In August 1903, perhaps the first movie with a chess scene was A Chess Dispute. It was a British 1-minute black-and-white silent comedy film. Two dapper gentlemen play a game of chess at an outdoor cafe. As one of the players look away, the other player shifts his king and takes an enemy piece off the chessboard. A fight then ensues following a disputed chess move. From squirting with a seltzer bottle to a fist fight, the players wrestle each other to the floor. They continue the fight out of the camera's view, hidden by the wooden table until the water arrives to haul the chess bums out. The director was English film pioneer Robert W. Paul (1869-1943) and produced by his studio, Paul's Animatograph Works. One of the actors was Alfred Collins.
On April 18, 1906, Game of Chess was released by the Winthrop Press.
In February 1908, Partie d'echecs (Playing at Chess) was released in France by the Pathe Freres Production Company. An old gentleman with his pretty wife and a male friend go out for a walk. They reach a cafe and they seat themselves at a table. The husband invites his friend to a game of chess, and the latter accepts. But as soon as they are engaged at the game the wife signals to the young man that she will wait for him at a table outside. He understands; and soon the husband becomes so engrossed in the game that he does not see that the man has departed, but continues to figure out the board with his eyes glued on the pieces. The other player meanwhile is kissing the wife to mutual satisfaction; and then he sees through the window that the husband has at last made his move. He dashes back to the table and makes the last move, winning the game. The old fellow congratulates him, and the trio depart, the husband suspecting nothing.
In February 1909, A Game of Chess was released by the Lubin Manufacturing Company.
In May 1910, After Many Years was released by the Selig Polyscope Company. One evening, when the father is interested in a game of chess, the son comes to him with a letter from the governmental office telling him of his appointment to an engineering post in Virginia.
In August 1911, The Assigned Servant, directed by Australian director Jack Gavin (1875-1938), was released. This Australian silent film is about an English convict (Jack Gavin) who is transported to Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land). He is assigned as a servant to a settler and falls in love with the daughter of the house (Agnes Gavin). They play chess. He secretly marries her but when this is revealed he is sent back to prison. He escapes by and swims to freedom. He then robs the mail coach. He is saved by his aboriginal friend during a fight with police. After learning his wife has died he returns to England.
In September 1911, Mated by Chess was released in the USA. It was produced by the Societe des Etablissements L. Gaumont in France. Edwin and Marjorie are two lovers whose fathers, not being on friendly terms, will not consent to their engagement. The two fathers are pitted against each other in a chess match. Each places his child as a stake in the game. Each loses a game and using these results as an omen of good, the fathers consent to the children's engagement. (source: Moving Picture World, September 1911, p. 644)
In October 1911, His Stubborn Way, produced by Siegmund Lubin (1851-1923), was released. Samuel Blumstead played chess with Will's father.
On January 1, 1912, Cinderella, adapted and produced by Colin Campbell (1859-1928), was released in the United States by the Selig Polyscope Company. It had a small chess scene. The release flier for the movie showed a chess table and chess set in front of the cast members. The cast included Mabel Taliaferro (1887-1979) as Cinderella, Thomas J. Carrigan (1886-1941) as Prince Charming, Frank Weed, Lillian Leighton, Josephine Miller, and Olive Cox. (source: http://digitalcollections.oscars.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15759coll1/id/273)
On August 18, 1912, A Game of Chess silent film was released. The action takes place around a chess game being played by two very old men. One of the old fellows is the father of a delightful daughter (Mabel Trunnelle (1879-1981)), and she is in love with the handsome son (Herbert Prior (1867-1954)) of the other old man. However, at a close point in the game the fathers quarrel bitterly and sever their friendly relations. The young folks appearing then, each take the part of their father and the engagement is broken off. The young man wheels his father away in his invalid chair while the girl remains by her father as weeps. Both old men fall asleep. The young couple have a change of heart. They place the chair in its former position and rearrange the chessmen in about the same positions they occupied before the quarrel. The old men wake up and go on playing chess, each believing that the previous events had been nothing but a dream. (source: Moving Picture World, Aug 10, 1912, p. 552)
In October 1912, The Old Chess Players was released in the USA by the Lubin Manufacturing Company. Two old men, a German cobbler and a Jewish pawnbroker, have been friends since youth. The pawnbroker, a widower, has a boy twenty year of age. The cobbler (Richard Travers) and his wife have a daughter. Their places of business are near one another and after their day's work, Dora Brand (Dorothy Mortimer) and Isa Stern (Travers) spend their evenings in their favorite game of chess.
In September 1913, L'Incarnation de William Sherp, directed by Georges-Andre Lacroix (1880-1920), was released by Gaumont in France. It was also known as the Double Incarnation of William Sherp (Sheep). It had several chess scenes. It starts out with William Sherp becoming ill and stays home. While staying home, he studies a chess problem. Later that evening, Sherp plays a game of chess against his tailor and creditor, Nicolas Pickles, in order to clear his debts. Whilst playing. Both players fall asleep. Sherp falls into a dream where he encounters a mysterious man (Harry Brown) at a chess club who has the power to take his identity. Sherp loses a chess game to Brown. He loses his soul which ends up haunting him. In the chess scene, the board is set up wrong (black square to the right, rather than white square).
In May 1914, On the Chess Board of Fate, directed by Frank Crane (1873-1948), was released. The only chess reference in the film seems to be the title.
In July 1914, Een partij schaak (A Game of Chess), directed by Louis Chrispijn (1854-1926), was released in the Netherlands. The film was described as a "mime drama." A husband (Johan Gildemeijer) suspects his wife (Annie Bos) of cheating with a younger man (Jan van Dommelen). While playing a game of chess with a young friend of the family, the husband falls asleep. The young man takes advantage of the situation to make a declaration of his love to his friend's wife, but she, loving her husband, rejects his advances. The gentleman wakes up suddenly, suspects his wife of having done something improper, becomes angry, maltreats her and then faints. When he regains consciousness, he believes that he has had a bad dream. The wife and the friend pretend that nothing has happened. In any case, the husband is now - rightly - convinced of his wife's unswerving love.
In November 1914, The Wishing Ring: An Idyll of Old England, directed by Maurice Tournier (1876-1961), was released. After being expelled from college, Giles (Chester Barnett) runs away from home and meets a young lady who he falls for. Sally (Vivian Martin), the local parson's daughter, plays chess very well. She visits with the Earl of Bateson (Alec Francis) every day to play chess and distract him from the pain he suffers from gout. A newspaper advertisement of the day shows Sally playing chess with the Earl of Bateson. (source: https://centuryfilmproject.org/2015/01/28/wishing-ring-1914/)
In January 1915, A Fool There Was, directed by Frank Powell (born in 1886) and produced by William Fox (1879-1952), was released in America. It starred Edward Jose (1880-1930) and Theda Bara (1885-1955), the screen's first sex symbol. The film was called a psychological drama. There is a chess scene in the film near the end where a chess set is set up on a table. Four people sit around the table, but no one plays chess. The film popularized the word vamp (short for vampire) which describes a femme fatale who causes the moral degradation of those she seduces. John Schuyler (Edward Jose), a rich Wall Street lawyer and diplomat, is a husband and a devoted family man. He is sent to London and Italy on a diplomatic mission without his wife and daughter. On the ship (the "Gigantic") he meets the "Vampire woman" (Theda Bara) who uses her charms to seduce men, only to leave after ruining their lives. Schuyler is later disgraced and dismissed from his post.
On January 14, 1915, a two-reel film called Pawns of Fate, was released. Frank Marston, played by Frank Lloyd (1886-1960), and his daughter Helen, played by Helen Leslie, start a game of chess while waiting for her fiancee to come to take her to a party. After they leave, Frank looks at the chessmen and sees the black knight change into himself, the white queen into Anita, a Mexican girl (played by Gretchen Lederer), and a white knight into a man called Marc Bailey (Marc Robbins). A gunfight is started and Anita is shot. The scene fades back into the library. The black knight has disappeared, and the white queen lies prostate on chessboard. (source: Motography, Jan 16, 1915, p. 109)
In 1915, a film was made at the Manhattan Chess Club covering the opening of the New York, 1915 masters' tournament. Jose Capablanca and Frank Marshall appear in the film. The film was directed by Raymond J. Brown for Pathe-Freres News. (sources: Motography, May 8, 1915, p. 752 and American Chess Bulletin, May-June 1915, p. 91)
On May 1915, a film was released by the Edison Company called His Peasant Princess. The king of Steinfeldt and the king of Rodenkurst quarrel over a game of chess, and for years the kings are on anything but friendly terms. The barons of both kingdoms try to effect a reconciliation by suggesting the marriage of Karl of Rodenkurst to the Princess of Steinfeldt. However, Karl is in love with a beer maid near his school and refuses to meet the princess. He turns his back when the princess enters, and she greets him with "Will you have a stein of beer?" It turns out the princess, to escape the public, worked as a bar maid. The lovers become married and peace is restored in the two kingdoms. (source: Motography, May 15, 1915, p. 802)
In 1916, Shakmaty Zhizni (Chess Game of Life), directed by Alexander Uralsky, was released in Russia. The film tells about a woman who morally "degenerates" with the help of love. Inna, played by Vera Kholodnaya (1893-1919), waltzes on top of a large chessboard at the end of the film. She was the first star of a Russian silent film.
In February 1916, the German film Als ich tot war / Wo ist mein Schatz? (When I Was Dead / Where is My Treasure?) was released. It was directed and starred Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947). The husband (Der Gatte) gets a note inviting him to the chess club (Der Schachklub). He spends the evening at the chess club (he is playing a very slow player), despite the protest of his wife (Die Gattin) Paula (played by Louise Schenrich), and his mother-in-law (Schwiegermutter), played by Lanchen Voss. He returns home late in the evening but is locked out of his house by the mother-in-law. He enters his house the next morning. He reads a note from his wife that one of them has to leave the house, so he chooses to leave. He later disguises himself as a servant and gets a job at his own house.
In March 1916, The Chess Queen, directed by Charles Allan Gilbert (1873-1929) and produced by John Randolph Bray (1879-1978), was released. It is an early American silhouette animation of Greek stories. There are no known prints of this film.
In June 1916, The Mystery of the Leaping Fish, directed by John Emerson (1874-1956) and Christy Cabanne (1888-1950), and starring Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939), was released. Coke Ennyday (Fairbanks), a cocaine-shooting detective, surrounds himself with chess and checkerboard squares. His clothes and car are checker-board squared. He plays a game of checkers on his car that has a checkerboard, but no chess.
In August 1916, Fate's Chessboard, was completed, but may have never been released (one source says it was released in December 1916). It also had the working title of Fate's Bond. The film was made by the Florida Feature Films Company. The film was about the Florida Seminole Indians. Another source says it was released in 1920.
In December 1916, The Wharf Rat, directed by Chester Withey (1887-1939) and written by Anita Loos (1889-1981), was released. It has a chess scene. The film starred Mae Marsh (1894-1968) as Carmen Wagner, Robert Harron (1893-1920) as Edward Holmes, and Spottiswoode Aitken (1867-1933) as the grandfather, Carl. Edward plays chess with the grandfather.
In January 1917, Malombra, directed by the Italian director Carmine Gallone (1885-1973), was released, starring Lyda Borelli (1884-1959) and Amleto Novelli (1885-1924). There is a chess scene (Una partita a scacchi) halfway in the film. The men are playing chess in the study. One of the men resigns and Marina di Malombra (Lyda Borelli) comes over to play a game of chess with Doctor Corrado Silla (Amleto Novelli). Marina lives in a castle in the middle of Lake Como prior to her wedding. She begins to read letters written by an ancestor called Cecilia. She finds out that Cecilia was driven to her death by her uncle. Marina identifies with Cecilia and takes revenge on her behalf by murdering her uncle. After she has done this, Marina commits suicide.
In 1917, No. 5 of the Selig World Library news reel features human figures in a game of chess on a huge chess board in Chicago. (source: Moving Picture World, Sep 8, 1917, p. 1532)
In April 1918, Rich Man Poor Man, directed by J. Searle Dawley (1877-1949) and starring George Backus (1857-1939) and Marguerite Clark (1883-1940) was released. Following the death of her mother, Betty Wynne (Clark) becomes the drudge of the boarding house until one of her friends introduces her as the missing grandchild of John K. Beeston (Frederick Warde). When the deception is discovered, Betty has made such an impression Beeston that he insists that she remain, and since the man she loves is the real missing heir, she quite readily consents to becoming a member of the household. There is a scene where Wynne holds a chess piece as a man tells here she will have a castle one day. This is considered a "lost" film, which means that no surviving copies are thought to exist.
In 1919, the film Summer Girls was released. A poster for the movie show a couple playing chess with a tagline that says, "What's the Answer, Chess or No!" (source: Chess Amateur, Oct 1919, p. 11)
In May 1919, The Cry of the Weak, directed by George Fitzmaurice (1885-1940), was released. District Attorney Dexter (Frank Elliott) plays chess with his neighbor Judge Creighton (Walt Whitman). It is considered a lost film. (source: The American Film Institute Catalog, 1911-1920)
In October 1919, Die Pest in Florenz (The Plague of Florence), directed by Otto Rippert (1869-1940), was released in Germany. Fritz Lang (1890-1976) wrote the screenplay. The film is set in renaissance Florence in 1348 just before the Black Plague hits. Two members of the clergy in Florence play chess.
In December 1919, His Wife's Friend, directed by Joseph de Grasse (1873-1940) and starring Dorothy Dalton (1893-1972), Warren Cook, and Richard Neill, was released. The film was adapted from the 1918 novel The White Rook, by John Burland Harris-Burland (1870-1926) (see https://books.google.com/books?id=909AAQAAMAAJ&printsec). There is a chess scene where Lady Marion Grimwood (Dalton) plays chess with Lord Waverly (Neil). Sir Robert Grimwood (Warren Cook) is addicted to chess and lives to play chess. The poster for the film shows a man holding a white rook in front of Dorothy Dalton and advertised that this is a game of chess for human lives. (sources: The Film Maker's Guide, 1911-1920 and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dorothy_Dalton_His_Wife%27s_Friend_Film_Daily_1919.png)
In November 1920, Dangerous Business, directed by Roy William Neill (1887-1946) and starring Constance Talmadge (1898-1973), was released. Its alternate title was The Human Chess-Board. Nancy Flavell (Talmadge) escapes matrimony by declaring that she is already married to her rich father's secretary. The film is based on "The Chessboard," published in Young's Magazine by Madeline Sharp.
In March 1921, The Charming Deceiver, directed by George Sargent (1863-1944), was released. Edith Denton Marsden (Alice Calhoun) invites John Adams Stanford (Charles Kent) to sit down as her grandfather is anxious to beat him in chess.
In March 1921, Bobby Bumps Checkmated, directed by Earl Hurd (1880-1940), was released. It was a short, animated film. Bobby and his dog, Fido, play chess. (source: Moving Picture World, April 9, 1921, p. 630)
In May 1921, The Lost Romance, directed by William D. deMille (1878-1955), was released. Dr. Allen Erskine's maiden aunt Elizabeth attempts to save her nephew's floundering marriage by staging the kidnaping of her nephew's son, in the hope that the married couple will be drawn closer together by the experience. Mark Sheridan (Jack Holt) and Dr. Allen Erskine (Conrad Nagel) play chess.
In July 1921, The Conquering Power, directed by Rex Ingram (1892-1950) and starring Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926), Alice Terry (1900-1987), and Ralph Lewis (1872-1937), was released. After losing his father, the banker's son and playboy moves in with his miserly uncle in Paris, who seeks to cheat him out of his inheritance. Charles Grandet (Valentino) plays chess with his uncle, Monsieur Grandet (Lewis). There are several chess scenes.
In August 1921, The Three Musketeers, directed by Fred Niblo (1874-1948) and produced by Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (1883-1939), was released. Fairbanks played d'Artegnan. At the beginning of the film, there is a title card that says, "...its men and women merely pawns in a game." It starts out with a chess game with the board set up wrong (corner light square on the left instead of the right) and the king and queen on the wrong squares. King Louis XIII, played by Adolphe Menjou (1890-1963), plays chess with Cardinal Richelieu, played by Nigel De Brulier (1877-1948).
In September 1921, The Affairs of Anatol, directed by Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959) and starring Gloria Swanson (1899-1983), Wallace Reid (1891-1923), and Elliott Dexter (1870-1941) was released. Vivian Spencer (Swanson) plays chess with Max Runyon (Elliott Dexter) using large chess pieces. The board was set up wrong.
In October 1921, Les Trois Mousquetaires, directed by Henri Diamant-Berger (1895-1972), was released in France. Chess is played in the king's court.
In March 1922, Geld auf der Strasse (Gold in the Street), directed by Reinhold Schuenzel (1888-1954), was released in Austria. There is a chess scene where two men are playing chess.
In April 1922, The Man Beyond, directed by Burton King (1877-1944) and starring Harry Houdini (1874-1926), was released. Frozen for a century in a block of arctic ice, Howard Hillary (Harry Houdini) is freed by a group of explorers. They bring him back to New York City, where he runs into Felice Strange (Jane Connelly), a woman who bears a striking resemblance to his onetime fiancee. Felice plays chess with her father, Dr. Crawford Strange (Albert Tavernier) who is falling asleep.
In May 1922, Tracks, directed by Joseph Franz (1884-1970), was released. A man cheats in a game of chess.
In July 1922, The Prisoner of Zenda, directed by Rex Ingram (1895-1969), was released. When the king is drugged and abducted by his ambitious brother, a lookalike relative must take his place to keep the evil sibling off the throne. Princess Flavia (Alice Terry) plays chess with Marshal von Strakencz (Edward Connelly) in her apartment in the palace.
In October 1922, Robin Hood, directed by Allan Dwan (1885-1981) and starring Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (1883-1939) was released. An hour into the film, a chess set on a table can be seen in the background in one of the scenes as Robin Hood enters the castle of Prince John (Sam de Grasse).
In November 1922, Under Two Flags, directed by Tod Browning (1880-1962), was released. It is a story of the French Foreign Legion in North Africa. Corporal Victor (James Kirkwood) carves chess pieces and presents them to the Princess Corona d'Amaque (Ethel Grey Terry). She takes one in her hand and the title card says, "They are beautiful — are they for sale?" He responds (in a title card), "The honor of your acceptance, if you will give that."
In January 1923, No Wedding Bells, directed by Mort Peebles and Larry Semon (1889-1928), was released. Larry (Larry Semon) is in love with The Girl (Lucille Carlisle), the daughter of a chess player (Oliver Hardy (1892-1957)). Larry is about to tell his prospective father-in-law when he is on the edge of winning his first game in 20 years against his friend (Glen Cavender). Larry accidently upsets the chess board and all the pieces when he crawls under the board to retrieve a burning cigar.
In March 1923, Daddy, directed by E. Mason Hopper (1885-1967), was released. Jackie Savelli (Jackie Coogan) plays chess with Cesare Gallo (Cesare Gravina).
In May 1923, A Tale of Pekin appeared in Chicago theatres. It depicted Chinese singing and dancing by Bartram and Saxton. It starts out with Bartram and Saxton playing chess on a small table. They start singing while seated but rise at the conclusion of the verse.
In September 1923, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, directed by Wallace Worsley (1878-1944) and starring Lon Chaney (1883-1930) as Quasimodo, was released. An hour and a half into the film, a chess set and two players sitting at the table can be seen in the right foreground in the tavern, just before they are called to arms.
In December 1923, White Tiger, written and directed by Tod Browning (1880-1962) and starring Raymond Griffith (1895-1957), was released. Three crooks pull off a magnificent crime. As they're forced to hide out together they slowly begin to distrust each other. A chess automaton (similar to The Turk) plays chess with a customer at a wax musee in London. It was called the most baffling of all the exhibits — the mechanical chess-player. It was owned and operated by Roy Donovan (Griffith), also known as "the Kid." The mechanical chess-player is taken to New York and is used to smuggle Donovan into a wealthy man's home to rob him. In one line, Dick Longworth (Matt Moore) comes in and says, "Bishop Vail (Emmett King) is anxious to defeat your chess-player — may I have you arrange another match?" The chess automaton was wheeled into a mansion with the words, "And now the game — with its promise of financial independence or....prison." The endgame was played with no kings. After the automaton wins, the film states, "Heedless of the human pawns below, the chessman makes its master-move in the greatest game it has ever played." The Kid stole some jewels and hid it in the automaton. The automaton was later wheeled out and the thieves made off with 13 pieces of jewelry.
In January 1924, A Lady of Quality, directed by Hobart Henley (1887-1964), was released. In 1690, Clorinda Wildairs breaks off an affair with Sir John Ozen to become engaged to a rich nobleman, Mertoun, the Duke of Osmonde. Clorinda accidentally kills Sir John when he, infuriated by her forthcoming marriage, threatens to blackmail her. She buries the body in the cellar and admits her act to the forgiving Osmonde before marrying him. Chess is played in a tavern.
In May 1924, A Game of Chess, directed by James Wallace and R.C. Turner, was released in New York as a Broadway play. It was about the struggle between the castes of Russia. The aristocrat (Warren Ives) and the peasant (Thomas Scofield) play chess in a room in the house of the aristocrat during the reign of the Czar.
In November 1924, Das Wachfigurenkabinett (The Waxworks), directed by Paul Leni (1885-1929) and starring Emil Jennings (1884-1950), was released in Germany. The Caliph of Baghdad, Haroun-al-Rashid, (Jennings) plays chess with his Grand Vizier (Paul Biensfeldt). The title card reads, "The Caliph kept his brain from becoming as fat as his stomach by a daily game of chess with the Grand Vizier." The caliph gets checkmated and he swipes some of the pieces of the board with his cane. The board is set up wrong.
In November 1924, Le Miracle des loups (The Miracle of the Wolves), directed by Raymond Bernard (1891-1977), was released in France. The narrative takes place in the 15th century, when Louis XI (Charles Dullin) was at odds with Charles of Burgundy. The king's forces are attacked by the Burgundian troops and Beauvais must be defended until reinforcements can arrive. The defense of the city is led by Jeanne Hachette. There are scenes in which wolves attack some of the opponents of Louis XI. In one scene, Bische (Bernard) studies a chess position. The director is listed in the credits as a chess player.
In December 1924, Entr'acte, directed by Rene Clair (1898-1981) and starring Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) and Man Ray (1890-1976), was released. It was a French short avante-garde film shown between the acts for a ballet (Relache) at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. Duchamp and Ray play chess with a wooden board on top of a building in Paris. Later on, water is poured over the board, washing away the pieces.
In December 1924, He Who Gets Slapped, directed by Victor Sjostrom (1879-1960) and starring Lon Chaney, Ruth King, and Marc McDemott, was released. A clown endeavors to rescue the young woman he loves from the lecherous count who once betrayed him. Baron Regnard (Marc McDermott) and Marie Beaumont (Ruth King) play chess in a Paris villa. The king and queen are set up wrong on the board.
In January 1925, Visages d'enfants (Faces of Children; Mother), directed by Jacques Feyder (1885-1948), and starring Henri Duval and Victor Vina, was released in France. In the Swiss Alps, a man whose wife has died remarries, and his new wife has a daughter of her own from a previous marriage. The man's young son, however, resents his father's new wife, not wanting her to take the place of his beloved mother, and makes life miserable for his new stepsister. Canon Taillier (Duval) plays chess on a large chessboard with another member of the clergy, and loses.
In January 1925, A Thief in Paradise, directed by George Fitzmaurice (1885-1940), and starring Claude Gillingwater (1870-1939) and Alec Francis (1867-1934), was released. Noel Jardine (Gillingwater) and Bishop Saville (Francis) try to play chess but are often interrupted. The Bishop loves rousing his friend's fiery temper by trying to help himself to an extra move in chess, but he never gets away with it. The board is set up wrong. The film is considered a lost film. (source: Motion Picture Magazine, Mar 1925, p. 59)
In October 1925, the Broadway play Arabesque, directed by Norman-Bel Geddes, opened in New York City. The setting was the Middle East. Chess is being played by a younger Arab (Victor Hammond) and an older Arab (Conrad Cantzen).
In December 1925, the classic chess film Chess Fever (Shakhmatnaya Goryachka), directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin (1903-1953), was released. It is a 28-minute comedy about the Moscow 1925 chess tournament. The film combines acted parts with actual footage from the tournament. The hero's (Vladimir Fogel) preoccupation with chess leads to him missing his own wedding ceremony, but the marital peace is restored with the help of the World Chess Champion, Jose Raúl Capablanca.
In January 1926, Three Pals, directed by Wilbur McGaugh (1895-1965) and Bruce Mitchell, was released. Colonel Jefferson Girard (Joseph Swickard) and Major Peter Wingate (William Turner) play chess every day.
In February 1926, Die Abenteuer Des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed), directed by Lotte Reininger (1899-1981), was released in Germany. It is the oldest surviving animated feature film. It was an animated film with a silhouetted chess game played by Dinarsade, daughter of the Caliph of Baghdad, against one of her attendants.
In April 1926, Dinky Doodle in Egypt, directed by Walter Lantz (1899-1994), was released. This animated cartoon has Dinky Doodle visiting Egypt. Dinky falls in love with a beautiful princess, whose father plays chess with a mummy.
In April 1926, Beverly of Graustark, directed by Sidney Franklin (1893-1972), and starring Marion Davies and Antonio Moreno, was released. Beverly Calhoun (Davies) impersonates, Oscar, the Prince of Graustark to claim his birthright while he recovers from a skiing injury. In the meantime, she falls for her bodyguard Dantan (Moreno). Oscar plays chess with Dantan. An advertisement for the film shows Marion Davies playing chess with Antonio Moreno, as she says, "Your move." There is no chess in the film. (source: https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-beverly-of-graustark-marion-davies-1926-128353041.html)
In October 1926, Mat (Mother), directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin (1893-1953), was released in the Soviet Union. In 1968, the film was restored and a sound track was added. It depicts one woman's struggle against Tsarist rule during the Russian Revolution of 1905. At the workers' rest area, there is a table with a chess set and board on it.
In 1927, Oktyabr (October), directed by Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948), was produced in the Soviet Union. The film recreated the events of October 1917. There is a scene showing an empty chessboard with Kerensky (Nikolai Popov) constructing a chess king from 4 pieces. He then puts a crown on the reconstructed chess piece.
In January 1927, Le Joueuer D'Echecs (The Chess Player), directed by Raymond Bernard (1891-1977) and starring Charles Dullin was released in France. The film was made for the Societe des Films Historiques. Elements of the plot are drawn from the story of the chess-playing automaton known as The Turk. In 1776, an inventor, Baron von Kempelen (Dullin), conceals a Polish nobleman in his chess-playing automaton, a machine whose fame leads it to the court of the Russian empress, Catherine II (Marcelle Charles). Inside the Turk is the Polish revolutionary, Boleslas Vorowski (Pierre Blanchar). The Turk wins a chess game in front of the empress. She then orders the execution of the Turk by firing squad. Von Kempelen switch places with Vorowski and gets shot and killed instead to protect the Turk's secret. The film took more than 8 months to produce. (source: The Educational Screen, June 1927, p. 275)
In February 1927, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, directed by Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), was released, starring June Tripp and Ivor Novello. A landlady suspects her new lodger is the madman killing women in London. Daisy (Tripp) and the lodger (Novello) play chess in the lodger's room. The board is set up wrong and an impossible position in a normal game.
In April 1927, Napoleon, directed by Abel Gance (1889-1981) and starring Albert Dieudonne (1889-1976) as Napoleon, was released in France. The title card says, "A game of chess was bound to attract two strategists like Bonaparte and Hoche. Napoleon plays chess (using Staunton pieces, which has not been invented yet) with General Lazare Hoche (Pierre Batcheff) at the Victim's Ball. Another title card has Napoleon saying, "Take Care. I'm about to you're your queen." Napoleon moves a knight and the title card has General Hoches saying, "I've lost. You're decidedly a better general than I. Napoleon wins as Josephine de Beauharnais (Gina Manes) watches and entices Napoleon with her charms. . In a later scene, a white king is superimposed over Napoleon's heart.
In October 1927, A Man's Past, directed by George Melford (1877-1961), was released. Dr. Henry Fontaine, played by Ian Keith (1899-1960) shoots Lieutenant Destin, played by Arthur Edmund Carewe (1884-1937), during a game of chess. Dr. Paul LaRoche, played by Conrad Veidt (1893-1943), operates on Destin and saves his life.
To commemorate the 11th Anniversary of the Russia Workers' Revolution, the Communist Party of Great Britain screened a film depicting the British Workers' Delegation to the USSR in November 1927. The film revealed sociological as well as economical aspects of the USSR, including a workers' club where men play chess. (source: Close Up, Dec 1928, p. 64)
In January 1928, Woman Wise, directed by Albert Ray (1897-1944) and starring William Russell (1884-1929), June Collyer (1906-1968), and Walter Pidgeon (1897-1984), was released. An American consul is forced to shield a rakish American friend who has incurred the enmity of a ruling pasha. Russell sits with a chessboard and pieces in front of him. The film was lost after a 1937 Fox vault fire.
In February 1928, Alice Through the Look Glass, directed by Walter Lang (1896-1972), was released. It had a few chess references.
In February 1928, Four Sons, directed by John Ford (1894-1973), was released. It is a family saga in which three of a Bavarian widow's sons go to war for Germany and the fourth goes to America. Chess is being played in a store as one of the players gets bad advice on a move by the storekeeper.
In November 1928, Ungarische Rhapsodie (Hungarian Rhapsody), directed by Hanns Schwarz (1888-1945), was released in Germany. It depicts the life of an impoverished Hungarian aristocrat. Chess is played by two aristocrats.
In December 1928, L'Argent (Money), directed by Marcel L'Herbier (1888-1979) and starring Alfred Abel (1879-1937), was released in France. Banker Alphones Gundermann (Abel) plays chess with a friend in his hidden antechamber. The floors in the bank and antechamber look like squares of a chessboard.
In 1929, Bolnye nervy (Ill Nerves), directed by Noi Galkin, was released in the Soviet Union. It had a chess scene at the end of the movie Baturin (Sergei Minin), makes a chess move at a rest home against another man, and says checkmate.
In January 1929, The Shady Lady, directed by Edward H. Griffith (1888-1975), was released. Rival arms smugglers in Cuba try to be the first to send their weapons to the revolutionaries in Central America. One of the smugglers uses a woman to dupe the other smuggler into tripping up. Unfortunately, the woman, who has criminal problems of her own, ends up falling in love with the rival. Blake (Robert Armstrong) and Professor Holbrook (Louis Wolheim) play chess.
In January 1929, Waterloo, directed by Karl Grune (1890-1962), was released in Germany. The film depicts Prussia's victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Grafin Tarnowska (Vera Malinovskaya) and Lieutenent Reutlingen (Oscar Marion) play chess in her apartment. She then shakes the table and knocks most of the chess pieces off the board.
In February 1929, Erotikon, directed by Gustav Machaty (1901-1963), was released in Czechoslovakia. A young woman is seduced and abandoned by a man who was invited to stay at his home by her father in a stormy night. Noticing that she is pregnant, the girl decides to leave home and start a new life. Chess is played in the film by Jan (Luigi Serventi) and George Sydney (Olaf Fjord) as Andrea (Ita Rina) looks on and gives hints to Sydney on what to move. The board is set up correctly in one scene but set up incorrectly in another scene (black square to the right). Sydney then says, "I think you will lose." After Andrea tries to provide more help, Jan asks Andrea, "Do you want me to lose?" Sydney gives check, but Jan makes his next move and says checkmate.
In November 1929, Napoleon auf St. Helena (Napoleon at St. Helena), directed by Lupu Pick (1886-1931), was released in Germany. The film depicts the final years of Napoleon between 1815 and 1821 during his period of exile on the British Atlantic island of Saint Helena following his defeat at Waterloo. Napoleon (Werner Krauss) plays chess at St. Helena with one of his British protectors.
In December 1929, General Crack, directed by Alan Crosland (1894-1936), was released. It stars John Barrymore (1882-1942) in his first full-length all-talking feature. The film takes place in the 18th century Austria and revolves around Prince Christian, the Duke of Kurland, commonly known as General Crack (John Barrymore). A nobleman marries a gypsy woman but when at court he falls in love with a princess. Leopold II (Lowell Sherman) plays chess with Countess Carola (Jacqueline Logan).
In January 1930, The Bishop Murder Case, directed by Nick Grinde (1893-1979), and starring Basil Rathbone (1892-1967) and Leila Hyams (1905-1977), was released. When the body of a man nicknamed "Cock Robin" (Joseph Cochrane Robin) is found with an arrow in the heart on an archery range along with a wooden black bishop as a clue, Philo Vance investigates. The neighbor is John Pardee (Charles Quartermaine), a chess enthusiast. Another man, John Sprigg (Carroll Nye) walking in the park is killed. He has a black chess bishop in his hand. Adolph Drukker (George Marion) mentions that he solved a chess problem that was found in the house. He soon is murdered. The next victim, Miss Drukker, is found dead with a chess bishop in her hand. Pardee is later found dead with a chess bishop left behind. Philo Vance (Rathbone) and Belle Dillard (Hyams) are shown playing chess. The film is from a novel by S. S. Van Dine, the pseudonym used by Willard Wright (1888-1939).
In April 1930, The Benson Murder Case, directed by Frank Tuttle (1892-1963), and starring William Powell (1892-1984), Eugene Pallette (1889-1954), and E.H. Calvert, was released. A ruthless, crooked stockbroker is murdered at his country estate, and detective Philo Vance just happens to be there; he decides to find out who killed him. Philo Vance (Powell) and District Attorney John Markham (Calvert) sit at a chess table with chess pieces at Philo's apartment, as Sgt. Ernest Heath (Pallette) walks in. Earlier, Markham had been shot. The story is from a novel by S. S. Van Dine, the pseudonym used by Willard Wright (1888-1939).
In July 1930, Hell's Island, directed by Edward Sloman (1883-1972) and starring Jack Holt (1888-1951), was released. Chess is played in one of the scenes.
In September 1930, Die Drei von der Tankstelle (The Three from the Filling Station), directed by Wilhelm Thiele (1890-1975), was released in Germany. Hans (Heinz Ruhmann) and Kurt (Oskar Karlweiss) play chess in their room as their black dog watches. White illegally castles queenside.
In March 1931, Echec au Roi, directed by Leon D'Usseau (1885-1963), was released in France. It was the first sound film that United Artists release abroad. It is a French-language romantic drama about a European king and queen at odds over who's in charge of the royal family. There is a scene where the king (Emile Chautard) is playing chess while another man observes the game. The board is set up wrong.
In May 1931, Hell Bound, directed by Walter Lang (1896-1972), was released. Platinum Reed (Lola Lane) plays chess with Dr. Robert Sanford (Lloyd Hughes). "Your King can't move," the doctor points out. "He's covered on all sides."The chatter of a submachine gun startles them. "What's that?" Platinum wants to know. "It's only a motorboat on the lake," he reassures her, adding, "Well, the game's ended; let's start over again."
In May 1931, Svengali, directed by Archie Mayo (1891-1968) and starring John Barrymore, was released. Through hypnotism and telepathic mind control, a sinister music maestro, Svengali (Barrymore), controls the singing voice, but not the heart, of the woman he loves. Taffy (Lumsden Hare) and The Laird (Donald Crisp) sit on front of a chess set in their Paris apartment.
In July 1931, The Public Defender, directed by J. Walter Ruben (1899-1942), was released. A mysterious phantom who calls himself "The Reckoner" vows to expose the crooked bankers who embezzled their company's funds. John Kirk (Purnell Pratt) and Charles Harmer (Frank Sheridon) play chess at their country club.
In August 1931, East of Borneo, directed by George Melford (1877-1961) was released. A woman (Rose Hobart) braves snakes and alligators to find her doctor husband, Dr. Allan Randolph (Charles Bickford) in the jungle. Chess with large Staunton chess pieces is played outside in the jungle by Hashim, Prince of Marudu (Georges Renavent), and Dr. Randolph. The prince says to the doctor, "You play a very good game of chess." The doctor agrees and says, "I am a good chess player and moderately civilized."
In August 1931, The Gables Mystery (The Man at Six), directed by Harry Hughes, was released. A butler is found murdered in an unfurnished mansion house. A valuable chess set that belonged to a museum is taken and given to a lady for a drug.
In August 1931, The Smiling Lieutenant, directed by Ernst Lubitisch (1892-1947), and starring Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972) and Mariam Hopkins (1902-1972), was released. An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side. Princess Anna (Hopkins) holds a chessboard in front of Lt. Nikolaus von Preyn (Chevalier). The king (George Barbier) plays chess with his daughter.
In August 1931, Guilty Hands, directed by W. S. Van Dyke (1889-1943), was released. A district attorney, Richard Grant (John Barrymore) commits the perfect murder when he kills his daughter's womanizing fiance with a gun and then tries framing the fiance's lover. There is an inlaid chess set and board in Grant's trophy room in the background.
In September 1931, Daughter of the Dragon, directed by Lloyd Corrigan (190-1969), was released. Princess Ling Moy (Anna May Won), a Chinese aristocrat, lives next door, unbeknownst to her, to Dr. Fu Manchu (Warner Oland), a brilliant but twisted genius who is out to rule the world. Ronald Petrie (Bramwell Fletcher) checkmates Rogers (Harold Minjir) in a game of chess as Ah Kee (Sessue Hayakawa) watches.
In September 1931, The Squaw Man, directed by Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959), was released. A British army officer, Captain James Wingate (Warner Baxter), is left disgraced when he takes the blame for his cousin Henry's (Paul Cavanagh) misappropriation of the regiment's charitable fund. There is a chess scene of a man and woman playing chess.
In September 1931, Monkey Business, directed by Norman McLeod (1898-1964), was released. Harpo Marx (1888-1964) and Chico Marx (1887-1961) kibitz a game of chess that two men are playing on deck of a luxury liner. Then they start making moves for the men. They finally steal the chess set. They try to play chess in a quiet stateroom. The board is set up and there is a missing white king. Later, as they leave the room, Harpo goes back to the chess set and pockets a chess piece.
In October 1931, To neznate Hadimrsku (Business Under Distress), directed by Martin Fric (1902-1968), was released in Czechoslovakia. Chess is being played in one scene.
In February 1932, The Greeks had a Word for Them, also known as Three Broadway Girls, directed by Lowell Sherman (1888-1934), was released. Jean, Polaire, and Schatze are ex-showgirls who put their money together in order to rent a luxurious penthouse apartment. They are out to get wealthy boyfriends by dressing and acting like millionaires themselves. Jean shows herself to be determined and ruthless, leaving the other girls behind. The other two are more sensitive and trustworthy but only one woman will be able to find a rich husband. Schatzl (Joan Blondell) and Polaire (Madge Evans) play chess.
In February 1932, Naceradec, kral kibicu, directed by Gustav Machaty (1901-1963), was released in Czechoslovakia. Richard Naceradec (Hugo Hass) plays chess with Mr. Dundr (Jaroslav Vojta) in the clothing shop. There is a white pawn on the first rank (impossible).
In April 1932, Chess - Nuts, directed by Dave Fleischer (1894-1979), was released. It was an animated short film starring Betty Boop. A live action chess game between two old men becomes a chaotic, animated quest for the favors of Betty Boop. Betty comes to life as the black queen and Bimbo the Clown becomes the white king. The black king, Old King Cole, wants Betty for himself and carries her away to his castle. Bimbo must come to her rescue, with the assistance of Koko the Clown and the other chess pieces. When Bimbo breaks into the castle, he engages Old King Cole in a fight, which results in King Cole's death, with Bimbo, Betty, Koko and the other chess characters parading along the chessboard. The two men playing chess are shown to have been playing the game for so long that they grow large beards with a spider in a web between the two beards. At the beginning of the film, the board is set up wrong.
In April 1932, Symphony of Six Million, directed by Gregory La Cava (1892-1952) and produced by David O. Selznick, was released. A Jewish boy (Felix) grows up to become a successful doctor at the expense of family relationships. Felix (Lester Lee) and his father, Meyer Klauber (Gregory Ratoff), play chess. The father gets the chess set and board from top of the piano. Felix does not want to play chess because he always beats his father. They play anyway as Felix reads a book and moves fast against his father. The father, who has no patience for chess, is checking Felix's king with his queen, but tries to move another piece. Too many noises and interruptions affect his chess play. He quits playing and makes complaints of the noises until he gets to excited and has indigestion.
In June 1932, Die Herrin von Atlantis (The Mistress of Atlantis), also known as L'Atlantide, directed by Georg Pabst (1885-1967), was released in Germany. People in Atlantis play chess. Saint Avil (Heinz Klingenberg) and Antinea (Brigitte Helm) play a game of chess. She checkmates him.
In June 1932, Unholy Love, directed by Albert Ray (1897-1944), was released. The gardener's daughter, Sheilla Bailey Gregory (Joyce Compton) and Dr. Daniel Gregory (H. B. Warner) play chess. He says, "check" and she says, "you are mean." The king and queen are on the wrong starting squares.
In July 1932, Monsieur Albert, directed by Karl Anton (1898-1979), was released in France. There is a scene where two men are playing chess.
In August 1932, Moderne Mitgift (Modern Dowry), directed by E. W. Emo (1898-1975), was released in Germany. There is a scene where two men are playing chess.
In September 1932, The Most Dangerous Game, directed by Ernest Shoedsack (1893-1979) and produced by David O. Selznick (1902-1965), was released. It also starred Fay Wray (1907-2004). The plot concerns a big game hunter on an island who hunts humans for sport. Fay Wray asks Bob Rainsford (Joel McCrea) what are they going to do with him? Bob replies that he is going to be hunted. Count Zaroff (Leslie Banks) says, "No, no! Outdoor chess. His brain against mine."
In September 1932, Les Vignes du seigneur (The Vineyards of Our Lord), directed by Rene Hervil (1881-1960), was released in France. Henri Levrier (Victor Boucher) plays chess.
In September 1932, Smilin' Through, directed by Sidney Franklin (1893-1972), and starring Fredric March and Leslie Howard, was released. The adoptive father of a young woman is horrified to learn she plans to marry the son of the man who accidentally killed her aunt years before. Sir John Carteret (Howard) plays chess with Dr. Owen (O.P. Heggie). John toasts Dr. Owen, saying, "A soldier, a gentleman, but a miserable chessplayer." Sir John keeps falling asleep at the chess table. Dr. Owen says to Sir John, "This is going to be a juice of a game if you are going to sleep after every move." Sir John responds, "I wasn't asleep. And even if I were, I could still beat you." They play a chess game on the patio. The board is set up wrong and Dr. Owen makes an illegal move. In their last chess game at the end of the film, Sir John asks Dr, Owen, "Would you care to play a game of chess?" Dr Owen says, "You forgotten your chess?" Sir John says, "Forgotten more than you'll ever knew." The king and queen are in the wrong position. Sir John dies while playing chess. Dr. Owen says, "Well. I would like to play one game and have you awake till the end."
In November 1932, Vstrechnoy (Counterplan), directed Fridrikh Ermler (1898-1967), was released in the Soviet Union. It was one of the first Soviet talkies. The plot involves an effort to catch "wreckers" (deliberate acts aimed against normal functioning of state and cooperative organizations, such as giving deliberately wrong commands) at work in a Soviet factory. Babchenko (Vladimir Gardin) plays chess.
In December 1932, Alice In Wonderland was performed on Broadway and produced by Le Gallienne Productions. Josephine Hutchinson (1903-1998) played Alice. Howard da Silva played the White Knight. Eva La Gallienne played the White Chess Queen. Leona Roberts played the Red Chess Queen.
In December 1932, F. P.1 antwortet nicht (F. P. 1 Doesn't Answer), directed by Karl Hartl (1899-1978), was released in Germany. Floating Platform 1 is a project to put a huge floating platform in the Atlantic for aircraft. Flieger Ellissen (Hans Albers) and Johnny (Peter Lorre) play chess on the floating platform. The chess players are drunk. One of the players knocks most of the chess pieces off the board.
In December 1932, 20,000 Years in Sing Sing, directed by Michael Curtiz (1886-1962), and starring Spencer Tracy (1900-1967) and Bette Davis (1908-1989), was released. There is a chess set in the background of Warden Paul Long's (Arthur Byron) room.
In December 1932, The Animal Kingdom, directed by Edward H. Griffith (1888-1975), and starring Leslie Howard and Ann Harding, was released. Chess is being played at a birthday party as Red Regan (William Gargan) brings by hors d'oeuvres. Rufus Collier (Henry Stephenson) is playing a game of chess and the Butler interrupts them.
In February 1933, Meidan poikamme merella (We Got Our Son off the Sea), directed by Erkki Karru (1887-1935), was released in Finland. A sailor sits at a table in a bar with a chess set in front of him as a band plays and a singer sings.
In March 1933, Today We Live, directed by Howard Hawks (1896-1977), was released. During World War I, two officers, one an American pilot (Gary Cooper) and the other in the British navy (Robert Young), compete for the same beautiful young woman (Joan Crawford). Richard "Bogey" Bogard (Cooper) is in a scene with a chess set in the foreground inside the barracks for the 36th Bombing Group. A man is sitting at the chess table reading a book.
In May 1933, The Eagle and the Hawk, directed by Stuart Walker (1888-1941), was released. The pilots of a Royal Air Force squadron in World War I face physical and mental dangers in their struggle to survive while fighting the enemy. At the beginning of the movie, the social room at the pilot's quarters has a Staunton chess set and wooden board in the foreground. The scene includes the three main characters, Henry Crocker (Cary Grant), Jerry Young (Fredric March), and Mike Richards (Jack Oakie). It doesn't look like anyone was playing.
In August 1933, Voltaire, directed by John Adolfi (1888-1933), was released. In 1762, Voltaire (George Arliss) plays chess in Paris with his physician, Dr. Tronchin (David Torrence). They use a Staunton chess set that hasn't been designed yet. Voltaire moves his king, the doctor says he will check the king. Voltaire suddenly declares that he does not want to protect the king. He tosses the king and resigns. He then swipes away the pieces with his hand.
In September 1933, As the Devil Commands, directed by Roy William Neill (1886-1946), was released. Wealthy invalid Charles Sellon is slowly dying, and he wants his aide to end his suffering. His lawyer, in line to inherit millions, kills Sellon, and then makes it look as though his aided did it. Dr. David Graham (Neil Hamilton) and Robert Waldo (Alan Dinehart) play chess as Jane Chase (Mae Clarke) watches. The board is set up wrong.
In December 1933, Alice in Wonderland, directed by Norman McLeod (1898-1964), was released. Alice (Charlotte Henry) draws her attention to a chessboard. The chess pieces are her imaginary friends. She talks to the White queen as she knocks over the White king. Alice goes through the mirror and the Red Queen (Edna May Oliver) tells her that Alice is a queen's pawn on a chessboard. Alice make it to the 8th rank and become a queen. It was all a dream. (source: "Behind the Scenes of Alice in Wonderland," Modern Screen, Feb 1934, p. 62-65)
In January 1934, Eight Girls in a Boat, directed by Richard Wallace (1894-1951), was released. Chess is played at a Swiss girls' school.
In February 1934, Les Miserables, directed by Raymond Bernard (1891-1977), was released in France. Marius Pontmercy (Jean Servais) plays chess.
In February 1934, Mandalay, directed by Michael Curtiz (1886-1962), was released. Two men play chess in a Burmese bar in Rangoon while Tanya Lang (Kay Francis) watches.
In April 1934, Betty in Blunderland, directed by Dave Fleischer, was released. In this animated Betty Boop cartoon, Betty Boop passes through the looking glass and meets some of the chess pieces.
In April 1934, Achtung! Wer kennt diese Frau? (Attention! Who Knows this Woman?), directed by Franz Seitz (1887-1952), was released in Germany. A chess set and board is in the foreground of one of the scenes.
In May 1934, The Black Cat, directed by Edgar Ulmer (1904-1972), was released. Hjalmar Poelzig (Boris Karloff) says to Dr. Vitus Werdegast (Bela Lugosi), "Do you dare play chess with me for her," referring to newlywed Joan Alison (Julie Bishop). Poelzig checkmates Werdegast. Poelzig says, "Checkmate. You lose Vitus."
In May 1934, Double Door, directed by Charles Vidor (1900-1959), was released. A wealthy matriarch named Victoria Van Brett (Mary Morris) rules her clan with an iron hand and proves she's not above murder to have her way. Dr. John Lucas (Colin Tapley) plays chess with Anne Van Brett (Evelyn Venable). She makes a good move and takes a piece, and he says, "Ouch. It looks like the end." She then says, "Check." Later, he says, "Well, let's save the king."
In May 1934, Der Meisterboxer (The Master Boxer), directed by Fred Sauer (1886-1952), was released in Germany. A man and a lady play chess as two other men look on.
In July 1934, Shock, directed by Roy Pomeroy (1892-1947), was released. Captain Bob Hayworth (Monroe Owsley), his brother Lieutenant Gilroy Hayworth (Douglas Walton) and Captain Derek Marbury (Ralph Forbes) are in a World-War 1 trench on the front-lines in France. Captain Peabody (Reginald Sharland) is playing chess with the colonel (Charles Coleman). The chess pieces are red and white. Hayworth asks advice about a move from Sergeant Matthews (David Dunbar) as the colonel steps out. When the colonel comes back in and sits down at the chess board, Peabody makes a move and says check. The colonel rushes out.
In August 1934, Ein Walzer fur Dich (A Waltz for You), directed by Georg Zoch (1902-1944), was released in Germany. Manja Tabandes (Maria Sazarina) and Exfurstin Ludovica von Palamo (Adele Sandrock ) sit outside around a table with a Staunton chess set and board on top of the table. The floor is checkered.
In August 1934, The Count of Monte Cristo, directed by Rowland Lee (1891-1975), was released. After greedy men have Edmond Dantes (Robert Donat) unjustly imprisoned for 20 years for innocently delivering a letter entrusted to him, he escapes to get his revenge on them. Two aristocrats play chess.
In August 1934, Un Capitan de Cosacos, directed by John Reinhardt, was released. Nicki Baglieff (Tito Coral) challenges General Fedor Petrovich (Andres de Segurola) and Sergio Danikoff (Jose Mojica) to a game of chess.
In August 1934, Rosen aus dem Suden (Roses from the South), directed by Walter Janssen (1887-1976), was released. Chess is being played by two men with three other men looking on. One of the players is Johann Strauss (Paul Hoebiger).
In August 1934, Chained, directed by Clarence Brown (1890-1987), was released. A mistress of one man has a shipboard romance with another and is torn between both men. Two old men, a bald man and a bearded man called Neptune (August Tollaire), play chess on the deck of an ocean liner as Mike Bradley (Clark Gable) and Diane Lovering (Joan Crawford) walk by. After walking by, Mike says, "Neptune doesn't know what to do with his queen." Diane says, "Maybe his beard is in the way."
In September 1934, The Spectacle Maker, directed by John Farrow (1904-1963), was released. A mysterious stranger asks an eyeglass maker to design a lens that shows only beauty to anyone who wears it. The Court Jester (Angelo Rossitto) and the Grand Duke (Harvey Clark) play chess while the little princess (Cora Sue Collins) watches. The board is set up wrong.
In October 1934, Marie Galante, directed by Henry King (1886-1982) and starring Spencer Tracy, was released. Brogard (Sig Rumen) owns a Parisian bazaar and has a hand carved Persian chess set in his display window. It is not for sale. A Japanese owner, Tenoki (Leslie Fenton), of a nearby oriental curio shop has a hand carved Chinese chess set made of genuine ivory. Ratcliff (Robert Lorraine) plays chess with Brogard, putting him in check.
In November 1934, Ukikusa monogatari (The Story of Floating Weeds), directed by Yasujiro Ozu (1903-1963) was released. Shinkichi (Joji Mitsui) and Kihachi Ichikawa (Takeshi Sakamoto) spend their time together fishing and playing chess.
In December 1934, Fugitive Lady, directed by Albert Rogell (1901-1988), was released. a young woman marries a dashing young man who, unbeknownst to her, is a jewel thief. Donald Brooks (Neil Hamilton) plays chess while Ann Duncan (Florence Rice (1911-1974)) looks on. Florence Rice was an enthusiastic chess amateur. (source: Chess Review, Dec 1937, p. 291)
In December 1934, The Scarlet Pimpernel, directed by Harold Young (1897-1972), was released. At the heart of the French Revolution in 1792, aristocrat Sir Percy Blakeney (Leslie Howard) is secretly the Scarlet Pimpernel, leading an underground group dedicated to freeing nobles from the brutal Robespierre. Two nobles that were captured sit around in detention playing chess with 18th century chess pieces before they are summoned to be guillotined. One of the players is Count de Tournay (O. B. Clarence). The other player thanks heaven for chess so that one can forget the more disagreeable things in life.
In January 1935, Clive of India, directed by Richard Boleslawski (1889-1937), starring Ronald Colman and Loretta Young, was released. In 1748 at Fort St. David, India, Robert "Bob" Clive (Ronald Colman), an East India Company clerk, joins the British army to help combat the French. Clive escapes capture and leads a courageous attack that saves the entire British army. There is a game of checkers going on at the beginning of the film. There is a scene of living chess being played on a large chess board in Northern India in the residence of King Suraj Ud Dowlah.
In January 1935, The Right to Live (The Sacred Flame), directed by William Keighley (1889-1984), was released. Maurice (Colin Clive) and Stella Trent (Josephine Hutchinson) are happily married. When Maurice is crippled with a broken back in an airplane crash, he and his mother send for his brother Colin (George Brent) to come help keep Stella busy. Dr. Harvester (Leo G. Carroll) and Maurice play chess. The board is set up wrong and the king and queen are on the wrong squares.
In February 1935, The Little Colonel, directed by David Butler (1894-1979), was released. In 1870s Kentucky, Colonel Lloyd (Lionel Barrymore) becomes estranged from his daughter, Elizabeth (Evelyn Venable), when she elopes with Northerner Jack Sherman (John Lodge). Six years later, when Jack goes prospecting, Elizabeth comes back with her spirited daughter (Shirley Temple). Colonel Lloyd and Shirley Temple play chess. Shirley plays army with the pieces, then knocks over the pieces and table.
In March 1935, Hundert Tage (Hundred Days), directed by Franz Wenzler (1893-1942), was released. Fouche (Gustaf Grundgens (1899-1963)) plays chess.
In March 1935, The Florentine Dagger, directed by Robert Florey (1900-1979) was released. It has a chess scene with fancy carved figurine chess pieces. Dr. Lytton (C. Aubrey Smith) plays chess with Karl (Egon Becher), the butler, at his home in Vienna. The butler says to his guest, Juan Cesare (Donald Woods), "...I am giving him a sound thrashing." Cesare observes the game and tells the doctor that he made a very bad move.
In April 1935, Reckless, directed by Victor Fleming (1889-1949, was released. A Broadway star's (Mona Leslie, played by Jean Harlow) sports promoter and gambler Ned Riley (William Powell) sees her through the scandal of her marriage to a drunken socialite named Bob Harrison (Franchot Tone). There is a chess board and set in Colonel Harrison's (Henry Stephenson) bedroom. The Colonel tells his son (who had just picked up a knight) not to touch the chess pieces, saying, "Hold on, hold on. I am working out a problem." The son replaces the knight and the Colonel moves another piece. The board is set up wrong.
In May 1935, Chasing Yesterday, directed by George Nichols Jr. (1897-1939), was released. Lonely Parisian bibliophile Sylvestre Bonnard (O.P. Heggie), reminded of his long-lost love, travels to her old country estate, where he meets his late former paramour's teenage daughter, Jeanne (Anne Shirley). Sylvestre and Jeanne play chess.
In July 1935, The Black Room, directed by Roy William Neil (1887-1946) was released. Baron Gregor/Anton de Berghmann (Boris Karloff) plays chess with Colonel Hassel (Thuston Hall). The Colonel says, "You play a remarkably bad game of chess, my dear Anton. Your attack is as weak as your brother Gregor's was brilliant. Chess, by the way, was the only virtue I discovered in him." They later moved the chess table to the study. It was the same game they started 6 hours ago. Later on, when resuming the game, the Colonel says, "You made exactly that same move three weeks ago." He now knows Anton is Gregor. The board is set up wrong.
In August 1935, China Seas, directed by Tay Garnett (1894-1977), was released. Dashing captain Alan Gaskell (Clark Gable) is attempting to lead a more subdued life with a new love interest, aristocrat Sybil Barclay (Rosalind Russell), when his ship is taken over by pirates while sailing the South Pacific. A passenger (Donald Meek), sits and watches two men playing chess in the lounge on a ship bound for Singapore. Drunken Mr. McCaleb (Robert Benchley) says, "You see that chess game over there? When I was 4 years old I played 10 people all at once — blindfolded. ...I lost every game."
In August 1935, The Crusades, directed by Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959), starring Loretta Young, was released. Conrad, Marquis of Montfessot (Joseph Schildkraut), plays chess with Prince John (Ramsay Hill). Conrad gives check to Prince John. After a few checks, the Prince says, "You're a treacherous man, Montfessot." While moving out of check and hearing that his brother King Richard (Henry Wilcoxon) may not return from the Crusades, the Prince accidently knocks his king.
In September 1935, Crime Unlimited, directed by Ralph Ince (1887-1937), was released in Britain. An undercover policeman, Peter Borden (Esmond Knight), infiltrates a notorious gang of jewel thieves headed by a mysterious leader. The credits at the beginning of the movie shows a chess set in the background of the credits. The board is set up wrong and the queens and kings are on the wrong squares. Chess is seen throughout the movie. The mysterious bad guy, Conway Addison (Wyndham Goldie) plays chess by himself. Borden and Conway talk with a chess set in front of them while Conway moves the pieces. He says crime was fascinating, like playing chess with life and death.
In October 1935, Die Ganze Welt dreht sich um Liebe (The World's in Love), directed by Viktor Tourjansky (1891-1976), was released in Austria. Adalbert von Waldenau (Leo Slezak) plays chess.
In October 1935, The Spanish Cape Mystery, directed by Lewis D. Collins (1899-1954), was released. Detective Ellery Queen's (Donald Cook) vacation is interrupted when murder strikes next door to his oceanside cabin. Leslie Court (Arnold Gray) is playing chess with Walter Godfrey (Frank Sheridan) at Spanish Cape in California. Leslie makes a move and says, "check." Walter says, "Check, check, check. I know when I am checked." When Walter wasn't looking, Leslie cheated and moved the queen.
In December 1935, East of Java, directed by George Melford (1877-1961), was released. Survivors of a shipwreck find refuge on a tropical island--but so do the ship's cargo of lions and tigers. Captain Wong Bo (Leslie Fenton) and Red McGovern (Charles Bickford) play chess.
In December 1935, Kermesse heroique (Carnival in Flanders), directed by Jacques Feyder (1885-1948), was released in France. It tells the story of the Spanish invasion of Flanders. The priest (Louis Jouvet) plays chess inside a carriage with a Spanish duke (Jean Murat).
In December 1935, A Tale of Two Cities, directed by Jack Conway (1887-1952), was released. Chess is played in the background at a tavern. A man near the dock concentrates on chess.
In 1936, Hell Unltd (Hell Unlimited), directed by Helen Biggar (1909-1953) and Norman McLaren (1914-1987), was released in the United Kingdom. A mixture of puppets, diagrams, animation and live action presents an anti-war message. The film features a chess board and chess pieces, later replaced with war pieces, like artillery shells, tanks, soldiers, and airplanes.
In April 1936, Till We Meet Again, directed by Robert Florey (1900-1979), was released. Divided by war before they can wed, a London actor named Alan Barclay (Herbert Marshall) and a Vienna actress (Gertrude Michael) become enemy spies. Barclay plays chess with a lady.
In April 1936, Tudor Rose (Nine Days a Queen), directed by Robert Stevenson (1905-1986), was released. Following the death of King Henry VIII (Frank Cellier) in 1547, his 9-year-old son, Edward VI (Desmond Tester), takes the throne -- but the real power lies with his adviser, the Earl of Warwick (Cedric Hardwicke). Lady Jane Grey (Nova Pilbeam) plays chess.
In May 1936, Eine Kleine Konigstragodie (The King's Little Tragedy), directed by Richard Groschopp (1906-1996), was released in Germany. It had a chess scene.
In May 1936, The Roaming Lady, directed by Albert Rogell (1901-1988), was released. Joyce Reid (Fay Wray), a wealthy young debutante, stows away on a cargo ship to China, carrying as passengers her dashing aviator sweetheart, Dan Bailey (Ralph Bellamy), and her munitions-producing father, E. J. Reid (Thurston Hall). Captain Murchison (Roger Imhof) and Dr. Wong (Paul Guilfoyle) play chess.
In May 1936, Flitterwochen (Honeymoon), directed by Karel Lamac (1897-1952), was released in Germany. A lady chess player in the hotel (Elisabeth von Ruets) plays chess at her table with another lady chess player.
In July 1936, The Song of the Gringo, directed by John P. McCarthy (1884-1962), was released. Tex (Tex Ritter) is sent to investigate miners being killed and their mines confiscated. The culprit is Evans (Ted Adams) and after Tex joins the gang, he is sent to kill two more miners. When Don Esteban Valle (Martin Garralaga) is killed, Tex is put on trial for all three murders. Two men are playing chess by candle light during a storm. One man makes a move and the other man says, "Very Clever."
In July 1936, Inkognito, directed by Richard Schnedier-Edenkoben (1899=1986), was released in Germany. Severin Matthias (Gustav Froehlich) and Friedel Reimer (Hansi Knoteck) play chess.
In August 1936, Anthony Adverse, directed by Mervyn LeRoy (1900-1987), was released. In 18th-century Italy, an orphan's debt to the man who raised him threatens to separate him forever from the woman he loves. Anthony Adverse (Fredric March) and his accountant, Fernando (Paul Sotoff), play chess in Africa. As a drunken Adverse sits back down in his chair, Fernando says, "It's your move, Mr. Adverse." He later falls asleep at the table, knocking all the chess pieces off the board.
In November 1936, Ellis Island, directed by Phil Rosen (1888-1951), was released. A gang of international crooks uses America's haven of hope for refugees for clandestine purposes. There is a chess set and board in the waiting area on Ellis Island.
In November 1936, Pennies from Heaven, directed by Norman McLeod (1898-1964), was released. Before he is released from prison, Larry Poole (Bing Crosby (1904-1977)) is asked by a death row inmate (John Gallaudet) to make sure his family is all right. Patsy Smith (Edith Fellows) beats Larry in a game of chess. Larry plays Susan Sprague (Madge Evans) in a game of chess. Gramp Smith (Donald Meek) is sitting, playing a game of chess. The board is set up wrong.
In December 1936, Sensation, directed by Brian Hurst (1895-1986), was released. A London crime reporter neglects his fiancee for his work and ends up getting the scoop on a killer. There is a chess scene.
In February 1937, Die Kreutzersonate (The Kreutzer Sonata), directed by Veit Harlan (1899-1964), was released. Set in Tsarist Russia. A happily married woman falls in love with her husband's cousin through their mutual love of music. She decides to stay with her husband, but he has become jealous and murders her. He is acquitted but to be free and to go on living is the harder punishment. Dr. Raskin (Walter Werner) plays chess with Peter Petersen (Andrej Posdnyschew). The board is set up wrong.
In March 1937, The King and the Chorus Girl, directed by Mervyn LeRoy (1900-1987), was released. Count Humbert Bruger (Edward Everett Horton) plays chess with Duchess Anna (Mary Nash) at King Alfred VII's (Fernand Gravey) apartment.
In April 1937, Men in Exile, directed by John Farrow (1904-1963), was released. Mortimer Jones (Olm Howland) plays chess with General Alcatraz (Carlos De Valdez) on the island of Carivo.
In April 1937, Wife of General Ling, directed by Ladislao Vajda (1906-1965), was released. John Fenton (Griffith Jones), a British secret-service agent in China, is given the assignment of learning how smugglers go undetected while delivering guns into the interior for General Ling (Valery Inkijinoff). Tai Wong (Adrianne Renn) inserts a poisoned needle in a chess piece. His chess opponent moves the piece, pricks his finger, is poisoned, and dies.
In April 1937, Madame Bovary, directed by Gerhard Lamprecht (1897-1974), was released. Emma Bovary (Pola Negri) and Leon Dupuis (Werner Scharf) play chess.
In April 1937, The Prince and the Pauper, directed by William Keighley (1889-1984), was released. Chess is played at the Robbers Roost Inn by the Captain of the Guard (Alan Hale) and one of his men (Robert Adair).
In May 1937, Charlie Chan at the Olympics, directed by Bruce Humberstone (1901-1984), was released. Charles Zaraka (Morgan Wallace) plays chess with Carlos (Arno Frey) at his mansion in Berlin. Zaraka checkmates Carlos.
In July 1937, The Lady Escapes, directed by Eugene Forde (1898-1986), was released. Michael Hilton (Michael Whelan) plays chess. (source: Chess Review, Dec 1937)
In July 1937, London by Night, directed by Wilhelm Thiele (1890-1975), was released. Mr. Casey and Mr. von Krenz sometimes play chess.
In August 1937, Souls at Sea, directed by Henry Hathaway (1898-1985), was released. After learning that the ship he's working on is carrying slaves, sailor and abolitionist "Nuggin" Taylor (Gary Cooper) engineers the release of his vessel's human cargo. English officials seeking to end the slave trade note his heroism, and soon Taylor agrees to help the British raid a slave ship commanded by the no-good Lt. Tarryton (Henry Wilcoxon). Taylor is a chess player. Chess is mentioned in a conversation with Taylor and Powdah (George Raft) in a tavern.
In September 1937, Lost Horizon, directed by Frank Capra (1897-1991), by was released. Bob Conway (Ronald Colman) plays chess with Chang (H.B. Warner)
In September 1937, The Prisoner of Zenda, directed by John Cromwell (1886-1979), was released. Fritz von Tarlenheim (David Niven) plays chess. The castle has sculpted bases that look like pawns.
In October 1937, The Bride Wore Red, directed by Dorothy Arzner (1897-1979) and starring Joan Crawford, was released. Count Armalia (George Zucco) tries to show that peasants and aristocrats are not that different by asking singer Anni Pavlovitch (Joan Crawford) to masquerade as his wealthy friend, Anne Vivaldi. She agrees and soon meets the dashing Rudi Pal (Robert Young). Contessa di Meina (Billie Burke) plays chess with Admiral Monti (Reginald Owen). The board is set up wrong.
In October 1937, The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel, directed by Hanns Schwarz (1888-1945), was released. Chess is played in the background of the barracks.
In November 1937, A Girl with Ideas, directed by Sylvan Simon (1910-1951), was released. Mickey McGuire (Walter Pidgeon) and John Morton (George Barbier) are playing chess and Mary Morton (Wendy Barrie) picks up a white piece. The board is set up wrong.
In November 1937, The Hurricane, directed by John Ford (1894-1973), was released. Dr. Kersaint (Thomas Mitchell) talks about playing chess with Eugene Delage.
In December 1937, Bulldog Drummonds Revenge, directed by Louis King (1898-1962), was released. Chess is played on a ship by two passengers.
In 1938, Holka Nebo Kluk (A Girl or a Boy), directed by Vladimir Slavinsky (1890-1949), was released. Two men play chess.
In January 1938, Lachine, directed by Fritz Kamp, was released. Hassan Ezzat plays chess.
In February 1938, Arsene Lupin Returns, directed by George Fitzmaurice (1885-1940), was released. It has a chess scene.
In March 1938, Jezebel, directed by William Wyler (1902-1981), was released. General Bogardus (Henry O'Neill) plays chess.
In June 1938, Holiday, directed by George Cukor (1899-1983), was released. There is a scene with a chess set in the background.
In July 1938, I'll Give a Million, directed by Walter Lang (1896-1972), was released. Tony Newlander (Warner Baxter) plays chess on a ship, the Ceclia, in the south of France.
In August 1938, Algiers, directed by John Cromwell (1886-1979), was released. Chess is being played by two Algerians as Inspector Slimane (Joseph Callei) and Gaby (Hedy Lamarr) walk through. Grandpere (Alan Hale) and Carlos (Stanley Fields) play a game of chess.
In August 1938, Gateway, directed by Alfred Werker (1896-1975), was released. Grandpa Hlawek (Maurice Moscovich) plays chess.
In August 1938, Four Daughters, directed by Michael Curtiz (1886-1962), was released. In the final scene, Benjamin Crowley (Frank McHugh) plays chess with Ernest (Dick Foran).
In September 1938, My Lucky Star, directed by Roy Del Ruth (1895-1961) and starring Sonja Henie on ice skates, was released. People in chess costumes are in the background with the Alice in Wonderland Through the Looking Glass theme on ice.
In October 1938, Listen, Darling, directed by Edwin Marin (1899-1951), was released. Buzz Mitchell (Freddie Bartholomew) plays chess with Pinkie Wingate (Judy Garland).
In October 1938, Adrienne Lecouvreur, directed by Marcel L'Herbier (1888-1979), was released. Maurice de Saxe (Piere Fresnay) plays chess.
In November 1938, Le Joueur D'Echecs, directed by Jean Dreville (1906-1997), was released. Kempelen (Conrad Veidt) owns the chess automaton known as The Turk and shows the empress. The Turk plays one of the aristocrats a few moves in a game of chess. He brings in the Turk to play the emperor and shows all of the drawers with mechanical moving parts. The kings and queens are on the wrong squares.
In December 1938, Remontons les Champs Elysees, directed by Sacha Guitry (1885-1957), was released. A chess board and set on a table is in the foreground.
In 1939, Pardosi was released. Chess is played in India.
In January 1939, The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt, directed by Peter Godfrey (1899-1970), was released. A group of "spies" is after the plans for an anti-aircraft gun, and the leader uses the opportunity to embroil the Lone Wolf in the plot. Trying to settle an old score, this shady character implicates his old nemesis by forcing him to crack the safe where the plans are stored. Spiro (Ralph Morgan) plays chess by himself in his study. The credits at the beginning of the movie has a checkerboard squares in the background.
In March 1939, Cafe Society, directed by Edward H. Griffith (1888-1975), was released. Crick O'Bannon (Fred MacMurray) and Christopher West (Madeleine Carroll) play chess.
In March 1939, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, directed by H.C. Porter (1904-1977), was released. Two men play chess on stage.
In April 1939, Entente Cordiale, directed by Marcel L'Herbier (1888-1979), was released. King Edouard VII (Victor Francen) plays chess.
In April 1939, Wuthering Heights, directed by William Wyler (1902-1981), was released. Edgar Linten (David Niven) plays chess against his father (Cecil Humphreys) and checkmates him.
In May 1939, Blind Alley, directed by Charles Vidor (1900-1959), was released. Dr. Anthony Shelby (Ralph Bellamy) has a chess set in his study. The gangster, Hal Wilson (Chester Morris), walks by a chess set and board and asks Shelby, "What's this gadget?" Shelby responds, "It's a game called chess." Wilson picks up a knight and calls it a sea biscuit.
In July 1939, Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation, directed by Norman Forster (1903-1976), was released. Professor Hildebrand (Lionel Atwell) plays chess with Handrick Manderson (Joseph Schildkraut) in the curator's office. Handrick says he can't play chess with all these constant interruptions after Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre) enters the room where they are playing chess.
In September 1939, Golden Boy, directed by Rouben Mamoulian (1897-1987), was released. Mr. Bonaparte (Lee J. Cobb) plays chess with Mr. Carp (William Strauss) in the store. The board is set up wrong and the kings and queens are on the wrong squares.
In September 1939, Babes in Arms, directed by Busby Berkeley (1901-1971), was released. Mickey Moran (Mickey Rooney) refers to a game of chess, "I referred a game of chess between Japan and China."
In September 1939, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, directed by Michael Curtiz (1886-1962), was released. Lady Penelope Gary (Olivia DeHavilland) defeats Elizabeth (Bette Davis) in chess. Elizabeth then knocks all the pieces off the board. The hand carved chess set for the film cost $1,000.
In October 1939, Jamaica Inn, directed by Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), was released. A chess set is seen in the library of the mansion of Sir Humphrey Pengaltan (Charles Laughton).
In October 1939, Mirele Efros, directed by Josef Berne (1904-1964), was released. Two men play chess.
In October 1939, Ils etaient neuf celibataires (They Were Nine Bachelors), directed by Sacha Guitry (1885-1957), was released. A chess set and several chess boards are in the background of the nurses.
In November 1939, Fighting Mad, directed by Sam Newfield (1899-1964), was released. Two men (Horace Murphy and Ole Olsen) play chess in the background of the lodge.
In December 1939, Everything Happens at Night, directed by Irving Cummings (1888-1959), was released. Ken Morgan (Robert Cummings) stops off at the chess club. Dr. Hugo Norden (Maurice Moscovitch) is a chess master. Norden/Brunner is later seen playing another man (Michael Vigaroff). The board is set up wrong. Norden/Brunner also plays Otto, the woodcutter.
In December 1939, Balalaika, directed by Reinhold Schuenzel (1888-1954), was released. Chess is played in a Russian tavern by Charles Ruggles. The kings and queens are on the wrong squares.
In January 1940, British Intelligence, directed by Terry O. Morse (1906-1984), was released. A chess set is on the officer's desk.
In February 1940, Northwest Passage, directed by King Vidor (1894-1982), was released. There is a chess set in the foreground of a mansion.
In April 1940, Young Buffalo Bill, directed by Joseph Kane (1894-1975), was released. Chess is played at the fort.
In June 1940, Susan and God, directed by George Cukor (1899-1983), was released. Amos (Sam Harris) plays chess with Hutchie (Nigel Bruce) at a hotel.
In July 1940, The Sea Hawk, directed by Michael Curtiz (1886-1962), was released. Don Jose Alvarez de Cordoba (Claude Rains) plays chess with his niece, Dona Maria (Barbara Marshall).
In July 1940, Social Sea Lions, directed by Johnny Hines (1895-1970), was released. Forbes Murray and Jack Hutchinson play chess. The board is set up wrong.
In August 1940, Wiener G'schichten (Vienna Tales), directed by Geza von Bolvary (1897-1961), was released. Josef (Hans Moser) and Ferdinand (Paul Hoerbiger) play chess.
In August 1940, Foreign Correspondent, directed by Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), was released. A chess game is being played at the police station.
In August 1940, The Man I Married, directed by Irving Pichel (1891-1954) was released. Mr. Frieoff used to play chess with Heinrich Hoffman (Otto Kruger) in Germany.
In September 1940, Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum, directed by Lynn Shores (1893-1949), was released. It depicted a chess automaton with a chess set. The automaton checkmates Dr. Cream (Henry Gordon).
In September 1940, The Howards of Virginia, directed by Frank Lloyd (1886-1960), was released. Chess is played in a pub.
In October 1940, The Great Dictator, directed by Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), was released. Mr. Jaekel (Marulee Maskovic) plays chess with Mr. Jagory. Black moves a bishop, no realizing that black had white in check with the queen, which was threatened by White's queen.
In November 1940, The Mark of Zorro, directed by Rouben Mamoulian (1897-1987), was released. Diego (Tyrone Power) is waiting to start a game with Padre Fray Felipe (Eugene Pallette)
In December 1940, Dark Streets of Cairo, directed by Laszlo Kardos (1905-1962), was released. Abbadi (George Zucco) plays chess.
In December 1940, The Thief of Bagdad, directed by Ludwig Berger (1892-1969) and Michael Powell (1905-1990), was released. Jaffar (Conrad Veidt) plays chess with the Sultan of Basra (Miles Malleson). The chess pieces are red and white.
In December 1940, Flight Command, directed by Frank Borzage (1894-1962), was released. Chess is played in the naval flight training recreation room.
In 1941, Cuando los hijos se van (When Children Leave Home), directed by Juan Bustillo Oro (1904-1989), was released. Two men play chess.
In 1941, Padosi, directed by V. Shantaram (1901-1990), was released. There is a chess scene.
In January 1941, Hudson's Bay, directed by Irving Pichel (1891-1954), was released. The guards at the French fort near Montreal play chess.
On February 25, 1941, Ridin' the Cherokee Trail, directed by Spencer Bennet (1893-1987), was released. A Texas Ranger goes after an outlaw who has his operations based in the Cherokee Strip. There is a chess set in the bad man's house, Forrest Taylor (Bradley Craven), in which he studies a chess position.
In March 1941, Federal Fugitives, directed by William Beaudine (1892-1970), was released. Otto Liebermann (Victor Varconi) and Henry Gregory (George Carleton) play chess.
In March 1941, Shadows on the Stars, directed by D. Ross Lederman (1894-1972), was released. Tom Armitage (Miles Mander) plays chess on a small peg set. The board is set up wrong.
In April 1941, Auf Widersehen Franziska, directed by Helmut Kautner (198-1980), was released. Dr. Christoph Leitner (Rudolf Fernau) plays chess.
In April 1941, The Invisible Ghost, directed by Joseph H. Lewis (1907-2000), was released. Paul Dickson (John McGuire (1910-1980)) plays chess with Charles Kessler (Bela Lugosi (1882-1956)) at Charle's house as Charles's daughter, Virginia (Polly Ann Young) looks on. Charles says, "You know, Paul, I'm afraid you have me cornered."
In May 1941, Blood and Sand, directed by Rouben Mamoulian (1897-1987), was released. Sulty socialite Dona Sol des Muire (Rita Hayworth (1918-1987)) shows the chess board and set to the illiterate bull fighter Juan Gallardo (Tyrone Power (1914-1958)) outside on the patio by the fountain. The chess pieces are red and white. She says, "Would you like to play chess?" Juan says he does not know how to play chess and is the most ignorant man in the world except for bull fighting. The board is set up wrong.
In May 1941, U-Boote westwarts (U-Boat, Course West), directed by Guenther Rittau (1893-1971), was released. Chess is played in a U-boat by two men near their bunks. A third man in a bunk watches the game.
In May 1941, A Woman's Face, directed by George Cukor (1899-1983), was released. Anna Holm/Ingrid Paulson (Joan Crawford (1905-1977)), a Swedish blackmailer and accused murderer, gives a pocket chess set to Consul Magnus Barring (Albert Bassermann) as a birthday present. He says, "That is exactly what I wanted." Inside the chess set was a suicide note, discovered by the housekeeper, Emma Kristiansdotter (Marjorie Main). She stole the note without reading it as she assumed it was a love letter and part of a scheme by Anna to marry the Consul for money.
In June 1941, Man Hunt, directed by Fritz Lang (1890-1976), starring Walter Pidgeon and Joan Bennett, was released. A German doctor (Ludwig Stossel (1883-1973)) plays chess with the white pieces while drinking beer. His opponent is probably Major Quive-Smith (George Sanders), who looks over the position as Black after the doctor walks out. The board is set up wrong (right corner square is dark colored).
In June 1941, Dangerous Moonlight (Suicide Squadron in the USA), directed by Brian Hurst (1895-1986), was released in Britain. There is a wooden chess set and board sitting on the doctor's table. Pete Peters (Percy Parsons (1878-1944)) plays chess with Steve Radetsky (Anton Walbrook (1896-1967) in the British bomber squadron.
In June 1941, Underground, directed by Vincent Sherman (1906-2006), was released. Erik Franken (Philip Dorn (1901-1975)) plays chess at Maxim's Bar and Cafe with Professor Baumer (Frank Reicher). Erik is a chemist and an anti-Nazi working for the underground.
In June 1941, Bachelor Daddy, directed by Harold Young (1897-1972), was released. Baby Sandy moves chess pieces on the chess board.
In August 1941, This Woman is Mine, directed by Frank Lloyd (1886-1960), was released. A girl stows away on a ship. It has a chess scene.
In October 1941, 49th Parallel, directed by Michael Powell (1905-1990), was released in England. There is a Staunton chess set by the radio at Wilson Home Post. A chess game is played by radio between Factor (Finlay Currie) and Russell in Grand Rapids, Michigan (with a Brooklyn accent). They play 3 nights a week. During the chess game, the algebraic notation is backwards and incorrect. Factor gets help from the German engineer.
In October 1941, Smilin' Through, directed by Frank Borzage (1894-1962), was released. Reverend Owen Harding (Ian Hunter (1900-1975)) plays chess with Sir John Carteret (Brian Aherne (1902-1986)). Sir John dies of heart failure after falling asleep in his chair while playing Harding.
In November 1941, Marry the Boss's Daughter, directed by Thornton Freeland (1898-1987), was released. Putman Palmer (Hardie Albright) and J. W. Barrett (George Barbier (1864-1945)) play chess in Barnett's study. Fredericka Barrett (Brenda Joyce) makes a move for his father. Then she makes a move for Palmer. Fredericka then calls her dog to come on, and the dog jumps on the chess table and knocks most of the pieces over.
In December 1941, Design for Scandal, directed by Norman Taurog (1899-1981), and starring Rosalind Russell (1907-1976) and Walter Pidgeon (1897-1984), was released. To save his job, newsman Jeff Sherman (Pidgeon) offers to help his boss get out of an alimony settlement. But his devious plan to compromise Cornelia C. Porter (Russell), the judge on the case, while she is on holiday at Cape Cod soon proves to be too devious. Judge Porter plays chess with Walter Caldwell (Lee Bowman). He steps out and Jeff comes in from the outside and moves the king several spaces up.
In December 1941, Illusion, directed by Viktor Tourjansku (1891-1976), was released in Germany. Stefan von Holtenau (Johannes Heesters) and Nowodny (Nikolas Koline) play chess.
In December 1941, You're in the Army Now, directed by Lewis Seiler (1890-1964), was released. Homer Smith (Jimmy Durante (1893-1980)) plays chess with Breezy Jones (Phil Silvers (1911-1985)) as they talk about themselves when they were soldiers.
In January 1942, Courageous Mr. Penn, directed by Lance Comfort (1908-1966), was released. Mr. Pepys (Henry Oscar (1891-1969)) plays chess in the upstairs of a tavern with another man as Admiral Penn (Charles Carson) watches and kibitzes.
On February 13, 1942, On the Sunny Side, directed by Harold Schuster (1902-1986), was released. Hugh Aylesworth (Roddy McDowell) plays chess with George Andres (Donald Douglas).
In March 1942, To Be or Not to Be, directed by Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947), was released. Chess is played in a basement. Acting couple Joseph (Jack Benny) and Maria Tura (Carole Lombard) are managing a theatrical troupe when the Nazis invade Poland. Maria is having an affair with Lieutenant Sobinski (Robert Stack), who suspects Professor Siletsky (Stanley Ridges) is a Nazi spy.
In June 1942, Mrs. Miniver, directed by William Wyler (1902-1981), starring Walter Pidgeon and Greer Carson, was released. A British family struggles to survive the first months of World War II. The men are playing checkers while listening to a radio broadcast in a bar. There is a chess set in the home of Lady Beldon (May Whitty).
In August 1942, Talk of the Town, directed by George Stevens (1904-1975), was released. Leopold Dilg (Cary Grant) plays chess with Prof. Michael Lightcap (Ronald Colman).
In October 1942, Flying Tigers, directed by, David Miller (1909-1992), was released. Jim Gordon (John Wayne in his first war film) leads the Flying Tigers, a squadron of freelance American pilots who fly Curtiss P-40B fighters against Japanese aircraft in the skies over China. John Wayne played chess on the set of the movie.
In October 1942, The Moon and Sixpence, directed by Albert Lewin (1894-1968), was released. When stockbroker Charles Strickland (George Sanders) abruptly abandons his wife and family, his friend, writer Geoffrey Wolfe (Herbert Marshall), tracks him to Paris. There Strickland pursues his lifelong ambition of becoming a painter and refuses contact with his family. There is a chess scene.
In November 1942, Nightmare, directed by Tim Whelan (1893-1957), was released. An American gambler, Daniel Shane (Brian Donlevy), and a new widow, Leslie Stafford (Diana Barrymore), flee from London to Scotland and smash an Axis spy ring. There is a chess scene.
In November 1942, Casablanca, directed by Michael Curtiz (1886-1962), was released. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) studies a chess position.
In November 1942, Miss V from Moscow, directed by Albert Herman (1887-1958), was released. A Soviet spy (Lola Lane) tricks the Gestapo in Paris because she looks like a Nazi spy. Henri (Paul Weigel) plays chess with Wolfgang Heinrich (John Vesper).
In December 1942, Keeper of the Flame, directed by George Cukor (1899-1983), starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, was released. Journalist Steve O'Malley (Spencer Tracy) wants to write a biography of a national hero who died when his car ran off a bridge. Steve receives conflicting reports and tales that make him question what the truth about the hero is. O'Malley plays chess with the gate keeper's boy, Jeb Rickards (Darryl Hickman) at the gate keeper's residence. The kid is beating O'Malley. He says he played Mrs. Forrest (Hepburn) 3 times and beat her every time. He says she plays fine when her mind is on it. It was Mrs. Forrest that gave Jeb the chess set.
In December 1942, Les Visiteurs Du Soir (Visitors of the Night), directed by Marcel Carne (1906-1996), was released. In medieval France, the Devil intervenes when one of his two envoys, sent to seduce and deceive mortals, falls instead for a victim. Chess is played in the courts of French aristocrats.
On January 6, 1943, Hitler's Children, directed by Edward Dmytryk (1908-1999), was released. Anna Muller (Bonita Granville), a U.S. citizen studying at the American Colony School in Germany, befriends both a teacher, "Nicky" Nichols (Kent Smith), and Karl Bruner (Tim Holt), a student at a neighboring school who joins the Hitler Youth. Years after they graduate, Karl returns as a Nazi officer and sends Anna -- now a teacher herself -- to a labor camp. While Karl praises the changes in Anna, Nicky works in secret to help her escape from the Nazis. Men relax in the park, playing chess.
In February 1943, Tarzan Triumphs, directed by Wilhelm Thiele (1890-1975), was released. There is chess play in a tent.
In March 1943, Frauen sind keine Engel (Women Are No Angels), directed by Willi Forst (1903-1980), was released. The board is set up wrong.
In March 1943, The Human Comedy, directed by Clarence Brown (1890-1987), was released. Soldiers study a chess position.
In April 1943, Hangmen Also Die, directed by Fritz Lang (1890-1976), was released. During the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, insurgent Franticek Svoboda (Brian Donlevy) assassinates the brutal German leader Reinhard Heydrich (Hans Heinrich von Twardowski). Svoboda escapes with the aid of history professor Stephen Novotny (Walter Brennan), but Novotny is then captured, along with 400 other Czechs, through the machinations of Nazi sympathizer Emil Czaka (Gene Lockhart). The Czech prisoners are then told that if Svoboda does not surrender, they will all be executed. There is a chess scene.
In May 1943, Above Suspicion, directed by Richard Thorpe (1896-1991), was released. Richard Myles (Fred MacMurray) and Francis Myles (Joan Crawford) go to a woodcarver's shop in search of chess pieces.
In May 1943, Due cuori fra le belve (Two Hears Among the Beasts), directed by Giorgio Simonelli (1901-1966), was released. A man in a tuxedo plays chess.
In May 1943, The Falcon Strikes Back, directed by Edward Dmytryk (1908-1999), was released. Bruno Steffan (Andre Charlot) plays chess with Mr. Wong (Richard Loo).
In June 1943, Two Tickets to London, directed by Edwin Marin (1899-1951), was released. An escaped ship's mate accused of treason clears his name with the help of a young girl. Captain McCardle (Barry Fitzgerald) and First Mate Dan Driscoll (Alan Curtis) have a discussion near a chess board.
On August 1, 1943, Behind the Rising Sun, directed by Edward Dmytryk (1908-1999), was released. In the 1930s, Taro Seki (Tom Neal) returns to Japan after graduating from Cornell University in the United States. An ambitious man, Seki searches for employment with Clancy O'Hara (Don Douglas), a prominent American engineer in Tokyo. While at the engineer's office, Seki falls in love with O'Hara's secretary, Tama Shimamura (Margo). Soon, the two plan to marry, but Seki is drafted for the Sino-Japanese War -- and, when he returns from the battlefields, he is no longer the same man. There is a chess scene.
In August 1943, Todo un hombre (A Real Man), directed by Pierre Chenal (1904-1990), was released in Argentina. Alejandro (Francisco Petrone) is a tough, hard-working independent river man, who finds it difficult to communicate and express his true feeling to his young wife, Julia (Amelia Bence). The two travel up a winding river, and tension between the two escalates. The poster for the film shows Alejandro and Julia playing chess with red and white pieces. Chess is played in the background of a bar.
On October 13, 1943, L'Eternel retour (The Eternal Return or Love Eternal), directed by Jean Delannoy (1908-2008) was released in France. A young man experiences a tragic twist of fate following his ill-fated love for his aunt. Patrice (Jean Marais) and Nathalie (Madeleine Sologne) play chess.
In September 1943, Titanic, directed by Herbert Selpin (1904-1942), was released. There are several chess scenes.
In September 1943, Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, directed by Roy William Neill (1887-1946), was released. Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) finds clues from the words of an old ritual. Holmes reads it and says, "I say Watson: King, queen, knight, bishop." Dr Watson (Nigel Bruce), responds, "Sounds like a game of chess to me." "Precisely," exclaims Holmes. Holmes looks at the floor and says it looks like a giant chessboard. He has the chess terms and the floor is the chessboard. He says, "The secret of the Musgrave murders is locked up on that floor, and by Jove, we've got the key to it." Sherlock Holmes makes the moves on a wooden chessboard and the characters play sort of a living game of chess on the tiles of the floor as Holmes re-creates the game.
In September 1943, Thank Your Lucky Stars, directed by David Butler (1894-1979) was released. Bette Davis sings, "They're Either Too Young or Too Old." The music is by Arthur Schwartz and the lyrics are by Frank Loesser. One of the lines in the song is about going to grandpa's house for a snappy game of chess.
They're either too young, or too old
They're either too gray or too grassy green
The pickings are poor and the crop is lean
What's good is in the army
What's left will never harm me
They're either too old or too young
So, darling, you'll never get stung
Tomorrow I'll go hiking with that Eagle Scout unless
I get a call from grandpa for a snappy game of chess
I'll never, never fail ya
While you are in Australia
Or off among the Rooshians
And flying over Egypt
Your heart will never be gypped
And when you get to India
I'll still be what I've been to ya
I've looked the field over
And lo and behold
They're either too young or too old
They're either too bald or too bold
I'm down to the wheelchair and bassinet
My heart just refuses to get upset
I simply can't compel it to
With no Marine to tell it to
I'm either their first breath of spring
Or else, I'm their last little fling
I either get a fossil or an adolescent pup
I either have to hold him off
Or have to hold him up
The battle is on, but the fortress will hold
They're either too young or too old
In November 1943, Guadalcanal Diary, directed by Lewis Seiler (1890-1964), was released. A couple of marines play chess on the island as a few kibitzers watch.
In November 1943, The North Star, directed by Lewis Milestone (1895-1980), was released. Kolya (Dana Andrews) plays chess with Grisha (Eric Roberts).
In December 1943, The Ghost Ship, directed by Mark Robson (1913-1978), was released. Captain Will Stone (Richard Dix) and Tom Merriam (Russel Wade) play chess. The board is set up wrong.
In 1944, At Land, directed by Maya Deren (1917-1961), was released. A man plays chess game at the end of the table; animated chess moves piece drops in water; chess on the beach; Maya Deren grabs a chess piece and runs.
In February 1944, Song of Russia, directed by Gregory Ratoff (1897-1960), was released. A chess set can be seen in the barracks.
On April 1, 1944, Radio Bugs, directed by Cy Endfield (1914-1995) was released. There was a chess game played in the living room.
In May 1944, Fanny by Gaslight, directed by Anthony Asquith (1902-1968), was released. Fanny (Phyllis Calvert) plays chess with Clive Seymour (Stuart Lindsell).
On May 3, 1944, Going My Way, directed by Leo McCarey (1898-1969), was released. Father Charles O'Malley (Bing Crosby) is an easy-going, golf-playing young priest whose entry into a tough neighborhood parish in midtown Manhattan is viewed with skepticism from all quarters, especially the aging Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald). While dealing with some unfinished business from his former life in the form of an old flame who now sings at the Metropolitan Opera (Rise Stevens), Father O'Malley inspires the youth of his parish by forming a boys choir.
On May 10, 1944, The Hour Before Dawn, directed by Frank Tuttle (1892-1963), was released. A conscientious objector in World War II England begins to suspect that his glamorous wife is working for the Nazis. Two men are sitting at a chess table.
On May 11,1944, The White Cliffs of Dover, directed by Clarence Brown (1890-1987), was released. Hirum Dunn (Frank Morgan) plays chess with Colonel Forsythe (C. Aubrey Smith).
On May 20, 1944, Charlie Chan and the Chinese Cat, directed by Phil Rosen (1888-1951), was released. Thomas Manning (Sam Flint) studies a chess position.
On July 4, 1944, The Story of Dr. Wassell, directed by Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959), was released. A chess game is played on the ship.
On July 19, 1944, Mr. Winkle Goes to War, directed by Alfred Green (1889-1960), was released. Chess is mention at a USO club.
On July 28, 1944, Mademoiselle Fifi, directed by Robert Wise (1914-2005), was released. Jean Cornudee (John Emery) plays chess with a priest (Edmund Glover). The board is set up wrong.
On August 1, 1944, Wilson, directed by Henry King (1886-1982) was released. Chess is being played in a press room.
On November 10, 1944, Dead Man's Eyes, directed by Reginald Le Borg (1902-1989), was released. There is a chess set in the study.
On November 30, 1944, Junge Herzen (Young Heart), directed by Boleslaw Barlog (1906-1999), was released. Herr Rettich (Max Gulstorff) and Fraulein von Wartenberg (Erika von Thellmann) play chess.
On December 8, 1944, Guest in the House, directed by John Brahm (1893-1982), was released. Dr. Dan Proctor (Scott McKay) plays chess with Mr. Hackett (Jerome Cowan), observed by Aunt Martha (Aline MacMahon).
On December 15, 1944, House of Frankenstein, directed by Erle Kenton (1896-1980), was released. Hussman (Sig Ruman) plays chess with Inspector Arnz (Lionel Atwill)
On December 18, 1944, Experiment Perilous, directed by Jacques Tourneur (1904-1977), was released. In 1903, a doctor suspects murder in the gothic Bederaux family. A little over an hour into the film, Nick Beddowes (Paul Lukas) comes out of hiding and pulls a gun on Dr. Huntington Bailey (George Brent). Nick says, "It fascinates me. It's like discovering what a whole new set of chessmen have been set up. But I can play with them as you shall see."
On December 21, 1944, Wing and a Prayer, directed by Henry Hathaway (1898-1985), was released. Chess is played in the recreation area.
On December 30, 1944, Ivan Groznij (Ivan the Terrible), directed by Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948), was released. Ivan the Terrible (Nikolai Cherkasov) plays chess.
In 1945, Motherland was released. There is chess play in the background.
In March 1945, The Picture of Dorian Gray, directed by Albert Lewin (1894-1968), was released. A chess set is seen on the table.
In April 1945, It's in the Bag, directed by Richard Wallace (1894-1951), was released. After an eccentric millionaire leaves $12 million to his grandnephew, flea circus manager Fred Floogle (Fred Allen), minutes before being murdered, Fred moves his family into an expensive hotel. During the reading of the will, they learn the estate has been squandered, leaving them with only five chairs. The disappointed family sells off the furniture, unaware the late man stored $350,000 in cash in one of the chairs. Learning of the hidden fortune, Fred sets out to track down the money. There is a chess scene.
In May 1945, Thrill of a Romance, directed by Richard Thorpe (1896-1991), was released. Chess is played in the lobby.
In June 1945, Dangerous Partners, directed by Edward Cahn (1899-1963) was released. A chess set is in the room of Profesor Budlow (Felix Bressart).
In June 1945, Scared Stiff, directed by Frank McDonald (1899-1980), was released. A chess editor named Larry Elliot (Jack Haley - the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz) at a newspaper is looking for jade chess pieces.
In October 1945, And Then There Were None, directed by Rene Claire (1898-1981), was released. A chess set is displayed on the table.
In October 1945, Johnny Angel, directed by Edwin Marin (1899-1951), was released. After his father's ship is found shot to pieces and missing its cargo of gold, Capt. Johnny Angel (George Raft) sets out for revenge. To get to the bottom of the mystery, Johnny confronts his father's employer, Gusty (Marvin Miller), but gets stonewalled. Suspicious, he digs deeper and uncovers a hidden world of crime and conspiracy. A stowaway named Paulette Girard (Signe Hasso) who was on board is key to discovering the truth -- if she can stay alive long enough to tell it. Paulette plays chess with Captain Angel (J. Farrell MacDonald).
In October 1945, Marshal of Laredo, directed by R. G. Springsteen (1904-1989), was released. Red Ryder (Bill Elliott) prevents an inexperienced lawyer from being hanged after the man is framed by outlaws. There is a chess set on the desk of Dr. Allen (Wheaton Chambers).
In October 1945, Pursuit to Algiers, directed by Roy William Neill (1887-1946), was released. Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) plays chess.
In October 1945, Voice of the Whistler, directed by William Castle (1914-1977), was released. A nurse's (Lynn Merrick) ex-fiance finds her living in a lighthouse with John Sincliar, a dying rich man (Richard Dix). In a chess game, John facetiously outlines to Fred Graham (James Cardwell) how he would murder him if he chose to.
In November 1945, This Love of Ours, directed by William Dieterle (1893-1972), was released. Chadwick (Jess Barker) and Susette Touzac (Sue England play) chess. The board is set up wrong.
In December 1945, Cornered, directed by Edward Dmytryk (1908-1999), was released. Manuel Santana (Morris Carnovsky) plays chess at a party.
In December 1945, Leave Her to Heaven, directed by John M. Stahl (1886-1950), was released. While on a train, writer Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) strikes up a relationship with the gorgeous Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney). Ellen quickly becomes obsessed with Richard and abandons her fiance, Russell Quinton (Vincent Price), to be with him. The couple rushes into marriage, with both of them caught up in romance and Richard intrigued by Ellen's intensity. Only after settling into marriage, however, does Richard realize that she is psychotically jealous and highly unstable. There are several chess sets throughout the house.
In April 1946, The Captive Heart, directed by Basil Dearden (1911-1971), was released. In 1940, Czech soldier Capt. Hasek (Michael Redgrave) is being pursued by the Nazi secret police. To conceal his true identity, he pretends to be a dead British soldier named Capt. Geoffrey Mitchell. But to keep the lie going, he must also write to Mitchell's wife, Celia (Rachel Kempson), as her dead husband from the POW camp where he's imprisoned. Meanwhile, Hasek's fellow prisoners are beginning to suspect that he is not who he claims to be, and so he must convince them that he's not a spy. Chess is played in the POW camp.
In April 1946, Devotion, directed by Curtis Bernhardt (1899-1981), was released. There are several chess sets in the house.
In June 1946, The Searching Wind, directed by William Dieterle (1893-1972) was released. Sam (Douglas Dick) plays chess with his grandfather.
In June 1946, Avalanche, directed by Irving Allen (1905-1987), was released. Two Treasury-men (Bruce Cabot, Roscoe Karns) track a tax evader and his money to an Idaho ski resort. They wind up getting involved in a series of murders. The Treasury men play chess.
In July 1946, Beware of Pity, directed by Maurice Elvey (1887-1967), was released. A crippled Austrian baroness named Baroness Edith de Kekesfalva (Lilli Palmer) is driven to suicide by an army lieutenant Anton Marek (Albert Lieven) who courts her out of pity. Edith and Anton play chess.
In August 1946, Little Miss Big, directed by Erle Kenton (1896-1980), was released. There is a chess scene.
In September 1946, Patrie, directed by Louis Daquin (1908-1980), was released. There is a chess scene.
In October 1946, La Belle et la Bete (Beauty and the Beast), directed by Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), was released. There is a chess scene.
In October 1946, Dark Mirror, directed by Robert Siodmak (1900-1973), was released. Scott Elliot (Lew Ayers) studies a chess position.
In October 1946, Die Morder sind unter uns (Murderers Among Us), directed by Wolfgang Staudte (1906-1984), was released. There is a chess scene.
In November 1946, A Matter of Life and Death, directed by Michael Powell (1905-1990) was released. Peter David Carter (David Niven) and June (Kim Hunter) play chess.
In November 1946, Magnificent Doll, directed by Frank Borzage (1894-1962), was released. There is a chess scene.
In November 1946, Stairway to Heaven, directed by Michael Powell (1905-1990), was released. Peter (David Niven) playing chess with June (Kim Hunter).
In December 1946, The Beast with Five Fingers, directed by Robert Florey (1900-1979) was released. Composer Conrad Ryler (Robert Alda) plays pianist Francis Ingram (Victor Francen) chess.
In December 1946, The Razor's Edge, directed by Edmund Goulding (1891-1959), was released. Larry Darrell (Tyrone Power) plays chess.
In December 1946, Temptation, directed by Irving Pichel (1891-1954), was released. There is a chess set in the study.
In December 1946, 13 Rue Madeleine, directed by Henry Hathaway (1898-1985) and starring James Cagney, was released. When spy chief Robert Emmett Sharkey (James Cagney) finds out one of his agents-in-training is actually a Nazi double agent, his strategic decision not to arrest him results in tragedy. Sharkey, while briefing his allied OSS team about the V2 rockets, says, "The Germans know they can't win the war. They're just hoping for a stalemate." The hotel in France where Sharkey/Chavat stays has a checkerboard floor. Two off-duty German soldiers are playing chess in the Hotel Moderne until an alarm is rung and they are called away.
In 1947, Blue Routes was released. It is a story showing the Soviet Navy disarming minefields laid by the Nazis using a chess knights tour.
In January 1947, California, directed by John Farrow (1904-1963), was released. Faro Coffin (Albert Dekker) is at his chessboard.
In January 1947, Queen of the Amazons, directed by Edward Finney (1903-1983), was released. Colonel Jones (John Miljan) plays chess with the Professor (Wilson Benge).
In February 1947, The Song of Scheherazade, directed by Walter Reisch (1903-1983), was released. Admiral Vladimir Gregorovitch (Brian Donlevy) plays chess.
In March 1947, The Beginning of the End, directed by Norman Taurog (1899-1981), was released. There is a chess set at the home of Albert Einstein (Ludwig Stossel).
In May 1947, Armours, Delices et Orgues, directed by Andre Berthomieu (1903-1960), was released. There is a chess scene.
In May 1947, Moss Rose, directed by Gregory Ratoff (1897-1960), was released. There is a chess scene.
In May 1947, Miracle on 34th Street, directed by George Seaton (1911-1979) was released. Chess is played in the background.
In May 1947, The Web, directed by Michael Gordon (1909-1993) was released. Lt. Damico (William Bendix) playing chess.
In June 1947, The Woman on the Beach, directed by Jean Renoir (1894-1979) was released. Todd Butler (Charles Bickford) plays chess.
In August 1947, Brute Force, directed by Jules Dassin (1911-2008), was released. Spencer (John Hoyt) plays chess, observed by Burt Lancaster and Howard Duff.
In August 1947, The Hucksters, directed by Jack Conway (1887-1952), was released. Mr. Kimberly (Adolphe Menjou) plays chess as Kay Dorrance (Deborah Kerr) watches.
In August 1947, The Pretender, directed by W. Lee Wilder (1904-1982), was released. There is a chess scene.
In September 1947, The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, directed by Irving Reis (1906-1953), was released. Thaddeus (Harry Davenport) and Dr. Beemish (Ray Collins) play chess.
In September 1947, Jassy, directed by Bernard Knowles (1900-1975), was released. Jassy Woodruff (Margaret Lockwood) plays chess with Nick Halmar (Basil Sydney). Thye use red and white pieces.
In September 1947, Les Maudits, directed by Rene Clement (1913-1996), was released. There is a chess scene.
In September 1947, Le Diable Souffle, directed by Edmond Greville (1906-1966), was released. There is a chess scene.
In October 1947, This Time for Keeps, directed by Richard Thorpe (1896-1991), was released. There is a chess scene.
In October 1947, Unsuspected, directed by Michael Curtiz (1886-1962), was released. Steven Howard (Michael North) plays chess with Althea (Audrey Totter).
In October 1947, Merton of the Movies, directed by Robert Alton (1906-1957), was released. There is chess play at the club.
In November 1947, Cass Timberlane, directed by George Sidney (1916-2002), was released. Cass Timberlane (Spencer Tracy) teaches Virginia Marshland (Lana Turner) how to play chess.
In December 1947, The Paradine Case, directed by Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), was released. Sir Simon Flaquer (Charles Coburn) plays chess with Judy Flaquer (Joan Tetzel) with glass chess pieces.
In December 1947, The High Wall, directed by Curtis Bernhardt (1899-1981), was released. Steve Kenet (Robert Taylor) mentions chess.
American Film Institute (AFI) Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States
Basalla, Chess in the Movies, 2005
Brady, "Chess in the Cinema," Chess Life & Review, April-August 1979
Chess in the Cinema - http://www.chess-in-the-cinema.de/
Internet Movie Database (IMDb), "Movies with Chess," - https://www.imdb.com/list/ls056709659/
Motion Picture News, 1913-1930
Moving Picture World, 1911-1927
Scacchi e Cinema - https://digilander.libero.it/skak61/cinema/cinema_index.htm
Wall, "Chess Errors in Film and TV," - http://billwall.phpwebhosting.com/articles/chess_errors_in_film.htm
Wall, "Entertainers and Chess," - http://billwall.phpwebhosting.com/articles/entertainers.htm
Wall, "Movies with Chess Scenes," - http://www.oocities.org/siliconvalley/lab/7378/movies.htm
Walls, Motion Pictures, 1894-1912, 1953
Weeks, "Chess in the Movies," - https://www.mark-weeks.com/aboutcom/imgallry/aa07c10/
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