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There are numerous movies about athletes, boxers, race car drivers, football players, etc, and I doubt that there would be less of interest to say about the lives of Alekhine or Morphy than about James Hunt and Niki Lauda (IMDb lists Rush as the most popular sports film at the moment).
For example Chariots of Fire was great, and it wouldn't be impossible to make something similar about a chess player, but for commercially successful a boxer or wrestler would probably work much better. They couldn't well pick Hugh Jackman to be Steinitz, but it isn't difficult to imagine a good movie based on the life of the latter.
Chariots of Fire isn't a biopic, it is a story about preparing for the Olympics. What made that story compelling wasn't the sport, but the competing interests of church, state, social class, family, and glory. Get all of those elements together in a chess movie, and you may have a hit.
One idea may be to tell the story of the Mannheim Chess tournament of 1914, or the Triberg tournaments, set up among expats who could not go home during the Great War.
Don't try to tell the story of a chess player, that's too boring. Most of the good stuff happens without any "action". Tell a story about people who happen to be really good chess players. The best chess movies, The Seventh Seal, Searching for Bobby Fischer, and Dangerous Moves, all focused on the people who were playing the games.
It is possible to make a great movie about virtually any subject. Migrant workers in the depression? "The Grapes of Wrath". A washed up boxer who's taken way to many beatings? "Rocky". Another bank heist movie? Please no more! Then came "Reservoir Dogs".
Take an interesting player, write an epic script, and if everything goes right....director, casting etc. You've got something.
"Chariots of Fire isn't a biopic, it is a story about preparing for the Olympics. What made that story compelling wasn't the sport, but the competing interests of church, state, social class, family, and glory. Get all of those elements together in a chess movie, and you may have a hit."
And there's no reason you couldn't get most if not all of those elements in a chess movie.
Bronstein was 17 when the Nazi's invaded. His eyesight was too poor to be a soldier so they had him play chess with wounded men in hospital. A great screenwriter could turn that story into an excellent script. Get the right Director and casting and you've go something.
The story of his match with Botvinnik and all the politics surrounding that contest could also make an interesting subject.
Morphy's tragic final days should make a dramatic work if the screenplay is right.
Rocky wasn't a washed up boxer. The character was written as a talented amateur boxer that successfully proved himself against a top professional boxer.
In a way, the 2006 film Invincible, being the story of Vince Papale, has the same plot. Both films are also set in 1970's Philadelphia.
You might want to re-watch Rocky. It opens with him taking a terrible beating in a backroom ring. At the start of that film he's down on his luck, living in the ghetto, and breaking legs for a hood to make rent. He's punch drunk. His prospects are so bad Mick turns him down when Rocky asks to train there. Then the miracle chance gets thrown his way and Mick changes his mind.... If it wasn't for that miracle chance his career was over.... Rocky was the story of a man so far down he can't SEE up and he overcomes that extreme adversity to draw the Champion.
To 1899Club; post227; I can't see it either, but people in Hoolywood are VERY creative. Would it be realistic? eh?
I think the alternate ending of,"Gravity" had George Clooney drifting off into outer space, and he pulls out a chess set from his suit, and starts playing!
My good sir, please explain how you would incorporate the elements of "(1) church, (2) state, (3) social class, (4) family, and (5) glory" into a film about chess.
For the life of me I cannot see it. Please elaborate.
Make a movie about Akiba Rubinstein compared to Emanuel Lasker or Sammy Reshevsky compared to Bobby Fischer. Or Bill Lombardy...
Or, just read some of the stories by Nabokov.
There already is an excellent movie about family, politics and social pressures in chess: Dangerous Moves. It won an Oscar for best foreign film.
Kasparov. That would be awesome.
I don't see how they can make a great movie about Magnus Carlsen at this point (unless it's documentaries, but it's enough of them already!).
Definitely Kasparov. Casting??
I reckon Gerald Butler
Mikhail Tal :)
I just saw The Wolf Of Wallstreet & it was wild!!
I just can't picture them trying to get chessplayers into a story like that but it would be sooo cool. Maybe Magnus could be the main character. If y'all haven't had a chance to see it, you should. Adults only though. Ahem... clearing throught... adults only.
Alexander Alekhine's story is pretty interesting.
Oh, & the Kasparov movie idea: he was asked about that. He was asked if a movie were made about his life who did he think would be a good pick for an actor portraying him. He said Joaquin Phoenix.
Me. "Adventures of a C Player". It would have mass appeal because most of us suck at chess.
Or The Backyard Professor: The adventures of a G player. Rated G of course.
No doubt Karpov and how his country and the FIDE manipulated tornaments by throwing games, then how they kidnapped Korchonois son during the world championship and all the other underhanded things that were done by Karpov and his country.
Karpov was/is a chessplayer. Don't confuse Karpov with the KGB.
The greatest chess movie I've ever seen (barring The Seventh Seal, which some people don't consider to be a chess movie), was Dangerous Moves. It was based on the Karpov-Korchnoi match in Baguio.
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