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La diagonale du fou (1984)

Two masters of chess duel each other not only in their game but also in their different ideologies. The veteran Akiva is a Soviet Jew and ferocious Communist, master of his game but also ... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Dembo

Writer:

Richard Dembo
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Piccoli ... Akiva Liebskind
Alexandre Arbatt Alexandre Arbatt ... Pavius Fromm
Liv Ullmann ... Marina Fromm
Leslie Caron ... Henia Liebskind
Wojciech Pszoniak ... Le grand maître Felton - l'équipe de Fromm
Jean-Hugues Anglade ... Miller, l'équipe de Fromm
Daniel Olbrychski ... Tac-Tac, l'équipe de Liebskind
Hubert Saint-Macary Hubert Saint-Macary ... Foldes
Michel Aumont ... Stepan Ivanovitch Kerossian - l'équipe de Liebskind
Pierre Michaël Pierre Michaël ... Yachvili
Serge Avedikian Serge Avedikian ... Fadenko
Pierre Vial Pierre Vial ... Anton Heller
Bernhard Wicki ... Pühl
Jacques Boudet Jacques Boudet ... Stuffli
Benoît Régent Benoît Régent ... Barabal
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Storyline

Two masters of chess duel each other not only in their game but also in their different ideologies. The veteran Akiva is a Soviet Jew and ferocious Communist, master of his game but also dealing with a declining health while the young and restless genius Pavius has defected to the West to escape from the Communism tentacles. Their differences will be put to test while they're both competing in the World Chess Championship, with a huge prize at stake just as much as the political ideologies behind those characters. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Language:

French

Release Date:

25 April 1984 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Dangerous Moves See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the events are based on the Anatoli Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi World Chess Championship match in 1978. The actual match pitted Karpov (a Soviet prodigy) vs Korchnoi (who had escaped to the West just a few years prior to the match), and there was no love lost between the sides. The accusations included Karpov's team using a "parapsychologist" (Vladimir P. Zukhar) to sit in the audience and try and unnerve Korchnoi during the matches, and Korchnoi using two members of the Ananda Marga sect who were experts in "transcendental meditation". Other actions included arguments about what anthems and flags could be used, accusations of secret devices hidden in Korchoi's chair that he used during the matches (the chair had to be X-rayed), and accusations that yogurt delivery to Karpov during the games was a form of secret communication. The events are also described in the documentary Closing Gambit: 1978 Korchnoi versus Karpov and the Kremlin (2018). See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, Liebskind describes a move as "Rook to G-10". There is no G-10 on the chessboard; the numbers only go to 8. This error is in the subtitles only and was a mistranslation; the actual line ends with "huit", French for eight. See more »

Quotes

Pavius Fromm: Check. Check.
Akiva Liebskind: Mate! Mate!
[wins one match]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Cold War in a chess game
19 September 1999 | by paulo BHSee all my reviews

Disputing the world title of chess, sit down in chairs opposite two soviets. However, none of the two is Russian: one of them, the champion, is Jewish. The other, the challenger, is a Lithuanian, political exile that is refugee in another country. This game will be a mirror of the Cold War: each movement is dangerous, each play is strategically important. Who is the best? The communist Jew, obedient to the Soviet state, or the Lithuanian traitor, enemy of the proletarian revolution? A beautiful end, where the game in itself has, for both, a larger importance than the world title and they consequences. A good film, with reasonable tension, great representative of the rare Swiss movies.


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