7.4/10
27,441
87 user 40 critic

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

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

Director:

Steven Zaillian

Writers:

Fred Waitzkin (book), Steven Zaillian (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

'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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A tenacious lawyer takes on a case involving a major company responsible for causing several people to be diagnosed with leukemia due to the town's water supply being contaminated, at the risk of bankrupting his firm and career.

Director: Steven Zaillian
Stars: John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kathleen Quinlan
Magnus (2016)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Magnus Carlsen, Norwegian chess prodigy, becomes a grandmaster at age 13 and world champion in 2013.

Director: Benjamin Ree
Stars: Magnus Carlsen, Garry Kasparov, Viswanathan Anand
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Set during the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers and his own struggles as he challenges the Soviet Empire.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard
Shine (1996)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A single mother's life is thrown into turmoil after her struggling, rarely seen younger brother returns to town.

Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Stars: Laura Linney, Matthew Broderick, Amy Ryan
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An employee of a corporation with a lucrative secret process is tempted to betray it. But there's more to it than that.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Steve Martin, Ben Gazzara, Campbell Scott
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Jay Thomas
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A boy and his brother don't get along well. In order to let their ill mother rest, they're separated and sent each one with their relatives.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Anton Glanzelius, Tomas von Brömssen, Anki Lidén
Quiz Show (1994)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young lawyer, Richard Goodwin, investigates a potentially fixed game show. Charles Van Doren, a big time show winner, is under Goodwin's investigation.

Director: Robert Redford
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, John Turturro, Rob Morrow
Gallipoli (1981)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Based on the Robert Penn Warren novel. The life of populist Southerner Willie Stark, a political creature loosely based on Governor Huey Long of Louisiana.

Director: Steven Zaillian
Stars: Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Pomeranc ... Josh Waitzkin
Joe Mantegna ... Fred Waitzkin
Joan Allen ... Bonnie Waitzkin
Ben Kingsley ... Bruce Pandolfini
Laurence Fishburne ... Vinnie
Michael Nirenberg Michael Nirenberg ... Jonathan Poe
Robert Stephens ... Poe's Teacher
David Paymer ... Kalev
Hal Scardino ... Morgan
Vasek Simek Vasek Simek ... Russian Park Player
William H. Macy ... Tunafish Father
Dan Hedaya ... Tournament Director
Laura Linney ... School Teacher
Anthony Heald ... Fighting Parent
Steven Randazzo Steven Randazzo ... Man of Many Signals
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 August 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Innocent Moves See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,121,354, 15 August 1993

Gross USA:

$7,266,383

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,266,383
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mirage Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

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 hits the clock button at the start of his match with Jonathan, but in the next shot the button on his side is still raised. 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 the 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 ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original film ends with a title card stating that Josh still plays chess
  • along with several other activities, indicating that he has a well-rounded life. When the film was broadcast on NBC in 1996, this title card was updated: it now stated that Josh was working to become a grandmaster, and that he now considered Jack Kerouac, not Bobby Fischer, to be his primary influence.
See more »


Soundtracks

Green Grass Grows All Around
Performed by Pete Seeger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
As near perfect as any movie I've seen.
17 March 2003 | by aslan23See 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!


36 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 87 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed