7.0/10
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110 user 144 critic

Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

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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.

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(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
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4,615 ( 125)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Edward Zinoviev ...
Alexandre Gorchkov ...
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Brett Watson ...
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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 September 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La jugada maestra  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,053, 20 September 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,436,062, 13 December 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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| (archive footage)| (archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The nicknames for the actual real-life World Championship Chess Competition between Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber) were "The Game of the Century" and/or "The Match of the Century". See more »

Goofs

On numerous occasions, both players had shown behaviors commonly known to be totally unacceptable in any serious game. For example, in Game 1, after Fischer made what looked like a bad move, Spassky said to him: "You don't look well, Robert James"! Such a provocative remark would have been totally unacceptable and Spassky would have been given a severe warning. In any serious game, conversations between players are strictly forbidden - the only exceptions being if you want to adjust pieces on the board or if you want to offer a draw. Earlier in that game, Fischer complained about the noisy video cameras when Spassky was on the move. Any complaint, even if valid, would have to be made on your own time and not when your opponent's clock is running. See more »

Quotes

Paul Marshall: I think he's afraid of what's gonna happen if he loses.
Father Bill Lombardy: No, he's afraid of what's gonna happen if he wins.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References 60 Minutes (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Olympic Fanfare and Theme
Written by John Williams
Courtesy of Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. on behalf of Marjer Publishing
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User Reviews

 
Better Than Expected, Great Subject Matter.
31 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

Was hesitant to watch this - didn't like the casting of Maguire as Fischer. Ended up watching it anyway out of curiosity as this story has intrigued me for many years. I still think Maguire was the wrong choice to play Fischer. I would like to have seen Ryan Gosling or a younger Josh Lucas attempt it. At least somebody who could carry off that particular New York accent as that was one of his hallmarks for me. But that notwithstanding, if Tobey was the only choice available then I think he did a hell of a good job. I really enjoyed this. Edward Zwick knows how to put a movie together. Great supporting performances from Sarsgaard, Stuhlbarg and Schreiber. Having followed the story before I got the general impression they were trying to remain faithful to what happened at the chess championship in '72. I'm not sure how much of the mental illness stuff I buy. Clearly there was some kind of paranoia going on there - and the film deals with that well - but I think a lot is projected onto this after the fact. Secondary gains. A lot is conveniently bundled into the mental illness bucket which may just have just been the man's world view. And I think that is disrespectful to a brilliant man who is no longer here to defend himself. But that's not so much a criticism of the film as the general view of Fischer out there now. That said, I think this particular film probably handled it more respectfully than most would have done. So overall it was a lot better than expected. Definitely worth a watch - it's an extraordinary real life story about the extremes of obsession required to compete at that level, and the toll that it can, and often does, take. A subject not too often tackled in a world that worships competition for prizes.


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