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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:
Alexandre Arbatt ...
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 ...
Pierre Michaël ...
Serge Avedikian ...
Pierre Vial ...
Anton Heller
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

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Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

24 May 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dangerous Moves  »

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Did You Know?


In the final game, Pavius and Akiva play the French Defence / Paulsen Attack. The moves are as follows: 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Be2 cxd4 7. cxd4 Nh6 8. Nc3 Nf5 9. Na4 Bb4+ 10. Bd2 Qa5 11. Bc3 b5 12. a3 Bxc3+ 13. Nxc3 b4 14. axb4 Qxb4 The film ends here; at this point, it is much too early in the game to determine who will win. 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 »


Pavius Fromm: Check. Check.
Akiva Liebskind: Mate! Mate!
[wins one match]
See more »


Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

3 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

Or not?"La diagonale du fou " was extremely well received at the time of issue -it won the prestigious "prix Louis Delluc" and AA- . With hindsight,it's now difficult to understand what the enthusiasm was all about.Heavily symbolic,the movie had high pretensions :the cold war on a chessboard.I must admit that for someone like me who cannot play chess at all,it's pretty tedious.But the biggest bomb is the female parts:what's the point of casting two legendary actresses (Leslie Caron,star of Minelli's musicals " an American in Paris" and "Gigi"and Walters' "Lili",and Bergmanian Liv Ullmann) and giving the first one barely five or six lines ,and the Swedish thespian a fifteen-minute walk -on part?

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