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Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  11 August 1993 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 21,488 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 34 critic

A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Michael Nirenberg ...
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Vasek Simek ...
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Tunafish Father
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Tournament Director
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School Teacher
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Fighting Parent
Steven Randazzo ...
Man of Many Signals
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Storyline

Josh Waitzkin is just a typical American boy interested in baseball when one day he challenges his father at chess and wins. Showing unusual precocity at the outdoor matches at Washington Square in New York City, he quickly makes friends with a hustler named Vinnie who teaches him speed chess. Josh's parents hire a renowned chess coach, Bruce, who teaches Josh the usefulness of measured planning. Along the way Josh becomes tired of Bruce's system and chess in general and purposely throws a match, leaving the prospects of winning a national championship in serious jeopardy. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every journey begins with a single move.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 August 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

À la recherche de Bobby Fischer  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$7,266,383 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Near the beginning of the movie, when Josh's mom picks him up from school, the shorter, brown-haired woman she is seen talking with briefly is the mother of the real Josh Waitzkin. See more »

Goofs

Josh tells Vinnie he learned the "Schliemann Attack" from his teacher. Actually there's no such thing. It's the Schliemann Defense. Also, when Vinnie asks, "What's that?" referring to the "attack," Josh actually hasn't yet made the move that would prompt him to say this, he's just playing the opening move of the standard Ruy Lopez (1. ... e5), so there'd be no reason for Vinnie to say "What's that?" at that point. The move that makes it "Schliemann" (3. ...f5) hasn't yet been played. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Josh Waitzkin: [about Bobby Fischer] In the days before the event, the whole world wondered if he would show up. Plane after plane waited on the runway, while he napped, took walks, and ate sandwiches. Henry Kissinger called and asked him to go for his country's honor. Soon after arriving, he offended he Icelanders by calling their country inadequate because it had no bowling alleys. He complained about the TV cameras, about the lighting, about the table and chairs, and the contrast of the squares...
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Connections

Referenced in Hannah Mantegna (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Rough Enough
Written by Freddie Foxx
Performed by Freddie Foxx
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
As near perfect as any movie I've seen.
17 March 2003 | by (Los Angeles, CA USA) – See all my reviews

There are few movies I would call perfect in terms of script, photography, performance, and continuity. This is one of them. I have watched this film at least 8 times, and have seen something new in it every time.

This is based on a true story, and it is much more than a movie about parents demanding time, effort, and sacrifice of a child chess prodigy. This is about a seven-year-old boy who knows who he is, and resists adults attempts to make him into someone he is not. Max Pomeranc gives about the best performance I have ever seen by a child actor in the role of Joshua Waitzkin. Fortunately, Josh has a mother (played by Joan Allen) who recognizes Josh's innate goodness and protects him from those who want to change him. This movie is about a father (Joe Mangtegna) learning to respect and appreciate who his son is, instead of trying to make him into something he isn't.

I had seen the movie three times before I understood the title. The adults are searching for "the next Bobbie Fischer" (a television reporter in the film uses those words). Josh Waitzkin asserts to his teacher "I'm not him."

Watch this movie with your children!


23 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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