Directed by: Roman Polanski
Starring: Adrien Brody, Ed Stoppard, Emilia Fox, Frank Finlay, Michal Zebrowski, Thomas Kretschmann
Genres: Biography, Drama, Music, War
Question: I want to know how the scene with the Nazis dumping the man in the wheelchair off the balcony was done. How did the man/stuntman manage to survive this fall?
Chosen answer: In the scene, we see the old man being lifted in his wheelchair. Then, there is a cut-away to the family watching from across the street. Then we see someone being dumped from the chair and falling, but we never see him hit the ground. My guess from watching the scene is that the stunt person fell into a cushion which was removed in post-production. Generally, when confronted with a question such as this, I like to refer it to someone who would be in the know - in this case, the stunt team on the film. I looked up that team on IMDb.com, and searched for the individuals on Facebook. Of the twenty or so stunt people and coordinators, I could only find three with unique profiles that made me think I might have the correct individuals: Janusz Kadlubowski, Stella Kuczynska and Zbigniew Modej. I posed your question to them. However, given that I am not connected on Facebook to any of them, I have no idea if or when they would see my message and respond. I will update this answer if I receive further information.
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Wladyslaw Szpilman: What does my tie have to do with anything? I need it for work.
An old man appears with children following him. This is supposed to be pedagogue Janusz Korczak. It appeared as if he was just wearing a suit and a Jewish arm band. In the Warsaw Ghetto, Mr. Korczak never wore an arm band and wore his WWI Polish Army Uniform, both as acts of defiance. He was beaten and almost put to death (he had connections) for not wearing an arm band so having one on in the movie is inaccurate.
Adrian Brody insisted on learning to play the piano himself because he detested the idea of him being in a long shot pretending to play the instrument and then the camera showing someone else's hands on a close up shot actually playing. He said he hated that, not just for him, but on any other film that had such a scene. So he went and took lessons, practicing for hours on end.