Dangerous Moves

"Excellent"

Dangerous Moves Review


The title may sound like soft-core porn, but it's actually a Best Foreign Film Oscar winner that you've never heard of.

Never before seen in the US, this Swiss production concerns a championship chess match between Soviet master Liebskind (Michel Piccoli) and his former student, a defector named Fromm (Alexandre Arbatt). The underlying political intrigue -- which we expect -- is quite understated as the film focuses on the mind games between the two players. Sure, there's a political agenda, but the insight into how these players try to outfox each other between matches is priceless. They plan strategies, only to watch them come undone during the actual game. When we learn that Liebskind is dying, the game becomes a metaphor for not just east vs. west, but life vs. life.

Piccoli and Arbatt, actors whom I've never seen before, are outstandingly well-cast. I'm equally unfamiliar with the small body of work of Richard Dembo, but if a guy can make a chess game exciting, he earns a gold star in my book. Veteran producer Arthur Cohn also has a hand in film, and on the new DVD release of the film he offers by way of interview some of his insights into the filmmaking process. A handy guide to chess notation will help your enjoyment of the film if you aren't a player.

Recommended.

Aka Le Diagonale du fou.



Dangerous Moves

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th May 1985

Production compaines: Arthur Cohn Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Akiva Liebskind, as Pavius Fromm, as Marina Fromm, as Henia Liebskind, as Le grand maître Felton - l'équipe de Fromm, as Miller, l'équipe de Fromm, as Tac-Tac, l'équipe de Liebskind, Hubert Saint-Macary as Foldes, as Stepan Ivanovitch Kerossian - l'équipe de Liebskind, Pierre Michaël as Yachvili, Serge Avedikian as Fadenko, Pierre Vial as Anton Heller, as Pühl, as Stuffli, Benoît Régent as Barabal, Sylvie Granotier as Dombert, Albert Simono as Dalcroze, Marcel Tassimot as Protazanov, Jean-Paul Eydoux as Carsen, Jean-Philippe Guerand as A Guy in the Audience, Willy Nicoidsky as Polotin, Mathieu Schiffman as Un ournaliste, Emmanuel Cohn as Kid (uncredited), Nurith Cohn as Spectator (uncredited)

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