09 20 Oct '24
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Marleen Gorris

The Luzhin Defence

109' - 2000 - Drama, Romance - Dialogue: Italian, English
Director: Marleen Gorris Composer: Alexandre Desplat With: John Turturro, Emily Watson, Geraldine James
Set in the late 1920s, ‘The Luzhin Defence’ tells the story of a shambling, unwordly chess Grand Master who arrives in the Italian Lakes to play the match of his life and unexpectedly finds the love of his life. Discovering his prodigious talent in boyhood overshadowed by his parents’ failing marriage, Luzhin’s lyrical passion for chess has become his refuge and rendered the real world a phantom. Already matched up by her family to the very suitable Comte de Stassard, when Natalia meets Luzhin she is drawn to the erratic genius and offers him a glimpse outside of his chess obsession. But it is a world he is not equipped to deal with, and his two worlds collide to tragic effect.

Image gallery

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Marleen Gorris


Alexandre Desplat


John Turturro, Emily Watson, Geraldine James


Vladimir Nabokov, Peter Berry

Director of Photography

Bernard Lutic


Michiel Reichwein


Louis Becker, Stephen Evans, Philippe Guez

More information


Italian, English

Countries of production

United Kingdom, France

Screenplay based on

"The Luzhin Defense" (Vladimir Nabokov)



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