7.5/10
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85 user 37 critic

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

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

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Josh Waitzkin
... Fred Waitzkin
... Bonnie Waitzkin
... Bruce Pandolfini
... Vinnie
Michael Nirenberg ... Jonathan Poe
... Poe's Teacher
... Kalev
... Morgan
Vasek Simek ... Russian Park Player
... Tunafish Father
... Tournament Director
... School Teacher
... 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:

Innocent Moves  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,266,383
See more on IMDbPro »

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 film's star, Max Pomeranc, was chosen because he is in real life a chess player (or was at the time of the film). The producers wanted someone who would be at ease and "correct" playing chess. None of the film's other stars played chess in the beginning, but eventually Joe Mantegna learned. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene when Josh encounters Vinnie for the first time, as Vinne stands there with the baseball pointing at the chess piece the sunlight is over his left shoulder. In the reverse angle shot of Josh, the sunlight should be over his *right* shoulder, yet the light is on Josh's left. 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 ...
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Connections

Referenced in The Zack Files: Searching for Zack Greenburg (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Green Grass Grows All Around
Performed by Pete Seeger
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Every Father Should Watch This Movie
21 December 1998 | by See all my reviews

It's one of the toughest jobs a father faces--how hard should you push to "make a man" out of your young son.

"Searching for Bobby Fischer" offers a gentle and unexpected answer: You should listen for your son to tell you how "manly" he wants to be. Young Max Pomeranc is letter-perfect as the chess prodigy who refuses to become ruthless despite the prodding of his father and his surrogate-father. Joe Mantegna and Ben Kingsley give moving performances as men who can be convincingly converted to the truer, sweeter morality of a young child who doesn't need to be "tough" in order to be good. Watch for an understated, underrated performance by Joan Allen as the mom. A beautifully photographed, beautifully paced drama that should reduce anyone with more empathy than a statue to heartfelt tears.


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