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A Piano for Mrs. Cimino (1982)

An elderly widow must find meaning and activity in her life when her son suggests she is no longer capable of handling her own affairs.

Director:

George Schaefer

Writers:

John Gay, Robert Oliphant (book)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Esther McDonald Cimino
Penny Fuller ... Mrs. Polanski
Christopher Guest ... Philip Ryan
George Hearn ... George Cimino
Graham Jarvis ... Leach
Alexa Kenin ... Karen Cimino
Keenan Wynn ... Barney Fellman
Paul Roebling Paul Roebling ... Roger Desmond
LeRoy Schulz LeRoy Schulz ... Harold Cimino
Walter Marsh ... Dr. Mitchell
Celeste Insell ... Nurse Graham
Fran Gebhard Fran Gebhard ... Gloria Cimino
Karen Austin ... Alice Cimino
Anna Hagan ... Social Service Dir.
Antony Holland Antony Holland ... Judge Schultz
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Storyline

Esther Cimino, a music teacher who has reached retirement age, finds that her mental faculties are slipping somewhat. The film is a trenchant, realistic study of the ravages and displacements, socially, physically, and mentally, that are visited upon a once-proud, sensitive, and still highly intelligent woman who is declared mentally incompetent by her children. She is subjected to a hearing, where her blurred responses prompt the judge to put her in a nursing home, and she begins to deteriorate. However, her granddaughter who loves her rouses her back to life and helps her learn how to live again. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Piano für Mrs. Cimino See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Monica, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The teleplay by John Gay is based on the novel of the same name by Robert Oliphant. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A window on potential problems of old age.
26 April 2008 | by jobcoakSee all my reviews

The story has two story lines: the visual story and the underlying one. It opens as Davis is forcibly removed from her home and taken to a hospital, the result of deep depression after the death of her husband. She hasn't fully recovered when she returns home. Neither of her sons can take her into their home, and make decisions to sell her home, move her into a nursing home and put her music business in the hands of a banker. A grand-daughter is her only ally and searches for an assisted living home that is not institutional. The movie gives thoughtful looks at differences in elder care. One day Davis plays the Rec Hall piano and mentions that her piano was given away. Eventually she moves away from the area into an active retirement hotel in California (I think). At the home's Christmas Party she meets Wynn, the saxophone player she remembers from the days he played in her husband's band. They begin seeing each other and enjoying music. One night a storm prevents her from returning home and she spends the night at Wynn's, who gives her the bed yet sleeps on the couch. Her family is notified of her absence and assumes it is another example of her confusion and unreliability. All her finances are in the hands of others. She begins legal action to resolve the situation, whereupon the people handling her financial interests bring all her miss-steps to light in the most unfavorable light. I've worked with many elder people and find this story is VERY close to the truth. It's an excellent window on elder problems.


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