Go Filmography - Films

Occidental Films Oriental Films TV Dramas Oriental Dramas Anime Other TV Various

19A) Knives Out 
     Year: 2019
     Directed by: Rian Johnson
     Cast: Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: Trailer on IMDB
     Comment: This comedy whodunnit movie, about the death of an old wealthy gentleman and crime 
       author (Harlan Thrombey),  has in its official trailer close ups of two Go stones being placed 
       on a board (from 52 seconds) and the stones and board then clattering to the floor.  

       The game of Go is central to the plot and the first mention is blaming a load bump on being
       when the board was tipped over. A little later, in flashback, we see the game between Harlan
       (Christopher Plummer) against his nurse Marta (Ana de Armas), which we are told is what they
       do each night. They sit at right-angles at a low table and have the good quality stones in
       bags.  She says to play 9x9 and they slap stones down instantly on the middle part of a 19x19. 
       She admits her winning strategy is to make pretty shapes and Harlan says he would need an
       earthquake to strike to stop her winning. He then simulates one with his legs under the table
       ultimately tipping it over to reveal a 13x13 board on the back when the board and stones end
       on the floor. This also jumbles up his medicine bottles which is relevant to his death. We are
       also given a one line summary of the rules and told that Harlan's grandson Ransom (Chris Evans)
       also plays, though we don't see him do so. 
       


18A) Escape Plan 2: Hades 
     Year: 2018
     Directed by: Steven C. Miller
     Cast: Sylvester Stallone, David Bautista
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: Trailer on IMDB 
     Comment: The team have to break into the best hidden prison and release their fellow. 
       At the start of the trailer it shows the two stars sitting in front of a large window on
       to a busy street, playing Go sat at a small table with wooden Go bowls.
       

15A) My Golden Days (orig. Trois Souvenirs de ma Jeunesse)
     Year: 2015
     Directed by: Arnaud Desplechin
     Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Quentin Dolmaire, Lou Roy-Lecollinet
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: Trailer on YouTube    
     Comment: In this French movie a middle age man's identity is questioned and he flashes              
       back to three periods of his younger life. In one, at 34:30, we see a new girlfriend being 
       taught Go for a few seconds. After being told about borders and territory she gets bored
       and balances a white stone on her eye.
           

15B) Stutterer 
     Year: 2015
     Directed by: Benjamin Cleary
     Cast: Matthew Needham, Chloe Pirrie, Eric Richards
     Source: IMDB Website
     Comment: Only 15 minutes long, this short film set in London was nominated for best short
       at the 2016 Academy Awards. The main character, Greenwood, has trouble communicating
       with others because of his bad stutter. A crisis occurs when his Internet girlfriend
       comes to visit, who does not know about his stutter. In one scene, at 3:08, Greenwood 
       plays Go with his father on a table in the garden. They use a flat board and flat stones
       held in flat trays. It looks like a real game apart from stones have all been jogged in one
       corner into a mess.
               

11A) Age of the Dragons
     Year: 2011
     Directed by: Ryan Little
     Cast: Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Corey Sevier
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: In this version of Moby Dick with dragons not whales, a tattered goban is shown for 
       about ten seconds with a few scattered natural stones on it. It is just there as decoration 
       of an interior and as a target for a fist of an angry character.

11B) Sleeping Beauty
     Year: 2011
     Directed by: Julia Leigh
     Cast: Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie
     Source: IMDB YouTube
     Comment: In this film about a student who sleeps in clients' beds for a living, an Australian
       lecturer is teaching an auditorium of students. He starts with "Let's get Go-ing" and talks 
       about moves 129 and 130 of one of the games of Honinbo Shusai, the diagram displayed on a screen.
      

10A) Mr Nice
     Year: 2010
     Directed by: Bernard Rose
     Source: IMDB
     Cast: Rhys Ifans, Chloe Sevigny, David Thewlis
     Comment: The biopic of drug smuggler Howard Marks who revealed in his autobiography 
       of the same title that he played Go. In the film a woman is seen playing Go, 
       but not with a real position, for about a minute, 19 minutes in.
       

10B) Tron: Legacy
     Year: 2010
     Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
     Cast: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: In one scene Sam Flynn (Hedlund) and Quorra (Wilde) are playing a game on a Go ban. 
       Quorra comments her patience usually overcomes her aggressive strategy. The stones are 
       slightly smaller than usual and the board is light with a black border. It was Olivia Wilde 
       that suggested using Go in the movie.
       

09A) The International
     Year: 2009
     Directed by: Tom Tykwer
     Cast: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Ulrich Thomsen
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A thriller about an Interpol agent who tries to take down a corrupt bank. 
       54:30 in, the scene is the Luxembourg hill-top mansion of the evil banker, 
       Jonas Skarssen (played by Thomsen). He is playing Go and discusses it with his son
       Cassian (played by Benjamin Wandschneider) in Danish, with English subtitles. The 
       board position is about 30 moves in. The boy is told something like that he sometimes
       has to act like a man to make his move. They are interrupted by a video call from
       the other bankers. Afterwards he asks the son what you should do if you are in too deep
       with no way out. To which the son answers that you should go in deeper.
       

09B) Night Train
     Year: 2009
     Directed by: Brian King
     Cast: Danny Glover, Leelee Sobieski, Steve Zahn
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A low budget thriller on the theme of how greed can drive a person to
       do terrible things. The action is set on an overnight train in Northern Europe
       when two passengers and a conductor find a dead passenger with lots of diamonds
       and decide to dispose of the body in order to keep the diamonds. The film cuts 
       several times from the action to two Asian men playing a game at a table on the 
       train, who are shown twice in the trailer. The game is not a real position.
       

08A) The Hedgehog (Le Herisson) 
     Year: 2008
     Directed by: Mona Achache
     Cast: Josiane Balasco, Garance Le Guillermic, Togo Igawa
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: Based on the novel "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery.  
       The girl, Paloma, plays Go against Kakuro Ozu who lives in the same apartment 
       block, in a scene from 38:44 to 39:15. They have a 2cm and wooden bowls with 
       lots of stones in the lids. We first see an overhead of Paloma connecting 
       an atari, followed by a view of the scene with a small Japanese girl passing 
       the white stones to Ozu. Several moves are played. French language.
          

08B) WarGames: The Dead Code
     Year: 2008
     Directed by: Stuart Gillard
     Cast: Matt Lanta, Amanda Walsh, Colm Feore
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A straight-to-video follow up to 1983's WarGames. When the computer is being
       bombarded with online games, pop-ups of Go games can be seen among games of Chess,
       Draughts (Checkers) and Noughts-and-Crosses (Tic-Tac-Toe). Note the Go boards do not 
       show real games, just stone placements.
        

05A) Elektra
     Year: 2005
     Directed by: Rob Bowman
     Cast: Jennifer Garner
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Despite the web site trailer for this film featuring a goban, there 
       is none in the film. The Director's Cut DVD does however contain, in the 
       alternative scenes section a Go beginning and Go end for the movie. It is 
       thought the whole action of the movie was meant to represent an epic Go game,
       but without the Go scenes this meaning is lost. 

05B) Just Like Heaven
     Year: 2005    Directed by: Mark Waters
     Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Reese Witherspoon
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: The main character is viewing flats to rent in San Francisco. At 4:06
       he visits a Japanese-style flat with low tables, pillows and what might be 
       a Goban. "Where's the furniture?" he asks.
       

01A) A Beautiful Mind
     Year: 2001
     Directed by: Ron Howard
     Cast: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A Beautiful Mind is the story of Prof. John Forbes Nash, Jr., 
       who won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his game theories but suffered 
       from paranoid schizophrenia. Nash was a long time member of the American Go 
       Association. 

       The first scene, from 8.5 to 10.5 minutes in, starts with Martin Hansen 
       (played by Josh Lucas) finishing a game with Sol (Adam Goldberg) and Sol
       declaring he has had enough Go. It is just one of several games being played
       perched on the benches outside at Princeton. Nash is challenged to a game 
       by Hansen, with the words "Are you scared?" Nash then replies "Terrified, 
       mortified, petrified, stupefied, by you."

       They talk about research as the game progresses and the camera often zooms 
       in on the board which is balanced on two small suitcases. The stones are in
       old orange tins. A large group of Nash's is wrapped up into a dango and captured. 
       At this point he throws a tantrum claiming the game is obviously flawed, since 
       he had the first move and his play was perfect. He knocks the board over
       as he stands up to storm off. 

       The (uncredited) Go consultant was Janice Kim, so the game and capture are 
       credible enough, except that the editing shows the position developing in 
       the wrong order. The scene takes place to the music "A Game of Go" by 
       James Horner which features Charlotte Church vocalising.
      
       Nash is challenged by Hansen to another game right at the end of the film 
       (105 to 105.25 minutes in). 

       In addition there are two more sequences featuring Go in the deleted scenes 
       section of the DVD: one where Nash picks up a dropped white stone and stares 
       at it on the board for inspiration as the light fades and another where he 
       busts a game between two friends in a study in order to show them his new hex-game. 
       He adds "I prefer Chess."
                  

00A) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
     Year: 2000
     Directed by: Ang Lee
     Cast: Yun-Far Chow, Michelle Yeoh
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: During the calligraphy scene, the two female lead characters 
       are sitting together and a decorated brown Go table can be seen in  
       the background. On the board are two black bowls with white flowers 
       painted on. The board surface looks dark with white lines. They do 
       not use it to play Go, but as a table for their tea cups (also the 
       fate for a Chinese Chess board later in the film).
           

98A) Pi
     Year: 1998
     Directed by: Darren Aronofask
     Cast: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: This movie is filmed in black and white so Go fits in well visually.
       The main character Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) plays Go against his old professor 
       Sol Robeson (Mark Margolis) in the professor's flat. They play in three scenes 
       and as they play they discuss philosophy and even some Go philosophy:

         Max: "But as a Go game progresses, the possibilities become smaller and 
               smaller, the board does take on order... So maybe, even though we 
               are not sophisticated enough to be aware of it, there is a pattern, 
               an order underlying every Go game."
         Sol: "This is insanity. Max... You're losing it!"
       
       Max also holds a black stone and studies it while riding the subway, and
       also we see some Go game sequences when he has flash thoughts.
       The final Go scene has a spiral pattern laid on the board (not part
       of a game). The documentary on the DVD shows crew members, Sean and Luke,
       playing Go in a yard - using gold and silver painted washers for stones. 
       The Go advisors are listed as Barbara Calhoun, Michael Solomon and Dan Wiener,
       and the Brooklyn Go Club is thanked in the credits.       
               

98B) Restless
     Year: 1998
     Directed by: Jule Gilfillan
     Cast: Catherine Kellner, Elizabeth Sung
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Leah is adrift, restless and landing in Beijing after a string 
       of flights from failed romances, she falls in with other expatriates. 
       A chance encounter with a young Go master she saw on TV leads to a
       relationship. Along the way, we see Go on TV, on the street, in a
       club and at home. On TV, Master Sun (played by Geng Li) teaches how to 
       "attack from a distance". With an inevitability, the insight Leah gains 
       enables her to turn the tables on the cad who jilted her, and jilt him 
       right back. "Restless" is the first English-language film made in modern 
       Beijing, and the first US-China cooperative film-making venture. Arrow  
       Features, 98 minutes. Note there have been later movies with the same title. 

97A) Genealogies d'un Crime (Genealogies of a Crime)
     Year: 1997
     Directed by: Raul Ruiz
     Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Michel Piccoli
     Watch: YouTube
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A French film in which the main character (played Deneuve) is
       a Go player, as seen by the board with game in progress seen while she 
       sleeps in her bedroom at 3:27. In fact stills of a Go game are used 
       over a period of narration from 1:44 to 2:16, and whenever the passage
       of time is needed during the film (at 39:36, 65:17, 80:37, 91:25 and 
       1:06:05). It shows various positions from the same game, obviously taken 
       from the diagrams in a game record, as the captured stones are not
       removed from each position, but are gone from later positions. There are
       various overhead shots, showing nice glass stones and bowls at the
       corners, variously with zooms and spin-shots. 
          

97B) Level Five
     Year: 1997
     Directed by: Chris Marker
     Cast: Catherine Belkhodja, Kenji Tokitsu, Nagisa Oshima
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Laura, a French programmer, is tasked with finishing a video game based on the WWII
       battle of Okinawa. She eventually discovers after a lot of research and interviews with 
       survivors that the correct metaphor for war is not the game's level five, but Go. French language. 

97C) Red Corner
     Year: 1997
     Directed by: Jon Avnet
     Cast: Richard Gere, Ling Bai
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A thriller set in China in which the lawyer played by Gere is falsely accused
       of murder. There is a short scene where, while the main character is interrogated, it
       has been claimed that two guards in the background are playing Go, but a Chinese Chess
       board is shown.
     
96A) Balance of Power (Hidden Tiger)
     Year: 1996
     Directed by: Rick Bennett
     Cast: Billy Blanks, Mako, Lisa Yamanaka
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube   
     Comment: A typical Billy Blanks martial arts movie where 18:30 in the 
       stereotypical bad Asian rich guy, Hatashita, plays Go with the stereotypical 
       bad Asian fighter, Takamura. The board is shown and it does not even look like
       Five-in-a-row let alone Go. Takamura loses and is upset. When their local 
       contact, Slater, asks about the loss, Slater adds that it not exactly Chess.
       In reply he is told by Hatashita that "Chess is a game for harmless intellectuals. 
       Go is a game for warriors". We then hear Hatashita putting the stones back in the bowls.
       

96B) The Pillow Book
     Year: 1996
     Directed by: Peter Greenaway
     Cast: Vivian Wu, Yoshi Oida, Ken Ogata, Ewan McGregor
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: This film is about a Japanese woman who collects body calligraphy
       from her lovers and records it in her pillow book. One person drinks himself 
       to death and dares to put a whisky glass and some pills on a Go board! 

93A) Little Buddha 
     Year: 1993
     Directed by:  Bernardo Bertolucci
     Cast: Keanu Reeves, Roucheng Ling, Bridget Fonda
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: In one scene a Goban can be seen.

93B) M. Butterfly
     Year: 1993
     Directed by: David Cronenberg
     Cast: Jeremy Irons, John Lone, Ian Richardson
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: There is a brief scene of people playing Go in the movie.
       It is about a male Chinese opera star, Song Liling, who had a long term 
       affair with a European male diplomat, who did not discover the opera singer
       was a man throughout the entire affair. The scene occurs at 68:09. It
       is after the cultural revolution when many peasants were living in the
       house that formerly belonged to a wealthy family. The main character,
       Rene Gallimard (Irons) enters the courtyard of the house and find it
       full of people, children, honking geese and so on. There are two old 
       men seated on stools at right-angles to a goban, with bowls on the floor. 
       It seems odd since Go itself was suppressed during the cultural revolution,
       but that's Hollywood.
       

93C) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
     Year: 1993
     Directed by: Stuart Gillard
     Cast: Elias Koteas, Paige Turco, Stuart Wilson (II), Vivian Wu
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: The turtles are transported back to Japan in 1603 and fight the
       local lord and his evil western gun trader, whilst the prince and four
       guards are brought to the present. The master of the turtles in a short 
       scene plays Go.

93D) Wild Palms
     Year: 1993
     Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
     Cast: James Belushi, Dana Delany, Robert Loggia
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: A Go board can be seen. 

91A) Bis ans Ende der Welt (Until the End of the World)
     Year: 1991
     Directed by: Wim Wenders
     Cast: Pietro Falcone, William Hurt, Sam Niell
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: In one scene a Go board can be seen.

90A) Come See the Paradise
     Year: 1990
     Directed by: Alan Parker
     Cast: Dennis Quaid, Tamlyn Tomita
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: In this movie is set around 1942 and the internment of Japanese Americans 
       that splits an American, Jack McGurn (played by Quaid), from his wife and baby. 
       In one scene McGurn enters a Japanese men's club in San Francisco where two old
       men can briefly be seen playing Go in the background (32:30 in).

89A) Brotherhood of the Rose
     Year: 1989
     Directed by: Marvin J. Chomsky
     Cast: Robert Mitchum, Peter Strauss, Connie Selleca
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube Part 1 YouTube Part 2
     Comment: A thriller (two-part TV movie). Towards the end of part 2, at
       56:49 we see the main character John Eliot (Robert Mitchum) seated at a 
       table on the terrace of the New Zealand retreat for retired agents. He 
       is playing Go against one of his agents, though it looks more like 
       Five-in-a-row. We also get two shots over Eliot's shoulder of the agent
       playing some moves. It is based on a novel by David Morrell that has a 
       Go scene in a dojo.  
           

89B) Heathers
     Year: 1989
     Directed by: Michael Lehmann
     Cast: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Just before the hanging scene, you see Veronica's room, looking down, with 
       a flat Go board with some stones scattered on it resting on a small table.
       

84A) Dangerous Moves (La Diagonale du Fou)
     Year: 1984
     Directed by: Richard Dembo
     Cast: Michel Piccoli, Liv Ullmann,
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube (French + Spanish Subtitles 
     Comment: In this French film Michel Piccoli plays a Chess master called Akiva Liebskind,
       and to rest sometimes he plays Go with his friend (23.38 minutes in). They sit in arm
       chairs in a drawing room and bend over a goban, quite full with stones. They place stones 
       as they talk about the recent Chess game. The scene lasts 100 seconds and ends with a
       close up of the Chess master who is rattling the stones in his hand with a clicking sound.
       

83A) Le Faucon (The Hawk)
     Year: 1983
     Directed by: Paul Boujenah
     Cast: Francis Huster, Guy Pannequin, Maruschka Detmers
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: YouTube
     Comment: After the opening sequence of this French thriller, where he flashes back to the
       crash that killed his wife and left his child in a coma, at 10:15 in the main character puts his 
       foot by a Go board and picks up a gun from it. As well as the gun there is a coffee cup and
       disarranged stones suggesting he had not played a game for while.

       At 56:53 a two minute scene shows him visiting an old man in a wheel chair who is seated
       at a board with some stones laid out and two wooden bowls. The hero jolts the table and 
       the stones wobble. Then he sweeps the stones off and tips the white bowl onto the board
       and uses the white stones and one black stone to explain his plan to the old man.
          

83B) Videodrome 
     Year: 1983
     Directed by: David Cronenburg
     Cast: James Wood, Deborah Harry
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: 32 minutes in, a folding Go board is partly visible amongst
       the objects buried on Max Renn's table as he leans on it and smokes.
       

79A) 1941
     Year: 1979
     Directed by: Steven Spielberg    
     Cast: John Belushi, Sam Pickens
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: In this whacky comedy about defending the USA from the Japanese,
       the heroes are captured by a Japanese submarine on which the crew play 
       Go whilst guarding them. 

63A) Tokyo Rififi (Rififi a Tokyo)
     Year: 1963
     Directed by: Jacques Deray
     Cast: Keiko Kishi, Charles Vanel, Michel Vitold, Masao Oda, Eiji Okada
     Trailer: YouTube
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: In a brief scene in this French gem heist movie set in Tokyo, we see 
       the inside of a Tokyo Go Club; full of smoke and of Go players. A man (Masao
       Oda) can be seen at a Go board in the trailer (at 1:50). He is seated at a 
       goban, with the bowls and sake on a table to the side. He holds a Go book 
       in one hand and a gun in the other.
       

62A) Dr. No 
     Year: 1962
     Directed by: Terrence Young
     Cast: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Bernard Lee
     Source: IMDB
     Watch: Scene on YouTube  
     Comment: When Bond visits Dr. No in his apartment, to the right of the door that Dr. No
       enters through is a large 2m tall painting of a typical Chinese Go scene. There are 
       players seated at a table with others watching, one of whom appears to be the master,
       and a child standing to the left. It is not distinct and is quite a faint brown tint.   
        

57A) Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison 
     Year: 1957
     Directed by: John Huston
     Cast: Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: Based on the book is by Charles Shaw.
       The first scene lasts 14 seconds. Allison is hidden in a dark corner of
       the store room as he tries to steal food. Two Japanese, one might be a chef
       rather than a soldier, clear a box, lift down a 3cm Go ban with Go bowls.
       The player on the right knows his colour and pushes the white bowl to the
       other who balances bowl and lid on his knees. Black slaps a stone down
       top-left (5-3?) and white replies top-right. We hear the click of stones
       whilst we see the hidden Allison. After a cut to Sister Angela who is
       worried why Allison is missing, we return for a scene that lasts nearly a
       minute. The board is now nearly full. The players laugh as if a rip-off has
       just been played. The chef pours from a huge sake bottle whilst the other
       hides his eyes. They have skilfully left territory in front of themselves
       for the very large sake cups. They start another game. For 27 seconds we
       hear the click of stones as a rat runs over Mr Allison, then we return to
       the game for another 45 seconds. The second game is now finished. One
       players declares he is sad and is going to the dormitory and they leave
       without packing the stones away.  

       In a later scene that lasts over a minute: after the Japanese have temporarily
       left the desert island, sister Angela says "I think I've mastered this, 
       this Japanese game. It's a bit like Draughts." She fetches the board. 
       Allison admits to having never played Draughts only Craps. She offers 
       to teach him and starts to set the white stones Draughts style, explaining 
       you simply have to capture each other's men. He declares he is not 
       interested and she says she is therefore going to bed. 
  
       For reference the Go scenes start 47.5 and 76.75 minutes into the film.
          
 
50A) Three Came Home
     Year: 1950
     Directed by: Jean Negulesco
     Cast: Claudette Colbert, Patric Knowles, Sessue Hayakawa
     Source: IMDB 
     Comment: Biography of Agnes Newton Keith who was interned during WWII by the Japanese 
       on the island of Borneo. There is a very brief scene, about twenty one minutes in and 
       which lasts about four seconds, where you see two Japanese soldiers in an office, 
       doing guard duty, passing the time sitting at a table and playing Go. The positions 
       look a bit over-concentrated and not natural. The guy on the left plays left handed, 
       taking a white stone from his bowl and capturing a black.
       

49A) Tokyo Joe
     Year: 1949
     Directed by: Stuart Heisler
     Cast: Humphrey Bogart
     Source: IMDB
     Comment: In this movie, set in post-WW2 Tokyo, there are two
       brief scenes in which two people are playing Go. However,
       from the disposition of the stones, they could be playing Go-moku.


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