RARA-AVIS: Titles & Pianists

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 20 May 2000

Last weekend I saw the musical "Lautrec" in London which features music and lyrics by Charles Aznavour. Reading his bio in the program I was surprised to see among his movie credits the title "Don't Shoot the Pianist." While the copy of the novel I have back in the US is the original DOWN THERE and it has been twenty years since I saw the movie, I remember the movie title as
"Shoot the Piano Player."

Thinking this was mildly amusing I mentioned it to three friends (one each: Belgium, English, American) here in Brussels and to my surprise all remembered "Don't" in the movie title. The only reference book I have with me here is a battered copy of HALLIWELL'S FILMGOERS COMPANION and the relevent entries have the title "Shoot the Pianist."

I can imagine that the American release of the movie used "piano player" as
"pianist" carries the image of a concert performer and that may not be the case for "pianist" in Europe. Halliwell sometimes gives the US title and other times not. One of the many frustrations I have always found with his book.

Can anyone out there run through the title history for me? I think the theater program is simply wrong and all three of my friends have worse memories than I do.

No bar bets are at stake. I'm not that confident of my memory.

Richard Moore

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