Guess the movie: a chess movie film quiz

by ChessBase
4/25/2020 – Going to the movies is fun! In this article we therefore take a look at four more or less famous films ("Casablanca", "The Killing", "The Seventh Seal" and "Brainwashed") in which chess plays a major or minor role. But we would also like to invite you to a little film quiz and ask you to "Guess the movie"!

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Which film still is from which film?

By Arne Kähler and Johannes Fischer

The graphic below shows four chess scenes from famous black-and-white films. But which scene is from which movie?

Four chess scenes from famous movies

To make things easier, here's a list of the four films pictured above. 

Casablanca (1942)

"He's looking at you kid"

One film still is from Michael Curtiz' Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

But which of the four film stills is from this Hollywood classic   – number 1, 2, 3 or 4? Take your pick and see what other readers think.


And here's a tribute to Casablanca and its chess scenes.

The Killing (1956)

"If you take a chance, be sure the reward's worth the risk."

One of the four film stills is from Stanley Kubrick's The Killing that stars Sterling Hayden and is based on the novel Clean Break by Lionel White. Kubrick was a huge chess fan and the game inspired many of his movies.

But which of the four film stills is from this early Kubrick-film – number 1, 2, 3 or 4? Take your pick and see what other readers think.


The Seventh Seal (1957)

"No man can live faced with death, knowing everything's nothingness."

One year after Kubrick's film noir, The Seventh Seal (original title "Det sjunde inseglet") by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman came out. The still shows how the main protagonist, the knight Antonius Block, plays chess against death. In the film Antonius Block managed to prolong his life by playing against death but recently Max von Sydow, the actor impersonating Block, died on March 8, 2020, at the age of 90.

But which of the four film stills is from this Swedish historical fantasy film – number 1, 2, 3 or 4? Take your pick and see what other readers think.


And here's an homage to Ingmar Bergman, chess and The Seventh Seal.

Brainwashed (The Royal Game) (1960)

"In chess, as a purely intellectual game, where randomness is excluded, - for someone to play against himself is absurd ... It is as paradoxical, as attempting to jump over his own shadow."

Chess fans and advocates of careful analysis might not agree to this statement but it is from Stefan Zweig's novella The Royal Game, one of the most famous and popular stories about chess.

The original title of The Royal Game is Schachnovelle (Chess Novella) and Stefan Zweig wrote it in 1941 in Brazil to where he had fled from the Nazis. In the 1920s and 1930s Zweig was one of the most widely translated and most popular writers in the world. Even in exile he was materially still well off but he was desperate about his situation and the rise of Nazism in Europe, and on February 22, 1942 he and his wife Lotte Altmann killed themselves. 

In 1960, Gerd Oswald, an American director who was born in 1919 in Berlin but had emigrated to the US in 1938, turned Zweig's Schachnovelle into Brainwashed, a film starring Curd Jürgens, Claire Bloom and Hansjörg Felmy.

But which of the four film stills is from Oswald's adaptation of Zweig's famous novella – number 1, 2, 3 or 4? Take your pick and see what other readers think.


See also:

Hope you enjoyed this trip to the movies. The next "Guess the movie!" quiz will have a look at films from the 1960s.


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