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Bobby Fischer Against the World [DVD]

Liz Garbus    Exempt   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Liz Garbus
  • Producers: Liz Garbus, Stanley F. Buchthal, Matthew Justus, Rory Kennedy
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Dogwoof
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Sep 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0052CGFFU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,676 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Bobby Fischer Against the World traces the Grand Master from child prodigy to Cold War hero to controversial recluse. Cutting interviews with Bobby and the people who knew him, with footage and news reports, Bobby Fisher Against the World is a mesmerising portrait of the rise and bizarre fall of one of the great American icons.

In 1958, 14-year old Robert James Bobby Fischer stunned the chess world by becoming the youngest Grand Master in history, launching a career that would make him a legend. Raised by his mother in Brooklyn he taught himself to play chess at the age of six and started beating seasoned adult chess players at eight. Throughout the sixties, as his star rose Bobby would appear regularly on TV and tour the world resounding beating all. His career highlight came in 1972 when he played the Russian Grand Master and reigning champion Boris Spassky - a series that was equally tied in with the Cold War as it was with chess. After his victory Bobby became the most famous person on the planet, and his already erratic behaviour began spiralling out of control, turning this genius into an unrecognisable recluse and pariah.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CHECK MATE!! 28 Aug 2011
By Darcy
A beautiful film and I totally agree with the other reviewer that you do not need to have an interest in Chess in order to enjoy this wonderful film. The film starts from the early moments of Bobby Fischer's career to the sad ending. To some people he came across as a strong-minded genius, whilst to others he came across as an arrogant, selfish egotistical individual. Whatever your views on Bobby, there is no denying that he loved his craft and dedicated every moment of his life to becoming the best Chess player of his era.

Ultimately, he lived the way he wanted too and made his own decisions, he did not conform to how society wanted him to act or behave. Whether that was his ultimate downfall, you will have to make up your own mind.

Finally, in an era where celebrity and fame are easily accessed, be prepared to watch a man live his passion and achieve success using his own determination, focus and drive.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Man Is An Island. 16 Nov 2011
There is a lot to be said for Gareth Wood's question in his review when he asked; are documentaries just intended to provide people with information about the past that used to be common knowledge to anyone who was vaguely aware of the news?

If you are already aware of Fischer the man or are a fan of his chess, then I suspect this film is not going to offer you much in the way of additional insight. That said, those paying a first visit into his world should be delighted as it paints (albeit in the broadest brushstrokes possible) a compelling picture of a brilliant but ultimately broken individual.

Although the technical elements of his chess are largely sacrificed in the interests of producing a commercially viable film, it vividly communicates many elements of Fischer's unique physical attributes; the often commented upon swagger as he walked and the changing look in his eyes over the years from alert intelligence to a kind of tired pleading at the end are successfully rendered in film for all to see.

The documentary tries hard to not judge its subject although ultimately, it seems to arrive at the same conclusion that many who knew him also came to i.e. Bobby Fischer was a very troubled individual but in the end, his incredible chess talent acted as a portal into the game for an entire generation of devotees and for that we do owe him a huge debt of thanks. Respect for Fischer himself might be another matter entirely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not enough chess ! 21 May 2012
By dan S
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was a keen chess player of 9 at the time of the Reykjavik 1972 World Chess Championship between Fischer and Spassky, and even at this age was drawn to the "Cold War' clash between the US and the USSR, between the brilliant newcomer and the World Champion. I remember reading chess books after the event, and took a slight but definite long term interest in a chess hero of my youth. I was always hoping he would return to chess, and watched his slide from sanity with sadness.
This DVD concentrates on the 1972 Reykjavik final, the 'Match of the Century', and then follows Fischer's life to his demise. So does the DVD capture the feel of that time? I think in large part it does. It is essentially a documentary with footage of the time, much of which I'd never seen. There are interviews with Fischer, which captures his single-mindedness, and total focus on chess throughout his early life. It also details his loss of sanity, and examines possible reasons for this. It contains interviews with those associated with chess and Fischer throughout his life. There is also detailed commentary on the 1972 match, with many of the games, and the shenanigans associated with the game arising from Fischer's game-playing/paranoia.
Personally, and with a hopeless chess bias, I would have liked greater commentary on the chess, but that is available elsewhere. Where this DVD works is as a portrait of a real genius, set against the backdrop of the Cold War, his incredible early successes, and finally the slide into madness often associated with such intense and isolated focus on a single field.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting "Bio" documentary of Fischer 26 May 2014
I watched this via Netflix curious to learn more about the Chess legend of Bobby Fischer
The film covers his life from his childhood, the controversial matches and drama that followed, and his exile in Iceland where he remained until his death in 2008. The tile is quite apt for the flim passing a nod to Fischer's struggles and his single minded and sometimes rather eccentric personality.

Prior to watching this documentary I had very little knowledge of Fischer, bar some of his well known matches. I am not a Chess enthusiast just a passing interest in the game but still I found the film worth a watch and it gave me a broad knowledge of the man.

It has to be said though, the Chess element isn't explored in depth. Some of the well known matches are covered, but not really from a Chess experts perspective (if you are looking for a Fischer film on chess techniques and play then this isn't for you). It's a biography though and through.

Some fans might feel it doesn't portray Bobby Fischer in a very positive light. I would tend to agree in some ways, but it is quite obvious Fischer was a hugely talented, but a very complicated/troubled man who wrestled with many issues in his life many of which were not related to Chess at all. The historic events though are given fair coverage, Fischer's somewhat secluded personality is touched on, and we have a good collection of stock film archive material throughout his lifetime, as well as the well known matches with Spassky and others.

I enjoyed the film for what it offered, a look into the life of a troubled genius, it doesn't pull it's punches in telling his story (good and bad). Though it does celebrate some of his achievements in Chess, and credits Fischer with having a huge impact on the popularity of the game and broadening it's appeal. Even for non Chess fans the film is well worth watching.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to say
Just filling in these fields so that I can rate the film in the same way that I used to be able to do with a simple click of a button on LoveFilm.
Published 4 months ago by Jonathan Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Before watching this I had merely heard the name Bobby Fischer and knew he had been a chess champion at some point. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Steven Dunbar
2.0 out of 5 stars I was expecting more...
after reading 'Bobby Fisher goes to War' I was expecting a similar documental narrating the 1972 World Chess Championship Match. I feel the document was very shallow. Read more
Published 5 months ago by GE Shoobridge
1.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended
It is quite obvious that the movie was designed as an attack on Fischer`s personality and views and does a bad service to him as a person, a chess player and to chess in general. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Elyob Eiknarf
3.0 out of 5 stars A genius comes but once in a lifetime
Expensive for a DVD that lasts 1 1/2 hrs. However, it is obviously a 'niche' product, brought out by a small, specialist film company, so one can't complain. Read more
Published 19 months ago by S. Ahmad
3.0 out of 5 stars chess.ches5.che55
Exactly what it says on the tin:- enclosed- x1 good documentary film + tasty special features = job done. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kubemaster
5.0 out of 5 stars Very great documentary!
Bobby Fischer Against the World [DVD]

Can just recommend this movie, even you are not playing chess. It is a drama being so highly talented ... and so highly isolated.
Published on 20 May 2012 by Andrea
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film
It's a good film about a great player. I still remember the big match in 1972. Nice Special Features. I just wish that the DVD had some subtitles. Read more
Published on 13 Jan 2012 by Mirko Mihaljevic
4.0 out of 5 stars You are in check
An interesting and informative insight into the troubled mind of a chess playing genius and the rocky road he travelled.Life is not all black and white.
Published on 9 Jan 2012 by Bob Spinks
5.0 out of 5 stars Relevant in so many ways...
The story of Bobby Fischer is a relatively simple one; a youth spent mastering chess to an almost unfathomable level so that he could take on an empire of trained chess... Read more
Published on 19 Nov 2011 by ChrisG
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