IMDb > The Luzhin Defence (2000)
The Luzhin Defence
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The Luzhin Defence (2000) More at IMDbPro »

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The Luzhin Defence -- Two worlds collide when an eccentric genius falls in love with a strong-willed society beauty.

Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   3,888 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Vladimir Nabokov (novel)
Peter Berry (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Luzhin Defence on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 September 2000 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
His love dictates every move.
Plot:
Two worlds collide when an eccentric genius falls in love with a strong-willed society beauty. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Probably not a buy, but a worthy rental for an evening at home. See more (60 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Turturro ... Luzhin

Emily Watson ... Natalia

Geraldine James ... Vera

Stuart Wilson ... Valentinov
Christopher Thompson ... Stassard

Fabio Sartor ... Turati

Peter Blythe ... Ilya

Orla Brady ... Anna

Mark Tandy ... Luzhin's Father

Kelly Hunter ... Luzhin's Mother
Alexander Hunting ... Young Luzhin
Alfredo Pea ... 1st Official
Fabio Pasquini ... 2nd Official
Luigi Petrucci ... Santucci
Carlo Greco ... Hotel Manager
Massimo Sarchielli ... Tailor

Luca Foggiano ... Fascist
Antonio Carli ... Fascist
David Ambrosi ... Fascist
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Géza Schramek ... Maitre'D (uncredited)

Directed by
Marleen Gorris 
 
Writing credits
Vladimir Nabokov (novel "Zashchita Luzhina")

Peter Berry (screenplay)

Produced by
Jody Allen .... executive producer (as Jody Patton)
Péter Barbalics .... co-producer
Louis Becker .... producer
Stephen Evans .... producer
Philippe Guez .... producer
Leo Pescarolo .... co-producer
Eric Robison .... co-producer
Andrew Warren .... line producer
Caroline Wood .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alexandre Desplat 
 
Cinematography by
Bernard Lutic (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Michiel Reichwein  (as Michaël Reichwein)
 
Casting by
Celestia Fox 
 
Production Design by
Tony Burrough 
 
Art Direction by
John Hill (supervising art director)
 
Costume Design by
Jany Temime 
 
Makeup Department
Cristiana Bertini .... additional hair stylist
Cristiana Bertini .... additional makeup artist
Elaine Browne .... hair stylist
Elaine Browne .... makeup artist
Harisa Centani .... additional hair stylist
Harisa Centani .... additional makeup artist
Lamberto Deli .... additional hair stylist (as Lambero Deli)
Lamberto Deli .... additional makeup artist (as Lambero Deli)
Annamaria Ginnoto .... additional hair stylist
Annamaria Ginnoto .... additional makeup artist
Lesley Noble .... hair stylist
Lesley Noble .... makeup artist
Carla Ruffert .... additional hair stylist
Carla Ruffert .... additional makeup artist
Roseann Samuel .... hair designer
Roseann Samuel .... makeup designer
Allison Sing .... hair stylist
Allison Sing .... makeup artist
Rozalia Szegedi .... additional hair stylist
Rozalia Szegedi .... additional makeup artist
 
Production Management
Ferenc Béres .... unit production manager (as Ferenc Beres)
Guy Courtecuisse .... post-production manager
Fleur Fontaine .... post-production supervisor
László Lakatos .... unit manager
Mark Mostyn .... unit manager
Rosanna Roditi .... production manager
Paolo Rosada .... unit manager
László Sipos .... production manager
Maria Walker .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gábor Gajdos .... assistant director: Hungary (as Gabor Gajdos)
Tommy Gormley .... first assistant director
Tamás Mink .... second assistant director (as Tamas Mink)
Sarah Purser .... second assistant director
Bojana Sutic .... assistant director: Italy
Aoife Thunder .... third assistant director
 
Art Department
Daniel Bacciu .... props buyer
Zsuzsanna Borvendég .... art director: Hungary (as Zsuzsanna Borvendeg)
Sarah Jane Cornish .... stand-by art director
Noel Cowell .... stand-by propsman
Luciano Curti .... painter
Paolo Cusin .... laborer
Gisella Ingrassia .... painter
Marino Ingrassia .... painter
Ermanno Kerstich .... laborer (as Ermanno Kersich)
Imre Kiss .... assistant construction manager
Luciano Magagnini .... assistant props man
Kamlan Man .... production buyer
Mihály Marton .... assistant propman (as Mihaly Marton)
Mihály Marton .... props: stop-motion segment
Mauro Masotti .... assistant props man
Ennio Meloni .... assistant construction manager
Norman Mitchell .... glass chess set
Tiziano Nardoni .... construction manager
Alessandra Querzola .... set dresser: Italy
Shirley Robinson .... graphic designer
Miklós Schmelcz .... construction manager (as Miklos Schmelz)
John Smith .... props storeman
Dominic Smithers .... supervising set decorator
Francesco Staltari .... assistant construction manager
Sam Stokes .... property master
Lajos E. Szabó .... stand-by construction manager (as Lajos E Szabo)
István Tóth .... set dresser: Hungary (as István Toth)
Emanuele von Normann .... art director: Italy (as Emanuele Von Normann)
Béla Tollay .... swing gang (uncredited)
Gabor Toth .... stand-by props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Andrea Azzolini .... sound trainee
John Bateman .... adr mixer
John Bateman .... foley mixer
James Boyle .... assistant sound editor
Michael Crouch .... adr editor
Solrey Dupray .... recording producer
Richard Fettes .... supervising sound editor
Robert Gavin .... foley editor
Peter Glossop .... production sound mixer
Craig Irving .... re-recording mixer
Mark Kenna .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Mark Lafbery .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
György Mihályi .... sound trainee (as Gyorgy Mihalyi)
Shaun Mills .... boom operator
Colin Ritchie .... dialogue editor
Lionel Selwyn .... foley artist
Ruth Sullivan .... foley artist
Alan Sutcliffe .... sound recordist
Jack Whittaker .... assistant sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Attila Erczkovi .... stand-by pyrotechnician (as Attila Erckovi)
Zsolt Furedi .... special effects technician
István Gittinger .... stand-by pyrotechnician (as Istvan Gittinger)
Gyula Krasnyánszky .... pyrotechnic technical advisor (as Gyula Krasnyanszky)
Ferenc Ormos .... special effects supervisor
György Solymosi .... special effects technician (as Gyorgy Solymosi)
Alfredo Spadaro .... special effects technician
Massimo Ticchiati .... special effects technician
Gabor Kiszelly .... special effects technician (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Craig Chandler .... visual effects producer (uncredited)
Alan Church .... visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
 
Stunts
David Ambrosi .... stunt coordinator
Giovanna Leici .... stunts
Riccardo Mioni .... stunt coordinator
Alessandro Novelli .... stunts (as Allessandro Novelli)
Emiliano Novelli .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Marco Alzetta .... grip
Werner Bacciu .... key grip
Jaspreet Bal .... clapper loader
Gyula Balogh .... electrician
Csaba Bankhardt .... electrician
Tommaso Baratto .... grip
Regis Benedettelli .... grip (as Regis Benedetteli)
Alessio Bramucci .... best boy electric
Patrick Bramucci .... gaffer
Károly Brauner .... key grip (as Karoly Brauner)
Nicola Bruso .... grip
Marcello Colaciello .... electrician
Dominique Delguste .... focus puller
Angelo Donatone .... grip (as Angelo Donatoni)
Cristiano Giavedoni .... electrician
Tamás Jánossa .... video assist operator
Tibor Klöpfler .... camera operator: second camera crew, Hungary (as Tibor Klopfler)
Ferenc Lilienberg .... camera operator: second camera crew, Hungary
Christian Magis .... gaffer (as Christian Majis)
Richard Malabi .... camera operator: second camera crew, Hungary
Olivier Martin .... key grip
Andrea Mineo .... grip labourer
Elvis Pasqual .... electrician
Péter Soltész .... camera trainee (as Peter Soltesz)
Balázs Szinte .... clapper loader (as Balazs Szinte)
Rudolf Takács .... gaffer
Andrea Tenuta .... grip labourer
Mark Tillie .... unit still photographer
Vincenzo Vedovato .... video assist operator
Mario Virdis .... electrician
Walter Volvino .... additional focus puller
Tibor Zambo .... grip
Giuseppe Bilotti .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Alessandro Cardelli .... best boy electric (uncredited)
Andrea Chiozzotto .... additional camera operator (uncredited)
Simone Puricelli .... additional clapper loader (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Louis Elman .... adr voice casting
Tamás Kertész .... extras casting
Adriana Sabbatini .... casting director: Italy
Alex Johnson .... casting assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sergio Ballo .... wardrobe assistant
Mari Balázs-Piri .... wardrobe assistant (as Mari Balazs-Piri)
Amanda Craze .... stand-by costume supervisor
Françoise Fourcade .... wardrobe assistant
György Homonnay .... wardrobe supervisor
Péter Kincs .... wardrobe assistant (as Peter Kincs)
Mark Lord .... wardrobe assistant
Barbara Vianello .... wardrobe assistant
 
Editorial Department
Kevin Ahern .... first assistant film editor
Peter Hunt .... grader
Lucy Smith .... first assistant film editor
Wiebe van der Vliet .... non-linear assistant editor (as Wiebe Van Der Vliet)
Lucy H. Williams .... second assistant film editor (as Lucy Williams)
 
Location Management
Ferenc Béres .... unit location manager (as Ferenc Beres)
Nicola Catullo .... location assistant
Tamás Guba .... location manager
Fabio Vianello .... location manager
Paolo Rosada .... location manager (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Riccardo Chailly .... conductor: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, "Waltz 2" from "Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2"
Simon Chamberlain .... musician: piano solo
Alexandre Desplat .... conductor
Alexandre Desplat .... orchestrator
Tom Jenkins .... assistant music recordist
John Timperley .... music mixer
John Timperley .... music recordist
David Walter .... assistant music recordist
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestral contractor (uncredited)
London Symphony Orchestra .... music performed by (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Gaetano Avvisato .... unit driver
Laszlo Balint .... unit driver
Péter Balogh .... unit driver (as Peter Balogh)
Neil Birdsall .... driver: winnebego
Riccardo Cagnetta .... unit driver
Marcello Colaciello .... genny driver
Nicola Condelli .... driver: minibus
Massimiliano Di Meo .... unit driver
Davide Fadda .... driver: minibus
Alessio Faretra .... unit driver
Massimiliano Galante .... unit driver
Antonio Galise .... unit driver
Sergio Gobetto .... driver: camera car
Gábor Gonda .... unit driver (as Gabor Gonda)
Mihály Gáspár .... production driver
Mac MacLean .... driver: wardrobe truck (as Mac McLean)
Zoltán Magyar .... unit driver
Zoltán Makra .... unit driver (as Zoltan Makra)
Mauro Masotti .... driver
Pietro Masotti .... driver
Sándor Nagy .... unit driver
Sándor Nyéki .... unit driver (as Sandor Nyeki)
János Nádel .... unit driver (as Janos Nadel)
Tibor Papp .... unit driver
Istvan Pintye .... transportation coordinator
Carlo Quattrone .... unit driver
Paolo Racalbulto .... driver: grip truck
Simon Richards .... driver: props truck
Alessio Schenone .... unit driver
Luigi Schiavone .... unit driver
Maurizio Troso .... driver: minibus
Péter Veres .... unit driver
 
Other crew
Zoltán Baráth .... extras coordinator (as Zoltán Barat)
Tessa Beazley .... production secretary
Réka Belsô .... assistant to director (as Reka Belsö)
Gabor Boda .... stand-in: Mr. Turturro
Bobe Bodzsar .... assistant accountant (as Erzsebet Bodzsar)
Clara Collati .... production secretary
Giovanni Constantino .... paramedic
Alessandro Cosma .... unit caterer
Gabriella Csoma .... production coordinator
Tommaso Dabala .... production assistant
Marco Dandola .... production assistant (as Marco B Dandola)
Filippo De Martin .... floor runner
Domenico Di Parigi .... extras coordinator
Lorenzo Donegana .... stand-in: Mr. Turturro
Péter Dr. Hertzka .... unit doctor
Judit Dégi .... interpreter
Sándor Dénes .... extras coordinator (as Sandor Denes)
Stephanie Eatwell .... design assistant supervisor
Viktoria Elek .... stand-in: Ms. Watson
Elizabeth Every .... tutor: Alexander Hunting
Roberta Facchettin .... assistant accountant
Ron Forder .... assistant production accountant
Bela Frey .... shipping agent
Sean Gaji .... assistant to director
Theodore Goddard .... legal services
Mate Gyori .... stand-in: Master Hunting
István Havlik .... additional stand-in (as Istvan Havlik)
Susan Hunting .... chaperone
Ildiko Kemeny .... production associate (as Ildiko Kemény)
Ray Kenny .... floor runner
Iren Kertesz .... production secretary (as Irén Kertiesz)
Tamás Kertész .... assistant extras coordinator (as Tamas Kertesz)
Barnabas Kiraly .... floor runner
Brigitta Kosztandi .... production accountant
Pierro Loy .... dance instructor
Charles McDonald .... publicist (as Charles Macdonald)
Harry Naylor .... projectionist
Chiara Orefice .... stand-in: Ms. Watson
Rita Pilinyi .... production assistant
Jo Pond .... production accountant
Sara Rossini .... floor runner
Fabiano Rubeo .... assistant accountant
Gregor Schimdinger .... tennis coach
Jean Simmons .... computer operator
Diego Somigliana .... assistant extras coordinator
John Speelman .... chess consultant
Paul Swann .... laboratory contact
Gábor Szabó .... furniture maker
Judit Sági .... interpreter
Nathalie Tanner .... production coordinator (as Nathalie Tanner)
Sophie Thévenet-Becker .... script supervisor (as Sophie Thevenet Becker)
Daniele Tiberi .... production accountant (as Daniele Tiberi)
Anita Tomaselli .... production coordinator
Micol Tummino .... accounts runner
Mónika Varga .... unit nurse (as Monika Varga)
Béla Vaszary .... unit doctor (as Dr. Béla Vaszary)
Mario Vianello .... unit caterer
Liz West .... script supervisor
Claudia Kalindjian .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Rita Pilinyi .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Jonathan Berger .... special thanks
Anthony Davies .... special thanks
Michael Freundlich .... special thanks
Thomas Gardiner .... special thanks
Dominique Green .... special thanks
Sophie Janson .... special thanks
Simon McBurney .... special thanks
József Romvári .... special thanks (as Romváry József)
Anne Sheehan .... special thanks
Evelyne Tissier .... special thanks
Maria Uitdehaag .... special thanks
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Luzhin Defense" - USA (cable TV title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and thematic elements
Runtime:
109 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: A cameraman and camera are reflected in the car window as Luzhin prepares to go to the wedding (about the 1:33 mark).See more »
Quotes:
Aleksandr Ivanovich Luzhin:As Pushkin's doomed duelist said, "Let's start if you're willing."See more »
Soundtrack:
Waltz 2See more »

FAQ

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17 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Probably not a buy, but a worthy rental for an evening at home., 28 May 2004
Author: lancer0410 (lancer0410@hotmail.com) from Ithaca, NY

John Turturro, Emily Watson, Geraldine James, Stuart Wilson; directed by Marleen Gorris, loosely based on the novel by Vladimir Nabokov The Luzhin Defence is set in nineteen-twenties Italy's lake district where the world championships of Chess are being staged. Our hero Luzhin (Turturro) is a main contender for the title and recognized as one of the greatest chess minds of the era. He is utterly consumed by game, and has utterly devoted his life to the contest since a young age. It has been both obsession and addiction for the man, as it is both all he knows and what gives his life meaning. While competing in the championships, he meets Natalia (Watson), a wealthy socialite. Showing his peculiarity, he immediately asks her to marry him, sight unseen. Intrigued by his straight forward manner, she does not immediately dismiss him.

This is due to the fact that she is here for her mother to choose a suitor for her, and Luzhin's eccentricity is seen by her as a welcome change. Her mother (James) is completely taken aback by such an idea, and wants her daughter to marry someone of similar prestige and means. All of this transpires while his old chess teacher (Wilson) tutors his chief rival, wanting nothing more than to see Luzhin humiliated.

Being a chess movie, it could immediately be set aside as dull and unwatchable, being as Chess is not exactly a spectator sport.

However, this movie is much less about chess and much more about the people surrounding the game; making it a piece about the interactions of personalities and not pieces. The movie does find a parallel however, as it is shown like a chess match between two sides, the present and the past (shown through flashbacks), with one side prevailing at the end. This storytelling choice works surprisingly well, as we gain much insight as to why Luzhin is the way he is, and how he views the world.

The movie begins with a telling piece of cinematography, as the audience is given the perspective of a train conductor emerging from a tunnel. This is especially significant when viewed in the sense of Luzhin's later mental breakdown, and can be seen as meaning the same thing. This scene is then segued into the first flashback, giving us a pattern that can be seen in the rest of the film. Other notable scenes include the meeting of Natlalia and Alexander at a tennis court, and later when he is thinking to himself in their bedroom, "There is a pattern emerging!" cries the eccentric chess genius Alexander Luzhin. "I must keep track--every second!" To which Natalia, whom he loves can only reply, "It sounds like such a lonely battle.' This all encompassing effect of chess on him can also be seen earlier in the film, as he is being driven by one of his old chess teachers chauffeurs into the middle of the countryside, is dropped off there, and does not notice. The end adds character to the film without being overly dramatic, but is a departure from the finish of the novel, however it is believable and adds to the sense that Luzhin does not really control himself, or know how.

Overall an enjoying piece of film, more about camera angles and people then chess. After the first half, the films pace drastically speeds up, and the plot becomes much more intriguing. Can best be compared to other independent films of its ilk, yet also suffices quite well as a period piece. Probably not a buy, but a worthy rental for an evening at home.

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