A movie about a grand pianist on a ship


When I was about 12 or so I saw a movie on TV about a man who spent his entire life on a large ship playing the grand piano. At that age, when I watched a movie, I wanted to see stuff blow up etc. but this movie was so touching and compelling that I sat through it mesmerized. The thing is, I don't remember the title.

Here's what I remember: the man was found (as a baby) in the factory in which the ship on which he would spend his life on was being built. One of the workers took him in and named him after the year. I can't remember what year it was but it was definitely pre-World War II.

When he was a boy, he sneaked up at night to the grand piano on the ship and started playing beautifully despite never having touched the piano before. He learned how to play it through observations.

The ship was re-purposed several times. At first, it was a luxurious cruise ship, then, throughout the war, it was a medical ship.

The man never once set foot on land despite being encouraged to do so by his friend (the story of the movie is being told by that friend to a pawn shop owner to whom he wanted to sell his trumpet). He died with the ship, when it was blown up and sunk because of it's age. His friend tried to get him off the ship just before that but the man refused to get off.

The man had the ability to interpret the emotions of people and put it into music and through that telling a story of what was currently going on in their lives.

Once, he was challenged by some sort of a famous musician. Initially, the man didn't want to win the challenge because he was too kind to do so. The challenger, though, was insulting him so much that eventually he played the grand piano so fast that he lit the cigarette, which he put onto the strings, on fire.

He agreed once to make a recording of his music but if I recall correctly, he was unsatisfied with it and he broke the record into 4 pieces which were then put back together by his friend.

That's all I remember at the moment.
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