Checkmate! (The Great Chess Movies)

by osloj | created - 27 Feb 2016 | updated - 24 Feb 2017 | Public
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1. The Chess Players (1977)

Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama, History

Wazed Ali Shah was the ruler of one of the last independent kingdoms of India. The British, intent on controlling this rich country, had sent General Outram on a secret mission to clear the... See full summary »

Director: Satyajit Ray | Stars: Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffrey, Shabana Azmi, Farida Jalal

Votes: 2,752

2. The Chess Players (2012)

57 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport

"The younger you are, the more aggressive you play". Three-way themed film about trial and error, "The Chess Players" is the chronicle of the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Germany and the failure ... See full summary »

Director: Stephan Hilpert

3. The Chess Player (1927)

135 min | Drama, Fantasy

In 1776, an inventor conceals a Polish nobleman in his chess-playing automaton, a machine whose fame leads it to the court of the Russian empress.

Director: Raymond Bernard | Stars: Pierre Blanchar, Charles Dullin, Édith Jéhanne, Camille Bert

Votes: 248

4. The Mystery of Chess Boxing (1979)

Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Drama

Supposedly dead, embittered former official, The Ghost Face Killer has returned and seeking revenge on those martial arts masters than once opposed him - his name is infamous and his Five ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Kuo | Stars: Jack Long, Yi-Min Li, Kuan-Wu Lung, Siu Tin Yuen

Votes: 440

5. Queen to Play (2009)

Unrated | 101 min | Drama

70 Metascore

Middle-aged chambermaid Hélène's newfound obsession with the game of chess leads her to seek the tutelage of a reclusive American expat, transforming both of their ho-hum lives in the ... See full summary »

Director: Caroline Bottaro | Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, Kevin Kline, Francis Renaud, Jennifer Beals

Votes: 2,511 | Gross: $0.48M

6. Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

PG | 109 min | Biography, Drama

89 Metascore

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

Director: Steven Zaillian | Stars: Joe Mantegna, Ben Kingsley, Max Pomeranc, Joan Allen

Votes: 27,533 | Gross: $7.27M

7. The Luzhin Defence (2000)

PG-13 | 109 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

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

Director: Marleen Gorris | Stars: John Turturro, Emily Watson, Geraldine James, Stuart Wilson

Votes: 4,070 | Gross: $1.05M

8. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 147,140

9. King of Chess (1991)

109 min | Drama

Hong Kong ad man Ching (John Shum) is recruited by an old friend to boost the rating of a tv game show in Taiwan. After discovering a child with psychic abilities, he sets up a televised ... See full summary »

Directors: Ho Yim, Hark Tsui | Stars: Tony Ka Fai Leung, John Sham, Lin Yang, Koon-Chung Chan

Votes: 264

10. Brainwashed (1960)

102 min | Drama, War

In 1938 Austria shortly after the Nazi occupation, a prominent Viennese intellectual, Werner von Basil, is arrested for smuggling art treatures out of the country and imprisoned by the ... See full summary »

Director: Gerd Oswald | Stars: Curd Jürgens, Claire Bloom, Hansjörg Felmy, Mario Adorf

Votes: 477

11. Zatoichi and the Chess Expert (1965)

Not Rated | 87 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A samurai with a high skill in chess makes friends with Zatoichi, who finds that things become peculiar in his presence.

Director: Kenji Misumi | Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Mikio Narita, Chizu Hayashi, Kaneko Iwasaki

Votes: 1,098

12. Chess Fever (1925)

Not Rated | 28 min | Comedy, Short

With an international chess tournament in progress, a young man becomes completely obsessed with the game. His fiancée has no interest in it, and becomes frustrated and depressed by his ... See full summary »

Directors: Vsevolod Pudovkin, Nikolai Shpikovsky | Stars: José Raúl Capablanca, Vladimir Fogel, Anna Zemtsova, Natalya Glan

Votes: 1,038

13. Chess King (1988)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama

Lesson 1: Greeting Lesson 2: Introduction Lesson 3: Appreciation Lesson 4: Apology Lesson 5: Part and Say Good-bye Lesson 6: Expressing Like and Dislike Lesson 7: Hope and Anticipation ... See full summary »

Director: Wenji Teng | Stars: Dahong Ni, Ben Niu, Yuan Xie, Liang Zhao

Votes: 14

14. Knights of the South Bronx (2005 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 89 min | Drama

The movie is based on the life & times of David MacEnulty who taught schoolchildren of the Bronx Community Elementary School 70 to play at competition level, eventually winning New York ... See full summary »

Director: Allen Hughes | Stars: Ted Danson, Malcolm David Kelley, Keke Palmer, Clifton Powell

Votes: 999

15. Great Performances (1971– )
Episode: Chess in Concert (2009)

Unrated | 145 min | Music

Chess In Concert: Chess In Concert

Director: Hugh Wooldridge | Stars: Josh Groban, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, David Bedella

Votes: 198

16. Dangerous Moves (1984)

100 min | Drama, Sport, Thriller

During the Cold War, the World Chess Championship clashed complete opposites - personal and political.

Director: Richard Dembo | Stars: Michel Piccoli, Alexandre Arbatt, Liv Ullmann, Leslie Caron

Votes: 934

17. Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine (2003)

PG | 90 min | Documentary

66 Metascore

Garry Kasparov is arguably the greatest chess player who has ever lived. In 1997 he played a chess match against IBM's computer Deep Blue. Kasparov lost the match. This film shows the match... See full summary »

Director: Vikram Jayanti | Stars: Marc Ghannoum, Joel Benjamin, Michael Greengard, Anatoli Karpov

Votes: 1,254

18. Knight Moves (1992)

R | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A chess grandmaster is in a big tournament, and when his lover is found painted up and the blood drained out of her body he becomes a chief suspect. After he gets a call from the killer ... See full summary »

Director: Carl Schenkel | Stars: Christopher Lambert, Tom Skerritt, Codie Lucas Wilbee, Joshua Murray

Votes: 7,296 | Gross: $0.92M

19. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A depressed musician reunites with his lover. Though their romance, which has already endured several centuries, is disrupted by the arrival of her uncontrollable younger sister.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt

Votes: 83,008 | Gross: $1.88M

20. 8 X 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements (1957)

80 min | Music

It is a fairy tale for the subconscious based on the game of chess. Partly Sigmund Freud, partly Lewis Carroll.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, Hans Richter | Stars: Jean Arp, Paul Bowles, Ceal Bryson, Alexander Calder

Votes: 165

22. Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943)

Passed | 68 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

During WWII several murders occur at a convalescent home where Dr. Watson has volunteered his services. He summons Holmes for help and the master detective proceeds to solve the crime from ... See full summary »

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Dennis Hoey, Arthur Margetson

Votes: 3,828

23. The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (1978)

66 min | Drama, Mystery

Two narrators, one seen and one unseen, discuss possible connections between a series of paintings. The on-screen narrator walks through three-dimensional reproductions of each painting, ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz | Stars: Jean Rougeul, Chantal Paley, Jean Raynaud, Daniel Grimm

Votes: 885

24. Final Move (2006)

R | 91 min | Thriller

A psychic and a cop track a serial killer who is copying a killer who just got executed.

Director: Joey Travolta | Stars: Matt Schulze, Lochlyn Munro, David Carradine, Daniel Baldwin

Votes: 420

26. Arcibel's Game (2003)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Fantasy

A chess columnist ends in prison when one of his columns is mistakenly seen as a subversive attack. From there he invents a game of war and strategy and a cellmate who escapes uses it initiating a real revolution. Gripping story.

Director: Alberto Lecchi | Stars: Darío Grandinetti, Diego Torres, Juan Echanove, Juan Diego

Votes: 256

27. Uncovered (1994)

R | 103 min | Thriller

While restoring an old painting showing a woman and two men playing chess, Julia discovers the text "Who killed the knight" underneath the paint. The owner of the painting tells her that ... See full summary »

Director: Jim McBride | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, John Wood, Sinéad Cusack, Paudge Behan

Votes: 2,005

28. Have Gun - Will Travel (1957–1963)

Approved | 25 min | Western

The adventures of a gentlemanly gunfighter for hire.

Stars: Richard Boone, Kam Tong, Hal Needham, Stewart East

Votes: 2,098

29. Five Fingers (2006)

R | 87 min | Drama, Thriller

In Morocco to assist with the creation of a food charity, a Dutchman is abducted by a terrorist.

Director: Laurence Malkin | Stars: Mimi Ferrer, Laurence Fishburne, Touriya Haoud, Isa Hoes

Votes: 7,574

30. 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama

71 Metascore

71 scenes revolving around a recent immigrant, a couple that has just adopted a daughter, a college student and a lonely old man.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Gabriel Cosmin Urdes, Lukas Miko, Otto Grünmandl, Anne Bennent

Votes: 6,058

32. The Alamut Ambush (1986 TV Movie)

94 min | Thriller, War

This British espionage thriller stars Terence Stamp as David Audley, former Oxford professor turned intelligence agent.

Director: Ken Grieve | Stars: Terence Stamp, Michael Culver, Carmen Du Sautoy, Robin Sachs

Votes: 24

33. Bobby Fischer Against the World (2011)

TV-14 | 93 min | Documentary, Biography, History

76 Metascore

'Bobby Fischer Against the World' is a documentary feature exploring the tragic and bizarre life of the late chess master Bobby Fischer. The drama of Bobby Fischer's career was undeniable, ... See full summary »

Director: Liz Garbus | Stars: Bobby Fischer, David Edmonds, Anthony Saidy, Susan Polgar

Votes: 6,453

34. The Prisoner (1967–1968)

TV-PG | 50 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

After resigning, a secret agent is abducted and taken to what looks like an idyllic village, but is really a bizarre prison. His warders demand information. He gives them nothing, but only tries to escape.

Stars: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat, Peter Swanwick, Peter Brace

Votes: 11,615

35. Checkmate (1960–1962)

60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Don Corey and Jed Sills operate Checkmate, Inc., a very high priced detective agency in San Francisco. Helping them protect the lives of their clients is British criminologist (once an Oxford professor) Carl Hyatt.

Stars: Anthony George, Doug McClure, Sebastian Cabot, Ken Lynch

Votes: 215

36. Checkmate (I) (2015)

Not Rated | 102 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

Six people are thrown together during an elaborate bank heist where any move can alter the outcome. Is it coincidence, or are they merely pawns in a much bigger game.

Director: Timothy Woodward Jr. | Stars: Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Sean Astin, Mischa Barton

Votes: 955

37. Computer Chess (2013)

Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy

74 Metascore

A 1980s-set story centered around a man vs. machine chess tournament.

Director: Andrew Bujalski | Stars: Kriss Schludermann, Tom Fletcher, Wiley Wiggins, Patrick Riester

Votes: 4,107 | Gross: $0.10M

38. Deadlier Than the Male (1967)

Approved | 98 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

British agent Bulldog Drummond is assigned to stop a master criminal who uses beautiful women to do his killings.

Director: Ralph Thomas | Stars: Richard Johnson, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, Nigel Green

Votes: 1,228

39. Columbo (1971–2003)
Episode: The Most Dangerous Match (1973)

Not Rated | 74 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A chess player murders his opponent before a big match. Lt. Columbo must out-maneuver this crafty, but craven, killer.

Director: Edward M. Abroms | Stars: Peter Falk, Laurence Harvey, Lloyd Bochner, Jack Kruschen

Votes: 1,648

40. The Mighty Pawns (1987 TV Movie)

57 min | Drama

Inner city kids are given new direction when they are convinced to join the school chess team.

Director: Eric Laneuville | Stars: Rosalind Cash, Sean Thomas Danley, Theo Forsett, Shawn Harrison

Votes: 32

41. The Chess Set (2005)

17 min | Short, Drama

Karl and Tom are long time friends; who meet each morning to play chess in the park. However, shortly after a chance meeting with a young man, Tom dies. In an attempt to avoid the grief of ... See full summary »

Director: Alex Murawski | Stars: Nathaniel Dean, Stuart Wagstaff, Frank Wilson

42. Little Man Tate (1991)

PG | 99 min | Drama

71 Metascore

Fred Tate is a prodigy. He's also a lonely, little boy with the emotional needs that his single mom covers. Worries about world problems gives him ulcer. He takes a quantum physics summer college class at 7.

Director: Jodie Foster | Stars: Jodie Foster, Dianne Wiest, Adam Hann-Byrd, Alex Lee

Votes: 13,185 | Gross: $25.01M

43. The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Romance

A computer programmer decides to become a thief. And when he starts making waves an insurance investigator hounds him. He also meets a woman who becomes his accomplice.

Director: Bud Yorkin | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Jacqueline Bisset, Warren Oates, Jill Clayburgh

Votes: 802

(1973) Ryan O'Neil is nicknamed "the Chess Burglar"!

44. Alice (1988)

Not Rated | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

A surrealistic revision of Alice in Wonderland.

Director: Jan Svankmajer | Stars: Kristýna Kohoutová, Camilla Power

Votes: 10,522

45. Brooklyn Castle (2012)

PG | 101 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

Amidst financial crises and unprecedented public school budget cuts, Brooklyn Castle takes an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs facing members of a junior high school's champion chess team.

Director: Katie Dellamaggiore | Stars: Je'Daiah Ballantyne, Michelle Ballantyne, Rochelle Ballantyne, Pamela Ballard

Votes: 873 | Gross: $0.22M

46. A Chess Dispute (1903)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short, Comedy

A stationary camera looks on as two dapper gents play a game of chess. One drinks and smokes, and when he looks away, his opponent moves two pieces. A fight ensues, first with the squirting... See full summary »

Director: Robert W. Paul | Star: Alfred Collins

Votes: 560

47. The Dark Horse (2014)

R | 124 min | Biography, Drama

77 Metascore

A brilliant but troubled New Zealand chess champion finds purpose by teaching underprivileged children about the rules of chess and life.

Director: James Napier Robertson | Stars: Cliff Curtis, James Rolleston, Kirk Torrance, James Napier Robertson

Votes: 5,373 | Gross: $0.06M

48. Endgame (1999)

8 min | Short, Comedy

An ordinary chess game between a man and a woman turns into a battle of the sexes.

Director: Luis Cámara | Stars: Gabrielle Galanter, Ian Abercrombie, Bobby Gaylor, Micaela Moreno

Votes: 32