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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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Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
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4,418 ( 769)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Bobby Fischer
... Boris Spassky
... Paul Marshall
... Father Bill Lombardy
Edward Zinoviev ... Efim Geller
Alexandre Gorchkov ... Iivo Nei
... Joan Fischer
... Regina Fischer
... Teenage Bobby Fischer
... Young Bobby Fischer
... Young Joan Fischer
... Donna
... Carmine Nigro
... Ivanovich
Brett Watson ... Lothar Schmid
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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:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site |  »

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Language:

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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 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

| (archive footage)| (archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The chess legend Bobby Fischer was born Robert James Fischer on March 9, 1943 in Chicago to Regina Wender Fischer. His mother was a Jew who had been born in Switzerland but raised in St. Louis who became a naturalized U.S. citizen. The actual identity of his father is unknown. Regina listed German biophysicist Hans-Gerhardt Fischer, her first husband, as the father on Bobby's birth certificate, but they had been separated since 1939. Bobby's actual father likely was Hungarian physicist Paul Newmenyi, who like his mother, was Jewish. As his mental stability broke down late in life, Bobby became a vicious anti-Semite, insisting he wasn't Jewish. See more »

Goofs

Fischer certainly did not sleep on the beach after losing to Spassky in Santa Monica. See more »

Quotes

Boris Spassky: Bravo.
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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 »


Soundtracks

White Rabbit
Written by Grace Slick
Performed by Jefferson Airplane
Courtesy of RCA Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing Irving Music, Inc. on behalf of Copperpenny Music
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User Reviews

 
brilliant but disturbed
15 February 2016 | by See 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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