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Dangerous Moves (1984)

La diagonale du fou (original title)
Two masters of chess duel each other not only in their game but also in their different ideologies. The veteran Akiva is a Soviet Jew and ferocious Communist, master of his game but also ... See full summary »



Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Akiva Liebskind
Alexandre Arbatt ...
Pavius Fromm
Marina Fromm
Henia Liebskind
Le grand maître Felton - l'équipe de Fromm
Miller, l'équipe de Fromm
Tac-Tac, l'équipe de Liebskind
Hubert Saint-Macary ...
Stepan Ivanovitch Kerossian - l'équipe de Liebskind
Pierre Michaël ...
Serge Avedikian ...
Pierre Vial ...
Anton Heller
Bernhard Wicki ...
Jacques Boudet ...
Benoît Régent ...


Two masters of chess duel each other not only in their game but also in their different ideologies. The veteran Akiva is a Soviet Jew and ferocious Communist, master of his game but also dealing with a declining health while the young and restless genius Pavius has defected to the West to escape from the Communism tentacles. Their differences will be put to test while they're both competing in the World Chess Championship, with a huge prize at stake just as much as the political ideologies behind those characters. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

24 May 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dangerous Moves  »

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Did You Know?


First film directed by Richard Dembo. See more »


Early in the film, Liebskind describes a move as "Rook to G-10". There is no G-10 on the chessboard; the numbers only go to 8. This error is in the subtitles only and was a mistranslation; the actual line ends with "huit", French for eight. See more »


Akiva Liebskind: Put it out that cigarette, Gennadi Ivanovitch.
Stepan Ivanovitch Kerossian - l'équipe de Liebskind: But I'm not even smoking it, Akiva Israelovitch.
Akiva Liebskind: It's a threat to me, I suppose. In chess, the threat is stronger than the execution.
Stepan Ivanovitch Kerossian - l'équipe de Liebskind: [after a long pause while both are playing chess] Still enjoy winning from me?
Akiva Liebskind: I taste the sweet victories and I taste the bitter defeats.
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Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting but definitely not for everyone.
22 September 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Dangerous Moves" is a French film that in some ways is a fictionalization involving the chess champ, Bobby Fischer mixed with some Cold War dramatics. The film is about a long-anticipated match between a Russian Grand Champion (Liebskind) and a Russian expatriate Grand Champion (Fromm). Liebskind is older and ill--and he and the agents from his country are trying to hide this from everyone. Fromm is a nut-case (like Fischer)--very, very, very demanding and amazingly neurotic. Neither man likes the other and due to Fromm's weird antics, it's not even certain that the match will take place. And, when it does, both players threaten to derail it repeatedly.

The film is an interesting character study of two seriously disturbed and difficult to like men. I appreciated this, as most films feature more one-dimensional and predictable characters. However, many will blanch at the film's slow pacing and that so much of the film takes place at the match--making it a hard-sell to most viewers--plus there is no hero to root for--just two very determined oddballs. It is very good but also for a very narrow audience. Worth seeing, though, if you are very patient or have a background working in mental health. Otherwise, there might just be some better French films you might want to see first.

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