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The Chess Players (1977)

Shatranj Ke Khilari (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, History | 3 October 1977 (India)
Wazed Ali Shah is the ruler of one of the last independent kingdoms of India. The British, intent on controlling this rich country, have sent general Outram on a secret mission to clear the... See full summary »

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(story) (as Premchand), (dialogue) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mirza Sajjad Ali
...
Mir Roshan Ali
...
Khurshid, Mirza's wife
...
Nafisa, Mir's wife
Veena ...
Queen Mother
David Abraham ...
Munshi
...
Prime Minister (as Victor Bannerji)
Farooq Shaikh ...
Aqueel (as Farooque Shaikh)
Tom Alter ...
Capt. Weston (Outram's aide de camp)
Leela Mishra ...
Hirya, Khurshid's maid
Barry John
Samarth Narain ...
Kallu
Bhudo Advani ...
Abbajani (as Budho Advani)
Kamu Mukherjee ...
(as Kamu Mukherji)
Uttamram Nagar
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Storyline

Wazed Ali Shah is the ruler of one of the last independent kingdoms of India. The British, intent on controlling this rich country, have sent general Outram on a secret mission to clear the way for an annexation. While pressure is mounting amidst intrigue and political manoeuvres, Ali Shah composes poems and listens to music, secluded in his palace. The court is of no help, as exemplified by nobles Mir and Mirza, who, ignoring the situation of their country and all their duties towards their families, spend their days playing endless parties of chess. Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@research.nokia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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| |

Release Date:

3 October 1977 (India)  »

Also Known As:

O Jogador de Xadrez  »

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(Eastmancolor)
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Satyajit ray's only hindi film. See more »

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Featured in Celluloid Man (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

British Policy in India
17 August 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Chess Players is a curious film by the famed Indian director Satyajit Ray. Half in Hindi and half in English which is curious in itself. The story is about the take over of the Kingdom of Oudh, capital Lucknow, by the British. It shows the complete deceit of the British in their takeover of the Indian Sub Continent using underhand methods based in their emasculation of the Indian rulers. The Nawab of Oudh is a cultured Muslim ruler in the tradition of The Moghuls. The qualities admired by the culture of the time were not militaristic and patriarchal but cultural and aesthetic. The Nawab often sang songs to his people and danced for them or read poetry and wrote it of course. This was considered by the British to show signs of effeminacy and not good government. I fact the subjects of the Nawab who were for the most part Hindus, loved their Ruler for precisely these qualities and even though he was of a different faith, lived happily in a cultural paradise. The British represented by Richard Attenborough show a total lack of understanding of this culture and in a cynical move annex the kingdom and send the Nawab into exile.There was interestingly enough, no attempt at resistance but a bland acceptance of the will of God. Strangely sad and haunting film from one of India's greatest directors since Independence. Trivia. Lucknow was the city that Cliff Richard was born in and lived as a child before Independence.


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