding capture. What was it?
drinking poison
detonating a tanker
going inside a rabbit hole
decapitating a Nazi
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Szpilman’s friend advised him to jump out the window to avoid capture by the Nazis. And if he was captured, his friend had poison, ready for him to ingest.


Szpilman reached out to his friend’s friend, who also helped him hide. He was locked inside an apartment, which had this musical instrument inside.
a piano
an oboe
a cello
a violin
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Szpilman’s new hiding place is a German-occupied apartment. To his delight, there was a piano inside that apartment.

Since Szpilman was moved to another apartment in a very German area, he could only do this with the piano.
whisper to it
play air piano
clean it
stare at it
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With a piano inside the apartment, Szpilman could only pretend to play it with gusto. He plays "air piano” by placing his hands above the keys and pretending to play the music he hears in his mind.

One of his visitors inside the new hiding place is a former co-worker of sorts. Who was he?
his restaurant boss
a violinist
technician in the radio station
his piano tuner
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A man who visited Szpilman once in a while introduced himself as the former technician of the radio station where the pianist played. The technician was apparently part of the resistance, and is in awe of the pianist.


Since Szpilman’s protectors didn’t bring food for a long time to his hiding place, he got sick and had this.
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Szpilman got jaundice as his body slowly broke down, due to lack of proper nutrition. Lack of water also does this to a body, as evident in the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.

Szpilman’s protectors soon rushed to him, saying that everyone had to vacate the building for fear of impending bombings. Why did the radio technician stop visiting him with food supplies?
he drank himself to death
he died in battle
he scammed people on behalf of Szpilman’s name
he got caught by the Gestapo
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Apparently, the former radio technician in awe of Szpilman’s talents used his own talent to scam people and collect money on behalf of Szpilman’s upkeep. The pianist never saw any of that money, and the scammer ran away with his illegal collection.

When the Germans started bombing part of the city where Szpilman was hiding, he made it out of the building in time, and crossed the street to head for this other building. Which building was this?
a restaurant
a hospital
a postal office
a church
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Szpilman escaped the newly-bombed apartment where he pretended to be dead on the street, to let the Nazis pass. He then proceeded to cross over to the hospital where he tried to hide, until it was also set on fire.


Szpilman ended up loitering alone among the city ruins, where he chanced upon some food in a can inside a nearly destroyed house. In his search for a can opener, he also found one of these roaming around.
a rat
a fellow Jewish survivor
a German Nazi officer
the radio technician
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A German Nazi officer found Szpilman in hiding, and encountered his piano-playing prowess in the process. He ended up sparing the pianist’s life, even supplying him secretly with food while he lay hidden in an attic.

After all of his World War II hardships, where did Wladyslaw Szpilman die?
in a concentration camp
on the streets during the war
in an Axis-controlled hospital
in Warsaw
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Szpilman lived to the age of 88 before dying in his native city of Warsaw. He wrote his memoirs, upon which this film version was based.

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