7.0/10
38,610
123 user 149 critic

Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
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

Writers:

Steven Knight (screenplay), Stephen J. Rivele (story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
4,398 ( 1,623)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tobey Maguire ... Bobby Fischer
Liev Schreiber ... Boris Spassky
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Paul Marshall
Peter Sarsgaard ... Father Bill Lombardy
Edward Zinoviev Edward Zinoviev ... Efim Geller
Alexandre Gorchkov Alexandre Gorchkov ... Iivo Nei
Lily Rabe ... Joan Fischer
Robin Weigert ... Regina Fischer
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick ... Teenage Bobby Fischer
Aiden Lovekamp ... Young Bobby Fischer
Sophie Nélisse ... Young Joan Fischer
Evelyne Brochu ... Donna
Conrad Pla ... Carmine Nigro
Vitali Makarov ... Ivanovich
Brett Watson Brett Watson ... Lothar Schmid
Learn more

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Storyline

During the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire. Written by Bleecker Street

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1972, Bobby Fischer faced the Soviet Union in the greatest chess match ever played. On the board he fought the Cold War. In his mind he fought his madness.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexual content and historical smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The year 1972 was packed with watershed events across the globe, including the winding down of the war in Vietnam, the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union, the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, the Watergate break-in and Richard Nixon's groundbreaking trip to China. But it was an international event of a very different kind that dominated headlines that summer. In Iceland, Bobby Fischer, America's foremost chess player, faced the reigning champion, Boris Spassky of Russia, in a series of matches that held the world spellbound. Around the world, people were captivated by a mano-a-mano fight between two masters of the so-called "game of kings." Eastern European players dominated the chess scene, and Fischer unknowingly became an avatar for the United States and its Cold War battle for dominance with the Soviet Union. This movie chronicles Fischer's pursuit of the chess world's ultimate prize and the price he paid for his victory. This is the major subject of this movie. Fischer is played by actor Tobey Maguire and Spassky is portrayed by actor Liev Schreiber. See more »

Goofs

As Fischer sits down to play Ivanovich, a sign is visible on the side of another table which misspells Bent Larsen's name as "Brent Larsen". See more »

Quotes

Bobby Fischer: So what do you do, Donna?
Donna: I screw people.
Bobby Fischer: Ahhh me too... Listen, I was thinking of getting rid of my virginity.
Donna: Is that right.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, the name of the character Cyril (played by Shawn Campbell) is misspelled "Cryil". See more »


Soundtracks

Olympic Fanfare and Theme
Written by John Williams
Courtesy of Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. on behalf of Marjer Publishing
See more »

User Reviews

 
brilliant but disturbed
15 February 2016 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Well, the reviewer before me absolutely trashed this film for its dramatic license, so now I don't know what to say.

This is the highly fictionalized story of Bobby Fischer, a chess fanatic and genius who rose to the very top of his field. He was part of a Russia vs. U.S. superiority struggle when he played Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber), the world champion back then, in the '70s. It's unlikely he understood that; he didn't have a broad or worldly focus. The chess was all he cared about, that and money.

Biopics sometimes take a lot of liberties. Characters are made up, time is shortened, incidents are moved around, elements are put in for dramatic emphasis. That's why you can't take a biographical film as factual. It's better if you become interested in the person and read about him, as I did about Fischer, though I remember him.

Toby Maguire does a fantastic job as Fischer. Yes, Fischer was tall and Maguire is short. Frankly I wasn't made aware of Maguire's height while watching the film.

I believe the filmmakers were trying to give us a psychological story -- a complete genius with an IQ of 181 but one who also had mental problems. Lots of so-called geniuses are strange, I suppose, but Fischer was a real study in opposites.

He often made unreasonable, last-minute demands, made anti-Semite remarks, and accused the Russians of colluding against him. In the second game of his world championship against Spassky, he didn't show up. Nevertheless, his achievements in chess were remarkable, and many consider him the greatest chess player who ever lived.

His later life was a mess; he became reclusive; his passport was revoked and finally, Iceland took him in. By then he was off the wall completely.

Edward Zwick directed this film with a lot of zip and made it an intense and absorbing experience, as did the actors.

Look at this as the psychological story of a phenomenal talent whose emotional/mental problems interfered with his life and career. Don't take it as the detailed life of Bobby Fischer, his relationship with his mother, and who taught him what. The most interesting thing about him was his incredible talent.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

25 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pawn Sacrifice See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,053, 20 September 2015

Gross USA:

$2,436,633

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,578,519
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color | Color (archive footage)| Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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