6.9/10
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The Luzhin Defence (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 8 September 2000 (UK)
Trailer
2:13 | Trailer

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

Director:

Marleen Gorris

Writers:

Vladimir Nabokov (novel), Peter Berry (screenplay)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Turturro ... Luzhin
Emily Watson ... Natalia
Geraldine James ... Vera
Stuart Wilson ... Valentinov
Christopher Thompson Christopher Thompson ... Stassard
Fabio Sartor ... Turati
Peter Blythe ... Ilya
Orla Brady ... Anna
Mark Tandy ... Luzhin's Father
Kelly Hunter ... Luzhin's Mother
Alexander Hunting Alexander Hunting ... Young Luzhin
Alfredo Pea Alfredo Pea ... 1st Official
Fabio Pasquini Fabio Pasquini ... 2nd Official
Luigi Petrucci Luigi Petrucci ... Santucci
Carlo Greco Carlo Greco ... Hotel Manager
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Storyline

Set in the late 1920s, The Luzhin Defence tells the story of a shambling, unworldly chess Grand Master who arrives in the Italian Lakes to play the match of his life and unexpectedly finds the love of his life. Discovering his prodigious talent in boyhood overshadowed by his parents' failing marriage, Luzhin's lyrical passion for chess has become his refuge and rendered the real world a phantom. Already matched up by her family to the very suitable Comte de Stassard, when Natalia meets Luzhin, she is drawn to the erratic genius and offers him a glimpse outside of his chess obsession. But it is a world he is not equipped to deal with and his two worlds collide to tragic effect. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His love dictates every move.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

8 September 2000 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Luzhin Defense See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,203, 22 April 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,051,811, 26 August 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

A camera operator's reflection is in the window just after Luzhin walks past a piano (about 30 minutes in). See more »

Quotes

Aleksandr Ivanovich Luzhin: As Pushkin's doomed duelist said, "Let's start if you're willing."
See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz 2
from "Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2"
Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich (as Dimitri Shostakovich)
Performed by Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)
Conducted by Riccardo Chailly
By permission of Boosey & Hawkes Licensing
Courtesy of Decca Record Label Ltd.
Under license from Universal Special Markets
(p) 1992 Decca Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Had To Watch It Again
22 March 2003 | by guideccaSee all my reviews

It was riveting the first time and equally so the second time. I couldn't stand to miss one word. I guess I was hooked on it. It dwarfs A Beautiful Mind; I don't know how you rated that one. The movie leaves you excited about being obsessed with anything you really love. I think it was the story that grabbed me, not whatever failings someone is guessing the film has. The beauty of loving Sasha, someone who is NOT off the yuppie assembly line. However, the good-heartedness of the yuppie (the mother's choice). The good-heartedness of Sash's opponent. The evil of only one bad apple. Its a beautiful world that must exist outside of reality. Certainly outside the borders of my country. It is what movies do...make us dream and wish it could be true.


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