1 user 1 critic

Queen of Cactus Cove (2005)

Teenage chess champ Billie (Alia Shawkat) faces the prospect of defeat for the first time when she faces her best friend (Alex Frost) at the biggest chess tournament of her career.



(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
4 wins. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Rugrats (2012)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Produced by Funny or Die, the short was a trailer for a darker version of the Nickelodeon original.

Director: Ryan Perez
Stars: Michael Angarano, Nathan Barnatt, Sarah Ramos
State of Grace (2001–2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Set in 1965 this comedy/drama follows the adventures of a 12 year old Jewish girl named Hannah who is best friends with Grace, a 12 year old Catholic girl. They both attend the local ... See full summary »

Stars: Mae Whitman, Faye Grant, Michael Mantell
Wild Canaries (2014)
Comedy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A Brooklyn couple suspects foul play when their rent controlled neighbor suddenly drops dead.

Director: Lawrence Michael Levine
Stars: Sophia Takal, Lawrence Michael Levine, Alia Shawkat
Not Like Everyone Else (TV Movie 2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After a teacher becomes supposedly becomes ill at Union School, Oklahoma, Native American teenager Brandi Blackbear (Alia Shawkat) is accused of putting a hex on the teacher and suspended. ... See full summary »

Director: Tom McLoughlin
Stars: Alia Shawkat, Illeana Douglas, Eric Schweig
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The graduating class at Miss Aversham and Miss Cronstall's School for Girls find that they have - in defiance of the natural laws of probability - all blossomed simultaneously. Capitalizing... See full summary »

Director: Phil Price
Stars: Raviv Ullman, Rachelle Lefevre, Alia Shawkat
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

While Danny's father and mother independently search for love, Danny is on his own desperate quest to find a prom date. Danny's search becomes progressively more pathetic once he and his family learn that Bart, the school's biggest dweeb, not only secured a date for the prom, but got a hotel room as well.

Director: Brian Hecker
Stars: Steven Kaplan, William H. Macy, Cheryl Hines
The Lie I (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A man's life is altered unexpectedly after telling a lie to get out of work.

Director: Joshua Leonard
Stars: Joshua Leonard, Jess Weixler, Kelli Garner
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

When the mother of his infant son unexpectedly passes away, struggling actor Mark grapples with fatherhood and his inability to grow up. And when he sparks with a single mother, he learns how his choices have real-life consequences.

Director: Mark Webber
Stars: Mark Webber, Alia Shawkat, Shannyn Sossamon
The Oranges (2011)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The enduring friendship between the Walling and Ostroff families is tested when Nina, the prodigal Ostroff daughter, returns home for the holidays after a five-year absence and enters into an affair with David, head of the Walling family.

Director: Julian Farino
Stars: Leighton Meester, Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener
Getting On (2013–2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Set in a geriatric extended care wing of a down-at-the-heels hospital, Getting On follows put-upon nurses, anxious doctors and administrators as they struggle with the darkly comic, ... See full summary »

Stars: Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein, Niecy Nash
Comedy | Drama

A woman at rock bottom must find her way across Los Angeles in order to crash her ex-boyfriend's engagement party.

Director: Christian Papierniak
Stars: Alia Shawkat, Mackenzie Davis, Keith Stanfield
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  

What happens to a dream when the dreamer is gone? PAINT IT BLACK is the story of the aftermath of Michael's death, and Josie's struggle to hold onto the true world he shared with her. As ... See full summary »

Director: Amber Tamblyn
Stars: Alia Shawkat, Janet McTeer, Alfred Molina


Credited cast:
Linda Porter ...
Mrs. Wadsworth
Don Potter ...
Tournament Director
Mrs. Beal
Katie Harper ...
Chess player (as Katie Lee Harper)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mark Alkofer ...
Diner Patron
Diner Patron
Ava Corinne ...
Tournament Monitor
Diner Patron
Chess player
Chess player


Teenage chess champ Billie (Alia Shawkat) faces the prospect of defeat for the first time when she faces her best friend (Alex Frost) at the biggest chess tournament of her career.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

chess | pool | desert | coming of age | See All (4) »


It's not about winning or losing. It's about winning. See more »


Short | Comedy



Official Sites:



Release Date:

11 December 2005 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$65,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


Written and Composed by Jake Gideon
Performed by The Breakups
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Enjoyable even from a non-chess player's perspective
18 October 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I watched this dramatic short film on-line. It stars Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development fame as a young girl who aspires to be the best chess player in the country. She plays against her friend, but on the morning of the tournament is beaten by him. She expresses surprise and wonders how it happened. During the tournament itself she defeats everyone and finds her last game is with her friend. And he wins.

Queen of Cactus Cove is really about defeat. This is the overall theme, and while I imagine someone who likes chess might appreciate this film on another level, the theme is universal enough that I still enjoyed it. Helping me out a little were the subtitles translating the chess moves and facial expressions to English with a humorous and charming effect. Shawkat's good; at first I thought her performance at the beginning was off but on rewatching the beginning, I decided she was fine. And she portrays defeat effectively. The other performers are good too.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Queen of Cactus Cove ONLINE bonnieathene
DVD? justin_time
'. . . Cactus Cove' Review one_sweater
Discuss Queen of Cactus Cove (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: