Saturday, December 8, 2007

Favorite Movie Lines About Chess

Here are some lines from two of my favorite movies, Searching for Bobby Fischer and The Shawshank Redemption.

Bruce Pandolfini: What is chess do you think? Those who play for fun or not at all, dismiss it as a game. The ones who devote their lives to it, for the most part, insist it’s a science. It’s neither. Bobby Fischer got underneath it like no one before him and found at its center…art.
Bruce Pandolfini: I want back what Bobby Fischer took with him when he disappeared.
Fred Waitzkin: You wanna know how good he is? I’ll tell you how good he is. He is better at this than I have ever been at anything in my life. He is better at this than you’ll ever be at anything. My son has a gift. He has a gift. And once you acknowledge that then maybe we’ll have something to talk about.
Josh Waitzkin: If I win, everybody will say, “Well, of course he won. He’s the top ranked player.” But if I lose…
Josh Waitzkin: Maybe it’s better not to be the best. Then you can lose, and it’s okay.
Vinnie: Your teacher, huh? Well, forget it. Play like you used to, from the gut. Get your pawns rolling on the queenside. Come and get me. See, he didn’t teach you how to win. He taught you how not to lose. That's nothin’ to be proud of. You’re playin’ not to lose, Josh. You’ve got to risk losing. You’ve got to risk everything. You’ve got to go to the edge of defeat! That’s where you want to be, boy. On the edge of defeat!
Josh Waitzkin: You’ve lost. You just don’t know it. Take…the…draw.
Asa Hoffman: Look at that. I got him thinking. I got him thinking. Maybe I can win a pawn.
Jonathan Poe: Trick or treat.

--Searching For Bobby Fischer

Red: (playing checkers) King me.
Andy: Chess, now there’s a game of kings. Civilized, strategic…
Red: …and a total f**kin’ mystery. I hate it.
Andy: Well, maybe you’ll let me teach you someday.
Red: Heh. Sure.
Andy: I’ve been thinking of getting a board together.
Red: Well, hey you’re talking to the right man. I’m the guy who can get things, right?
Andy: We might do business on a board, but I want to carve the pieces myself. One side in alabaster, the opposing side in soapstone. What do you think?
Red: I think it’ll take years.
Andy: Well, years I’ve got. What I don’t have are the rocks. Pickings are pretty slim in the yard. Pebbles mostly.

Red: The man likes to play chess. Let’s get him some rocks.
--The Shawshank Redemption

I've started to mentally compile a list of movies that contain a reference to Mark Antony's speech in Julius Caesar where he says, "Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war!" So far I have:

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - spoken by King Theodred.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country - spoken by General Chang
Evil Dead III: The Army Of Darkness - spoken by the Deadite Captain


chessboozer said...

If you like movies with chess in them I would recommend The 1946 Film
A Matter of Life and Death
starring David Niven.
Chess plays a small part in this movie but it has some memorable lines and scenes which could only be fully appreciated by chess connoisseurs.
I would quote them but I cant remember them.

ChargingKing said...

Actually the original Star Trek has an episode that I vaguely remember. The USS Enterprise is malfunctioning (or something to that effect) and Mr. Spock is able to figure out first that something is fishy because he is able to beat the computer in Chess. The machine supposedly "moves perfectly" so Mr. Spock knew something was up when he checkmated as Black.