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Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  11 August 1993 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 21,014 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 33 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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(book), (screenplay)
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Title: Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

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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:

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Box Office

Gross:

$7,266,383 (USA)
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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

The real Bruce Pandolfini is very different from the character Ben Kingsley plays. Pandolfini is actually a Brooklynite with a mustache, glasses, and curly brown hair, and he is reported to have a very friendly, soft-spoken demeanor. In fact, Pandolfini can be seen in a cameo role in the movie; he is a kibitzer when Ben Kingsley goes to see Josh in Washington Square; thus, Pandolfini tells "Pandolfinni" that Josh is a "young Fischer." Josh Waitzkin is quick to point out that the portrayal in the film is fiction, and should not be confused with reality. See more »

Goofs

After he works out the sequence of moves which will win the game, Josh offers Jonathan a draw before making his move. Proper chess etiquette dictates that a player only offer a draw AFTER making a move. 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...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Was a Teenage Faust (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Enough Is Enough
Written by Anthony Criss, Kier Gist, Vincent Brown, A. Bahr, J Ray
Performed by Rottin Razkals
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Nice warm film.
4 April 2005 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

For chessplayers and non-chessplayers alike, this is a secret gem of a movie.

Anyone who have watched Josh Waitzkin's tutorials in the Chessmaster computer-game will probably have done some research into who he is, and probably this movie will have popped up somewhere in your search.

For all of you who have found the movie that way: Go rent or buy it.

For all the rest: Go rent or buy it.

Why?: Cause it's not really about chess at all. It's a story about a 7 year old kid, taking a very keen interest in a hobby (and being VERY, VERY good at it), and also a story of his family and teachers pressuring him.

Besides a strong cast of people like Fishburn, Kingsley and Montegna, it also has some humorous moment (like the tuna-sandwich guy (William H. Macy)).

All in all, very watchable for everyone, and one of the first movies I've felt like commenting on here.

Only drawback: The link to Fischer was unnecessary, and doesn't add anything to the movie.


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