La Diagonale du Fou (Dangerous Moves) (1984)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

La Diagonale du Fou (Dangerous Moves) Photos

Movie Info

Michel Piccoli plays Akiva Liebskind, a Russian chess genius in the Swiss-filmed Dangerous Moves. He is pitted against Soviet exile Pavius Fromm (Alexandre Arbatt), who, since childhood, has dreamed of nothing but defeating Liebskind. Both men soon become obsessed with winning. Already suffering from a weak heart, Liebskind courts a coronary, while the increasingly paranoid Fromm is convinced that his opponent is spying on him from every corner. The KGB enters into the game by attempting to sabotage Fromm, hoping that by doing so they will discredit everyone who's ever publicly opposed the Soviet government. Dangerous Moves was the 1984 recipient of the Best Foreign-Language Picture Academy Award. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:


Michel Piccoli
as Akiva Liebskind
Alexandre Arbatt
as Pavius Fromm
Leslie Caron
as Henia Liebskind
Liv Ullmann
as Marina
Michel Aumont
as Kerossian
Pierre Michael
as Yachvili
Pierre Vial
as Anton Heller
Olivier Beer
as Journalist
Guy Braucourt
as Journalist
Piotr Kaminski
as Journalist
Yaseen Khan
as The Magic Hindu
Constantin Melnik
as Colonel of the KGB
Willy Nicoidsky
as Prof. Polotin
Alain Rimoux
as Dr. Randelier
Mathieu Schiffman
as Journalist
Albert Simono
as Dalcroze
Marcel Tassimot
as Protazanov
Jacques Boudet
as Stuffli
Sylvie Granotier
as Judge Dombert
Benoit Regent
as Barrabal
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for La Diagonale du Fou (Dangerous Moves)

All Critics (6)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

This well executed thriller about a chess game between a Soviet citizen and a Soviet exile won the 1984 foreign lingo Oscar

Full Review… | January 2, 2011

No excerpt available.

June 13, 2005

An engrossing Swiss film that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the cerebral sport of chess.

Full Review… | August 22, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for La Diagonale du Fou (Dangerous Moves)


Taut, well acted Cold War type political thriller in which the battlefield is the world championship chess match between a Soviet and a Soviet defector. Won the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Excellent movie.

Morris Nelms
Morris Nelms

Super Reviewer

A Soviet exile and a Soviet citizen are pitted in a high-pressure chess match. While some of the events, like the witch doctor in the audience, are funny and interesting, as a whole, this film is about as exciting and entertaining as you'd think a film about chess would be. What the film fails to do is get into the heads of these players to the point that their machinations raise to the level of compelling drama. Overall, I balk at calling a film boring, but honesty compels me to say that Dangerous Moves is kinda boring.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


A chess match between an old Soviet master and a young pompous soviet defectee. Maybe this movie is a metaphor for the changes happening within Russia, the battle between the old way of thinking and the new. Or it's just two guys trying to win a chess game.

Phillip Renke
Phillip Renke

Discussion Forum

Discuss La Diagonale du Fou (Dangerous Moves) on our Movie forum!

News & Features