Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chess in the movie My Cousin Vinny

I found myself one day watching the funny movie My Cousin Vinny. When the judge, actor Fred Gwynne, orders Vincent Gambini(Joe Pesci) to his chambers to discuss his license to practice law, there is a chessboard set up in the office.Here is a clip of the movie when they are in the office. My interest was piqued in what position was on the board. Here was the position I saw in the first glimpse of the board:

So I watched increduluous as the judge picks up his knight on c3 and takes the knight on d5. Now I could be mistaken about the rules of chess. But I thought that when the king was en prise, something HAD to be done about it! In the movie clip the piece that is on c1 is taller than the piece on e1. So I naturally assumed that the piece on c1 must be the king. Maybe I have that wrong and the king is on e1?
If so, the position would look like this:
If this is the case then black had just made an illegal move and white may now TAKE BLACKS KING!

So now the camera pans away and to the faces of the judge and Vinny several times and then pans back out again. This time the board look like THIS(Yes, the board position magically changed all by itself in a few seconds):

Ok what the heck is this? A black pawn on a8? White has two dark square bishops? Wow!
So the camera panned around a bit again. When the camera panned back out to the chessboard, the knight that the judge had use to capture the black knight was still intact on d5 but other parts of the board had been changed:
Wow! More radical changes! This certainly sheds some light on the magic of movies! Hahaha!

1 comment:

  1. I bet they changed the position a lot to see if anyone would notice it. Or a few actors played games in between takes and they could not remember the exact setup :-]