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The Chess Player (1927) More at IMDbPro »Le joueur d'échecs (original title)

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Release Date:
17 May 1930 (USA) See more »
In 1776, an inventor conceals a Polish nobleman in his chess-playing automaton, a machine whose fame leads it to the court of the Russian empress. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A tad slow at times and a bit overdone, but a pretty satisfying film nevertheless See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Pierre Blanchar ... Boleslas Vorowski
Charles Dullin ... Baron von Kempelen
Édith Jéhanne ... Sophie Novinska
Camille Bert ... Maj. Nicolaieff

Pierre Batcheff ... Prince Serge Oblomoff
Marcelle Charles Dullin ... Catherine II (as Marcelle Charles)
Jackie Monnier ... Wanda (as Jacky Monnier)
Armand Bernard ... Roubenko

Alexiane ... Olga
Pierre Hot ... King Stanislas
Jaime Devesa ... Prince Orloff
Fridette Fatton ... Pola
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pierre Mindaist ... (uncredited)

Albert Préjean ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Raymond Bernard 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Raymond Bernard 
Henry Dupuis-Mazuel  novel
Henry Dupuis-Mazuel  screenplay
Jean-José Frappa 

Original Music by
Henri Rabaud 
Cinematography by
Marc Bujard 
Willy Faktorovitch  (as Willy)
Joseph-Louis Mundwiller 
Art Direction by
Jean Perrier 
Set Decoration by
Robert Mallet-Stevens 
Costume Design by
Eugène Lourié 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jean Hémard .... assistant director
Special Effects by
W. Percy Day .... special effects
Other crew
Lily Jumel .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le joueur d'échecs" - France (original title)
See more »
135 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
A tad slow at times and a bit overdone, but a pretty satisfying film nevertheless, 19 August 2006
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

This is a very beautiful film, artistically speaking. The French crew that made this movie really tried to make it transcend traditional films by having it look exceptional through the use of wonderful camera-work, exquisite sets, great music, sumptuous costumes and a very slow and deliberate pace. While the film does look great, after a little while I also noticed that slow pacing! While it might have impacted the look and sound of the film, it really did need a bit of editing and the guy playing the creator of the automatons should have been told he, too, was not to emote and move as one as well! While none of this ruined the film, it did over time lessen the film's impact. And, frankly, by the time it was over, I felt pretty tired and was more than ready for it to end. This is all a real shame, though, as the basic plot is very interesting and the film has so much going for it. The film is still well worth seeing, but for a better paced "art film", try some of F. W. Murnau's or Fritz Lang's silent films--they've got a great look but just seem better paced.

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