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Thursday's Game (1974)

PG | | Comedy | TV Movie 14 April 1974
Harry Evers and Marvin Ellison have been playing poker Thursday nights with their friends for years. When a disagreement breaks up the game, they decide to continue meeting and doing ... See full summary »





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Evers
Marvin Ellison
Lynne Evers
Lois Ellison
Mrs. Reynolds
Mrs. Bender
Ann Menzente
Joel Forrest
Melvin Leonard
Richard Schaal ...
Robert Sampson ...
Jean-Michel Michenaud ...
David Evers (as Gerald Michenaud)
John Archer ...
Mr. Wood


Harry Evers and Marvin Ellison have been playing poker Thursday nights with their friends for years. When a disagreement breaks up the game, they decide to continue meeting and doing different things together, instead of staying home with their wives. When the wives find out that the games stopped some time ago, they are a quite upset. Just what have they been doing on Thursday nights. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

poker | See All (1) »


What do Harry and Marvin do on Thursday nights? It's not poker with the boys anymore. They've got another game in mind. The kind of game they hope their wives don't find out about. See more »




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 April 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Berk  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The budget for this film was so tight that the wardrobe department was practically non-existent. According to Gene Wilder, he and co-star Bob Newhart had to make do with their actual clothes. See more »


Harry Evers: I don't have to take any orders from you any more!
[Calmly starts trashing the office]
Mr. Wood: But we haven't even discussed severance pay!
See more »


Referenced in The Big Box: The Thirsty Dead (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

"Not only don't I know if I can get another job, I don't know what kind of a job to apply for, just what is it I do?"
13 June 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure if Young Frankenstein or Thursday's Game was the reunion between Gene Wilder and Cloris Leachman, but either way, they were joined in the 1974 t.v. film Thursday's Game. Director Robert Moore joined Leachman and Wilder with Bob Newhart and Ellen Burstyn to illustrate two men and their journey to figuring out society through their friendship. Each with their own career paths and lives that have taken unexpected turns, the only thing that was constant in their lives were the weekly poker games that took place on Thursday night. Navigating society, their marriages, and their jobs, the two would let nothing stand in their way to have nights to themselves, even the end of the poker game.

Harry Evers, a television producer who is at the helm of a flop t.v. show is nervous that he is going to get fired if the ratings on his show continue to tank. While waiting to meet with a jobs counselor, Harry runs into his friend Marvin Ellison (Bob Newhart) whom he plays in a weekly poker night with. Marvin tells Harry about his newest innovation in the garment business and asks him to venture into it with him. Unwilling to take a handout from his friend, Harry declines the offer, clinging to his job as a television producer still hoping to line something up in case he loses his job. Both of the men, needing extra money anyway, reluctantly agree to the new terms of their weekly poker game to raise the stakes. When they both come out big winners, their friends become angry and banish them from the game. Needing the solace of each other's struggling, and seeking time to themselves they decide to continue the ruse that the poker game is still going on. Harry tells his wife Lynne (Ellen Burstyn), and Marvin tells his wife Lois (Cloris Leachman) that the poker game is still happening, while the two enjoy nights out with each other weekly. Harry eventually loses his job, and Marvin's innovation takes off leaving the two traveling incredibly different societal paths. While out of work, Harry coils within himself and his marriage begin to suffer; Marvin, enjoying riches through his work is also experiencing a breakdown in his marriage as he grows increasingly displeased in his marriage. Will the two ever figure out how to experience happiness, and what does it even mean to be happy in a society that demands financial gain to equate to worthiness?

Gene Wilder's Harry is the ultimate illustration for every individual that plays it safe in life, and never takes any risks. He lives his life in such guarded restriction that he never experiences true joy because he is constantly overthinking his choices. His hesitation in all areas of his life translates to his marriage as well, as he keeps himself from really communicating with his wife about things that matter. Wilder's portrayal of this character was divine, making the relatable character come to life for the whole audience. Bob Newhart's Marvin, likewise, was the ultimate illustration of every person who thinks that the next big break is going to bring happiness. Of course, if you don't start out with happiness, for Marvin, in his home, you will never make yourself happy by throwing more money on top of a negative situation.

Thursday's Game provided wonderful social commentary on what it means to be successful, and just how different that definition of success means to society and to the individual. The depressing side of this film is that humanity and society demand financial success in order to view someone as successful. Of course, there is so much more to a person than their job title, but the unfortunate reality is that fact is often ignored. When you go to a party, you don't hear a lot of people asking "what dream to you strive for?" but you will often hear "What to you do for a living?". In capitalist America, work makes you; Thursday's Game does a great deal to expose the intricacies of the members of society, rather than the society itself.

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What a shame this movie has been forgotten. jimel98
I have an extra copy if anyone wants it lonesomefetter
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