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The Luzhin Defense

The Luzhin Defense

A Feature film by Marleen Gorris

Produced by Ice 3

Release in France : 25/04/2001


    1929. Alexandre Loujine is an eccentric man who is detached from the world. His sole interest is chess. He is among the world’s top players of the sport. It compensates for the lack of affection from which he’s suffered throughout his life. Loujine heads for a small seaside resort in the north of Italy to play in a do-or-die tournament. The obsessive, blinkered existence of this man who has always believed he only had one passion is shaken up by Natalia, a beautiful Russian aristocrat émigré. She is destined to marry a wealthy man and her mother, Vera, has already found the perfect candidate: Count Jean de Stassard, an attractive chess fan who has come to watch the tournament. Natalia knows that Stassard would make a perfect husband, but she’s attracted to Loujine. Although the count provides her with pleasant cruises and witty conversation, the chess player makes wild declarations of love and enchants her with his genius… Contrary to her parents’ wishes, the young woman embarks upon a passionate affair with the curious chess player. Just when Loujine discovers hitherto unknown feelings, a ghost from his past threatens to destroy his budding happiness. Valentinov, the school master who had discovered and exploited Loujine’s talent when he was a child, reappears on the scene. He had believed that Loujine was washed up, but now he’s determined to once again take control of the champion for his own benefit… Family and friends rise up against Loujine and Natalia, while the world of chess threatens to consume the young man and ruin the couple’s chance of loving each other…

    Actors (5)

    Production and distribution (4)

    Executive Producer :

    Ice 3

    Foreign production company :

    Renaissance Films

    Co-production :

    France 2 Cinéma

    French distribution :

    Fox France

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    International releases (10)

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    Full credits (12)

    Executive Producer :

    Louis Becker

    Author of original work :

    Vladimir Nabokov

    Co-producer :

    Philippe Guez

    Sound Recordist :

    Peter Glossop

    Editor :

    Michael Reichwein

    Music Composer :

    Alexandre Desplat

    Foreign producer :

    Caroline Wood

    Screenwriter :

    Peter Berry

    Director of Photography :

    Bernard Lutic

    Press Attaché (film) :

    Jean-Pierre Vincent

    Production Designer :

    Tony Burrough

    Costume designer :

    Jany Temime

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :


    Sub-genre :

    Drama, Romance

    Production language :


    Coproducer countries :

    Great Britain, France

    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    Minority French (Great Britain, France)

    Production year :


    French release :


    Runtime :

    1 h 48 min

    Current status :


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    Posters (1)