The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khiladi)
The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khiladi) (1978)

Based on a story by Munshi Premchand, and much influenced by Vsevolod Pudovkin's 1925 film Chess Fever, this satirical film by noted Indian director Satyajit Ray is set in colonial India in 1856. The British Resident of the East India… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 19, 1978
DVD Release Date: April 18, 2006
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Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Gary Arnold
Washington Post

"The Chess Players" is a little formal and static, but it's enriched by the comprehension of an exceptional film artist, who perceives clearly what this historical parable signifies for his country and his compatriots.

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Ray's movies are frequently something of an acquired taste, but it's a habit worth acquiring, as this specimen amply demonstrates.

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John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

combines a comedy of manners with historical drama, as it examines the 1856 British takeover of India

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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice

Ray's film is an incisive dissection of culture shock and class privilege.

Sandi Chaitram

The slow pace can make it tedious to watch at times, but for Ray, allowances should be made.

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Jay Antani
Slant Magazine

Its mannered goofiness echoes the pastoral comedy of Days and Nights In the Forest while the Raj-era dancing-girl trappings recall the decidedly grim The Music Room.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The uneven but elegantly told gentle historical film about conflicting cultures has its few moments of brilliance.

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TV Guide

Ponderously allegorical and overlong, a major disappointment from director Ray.

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Flixster Audience Score: 86% Flixster User Reviews
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]With an ending that subtly turns everything on its head, "The Chess Players" is a breezy movie about the serious subject of… More