7.4/10
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94 user 43 critic

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.

Director:

Steven Zaillian

Writers:

Fred Waitzkin (book), Steven Zaillian (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,408 ( 1,577)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Pomeranc ... Josh Waitzkin
Joe Mantegna ... Fred Waitzkin
Joan Allen ... Bonnie Waitzkin
Ben Kingsley ... Bruce Pandolfini
Laurence Fishburne ... Vinnie
Michael Nirenberg Michael Nirenberg ... Jonathan Poe
Robert Stephens ... Poe's Teacher
David Paymer ... Kalev
Hal Scardino ... Morgan
Vasek Simek Vasek Simek ... Russian Park Player
William H. Macy ... Tunafish Father
Dan Hedaya ... Tournament Director
Laura Linney ... School Teacher
Anthony Heald ... Fighting Parent
Steven Randazzo Steven Randazzo ... Man of Many Signals
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Storyline

Josh Waitzkin is just a typical American boy interested in baseball when one day he challenges his father at chess and wins. Showing unusual precocity at the outdoor matches at Washington Square in New York City, he quickly makes friends with a hustler named Vinnie who teaches him speed chess. Josh's parents hire a renowned chess coach, Bruce, who teaches Josh the usefulness of measured planning. Along the way Josh becomes tired of Bruce's system and chess in general and purposely throws a match, leaving the prospects of winning a national championship in serious jeopardy. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every journey begins with a single move.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joe Mantegna's character, Fred Waitzkin, wrote the book on which this movie was based. See more »

Goofs

When Fred meets Morgan's Father at the pool, the beach sandals and towel jump about between shots and then disappear. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Josh Waitzkin: [about Bobby Fischer] In the days before the event, the whole world wondered if he would show up. Plane after plane waited on the runway, while he napped, took walks, and ate sandwiches. Henry Kissinger called and asked him to go for his country's honor. Soon after arriving, he offended the Icelanders by calling their country inadequate because it had no bowling alleys. He complained about the TV cameras, about the lighting, about the table and chairs, and the contrast of the ...
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Alternate Versions

The original film ends with a title card stating that Josh still plays chess
  • along with several other activities, indicating that he has a well-rounded life. When the film was broadcast on NBC in 1996, this title card was updated: it now stated that Josh was working to become a grandmaster, and that he now considered Jack Kerouac, not Bobby Fischer, to be his primary influence.
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Connections

Referenced in The Zack Files: Searching for Zack Greenburg (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Frère Jacques
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
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User Reviews

making all the right moves
9 August 2003 | by jimpludthuraSee all my reviews

One of the best things about "Searching for Bobby Fischer" is that it brilliantly captures the essence of the book it was based on. Fred Waitzkin's book is not just about chess but focuses much on the relationship between a father and his son. The film does exactly the same and the interaction between the actors is handled skilfully by its director. This is without doubt one of the best sports movies I have seen in a while, you feel an intense level of excitement throughout the chess games and there is a great blend of poignancy, humour and serious drama also at play. Ben Kingsley is fantastic as Bruce Pandolfini and his scenes with the young Max Pomeranc are a joy to watch. Max Pomeranc who plays Josh Waitzkin is perfect in the lead role and really shows he is the heart of the movie. Adapting books to films has never been an easy task but this one is probably one of the best adaptations I have ever seen.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 August 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Searching for Bobby Fischer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,121,354, 15 August 1993

Gross USA:

$7,266,383

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,266,383
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mirage Enterprises See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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