Rollerball (1975)

R  |   |  Action, Sci-Fi, Sport  |  25 June 1975 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 16,201 users  
Reviews: 162 user | 91 critic

In a corporate-controlled future, an ultra-violent sport known as Rollerball represents the world, and one of its powerful athletes is out to defy those who want him out of the game.



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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Barbara Trentham ...
John Normington ...
Rusty, Team Executive
Japanese Doctor
Girl in Library
Bartholomew's Aide (as Rick LeParmentier)
Strategy Coach for Houston Team


In a futuristic society where corporations have replaced countries, the violent game of Rollerball is used to control the populace by demonstrating the futility of individuality. However, one player, Jonathan E., rises to the top, fights for his personal freedom, and threatens the corporate control. Written by Jeff Hansen <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's More Than Just a Game! See more »


Action | Sci-Fi | Sport


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

25 June 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rolerbol  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The rollerball game sequences were filmed in the Basketballhalle (now known as the Audi Dome) at Olympiapark in Munich, Germany. This was the only sports arena in the world with a near-circular profile which the production could take over and redress for shooting. See more »


During the Tokio game, after Moonpie's been hit, Jonathan E. yells "Over here, over here", but his lip movements do match by no means his words. In a subsequent scene, after Moonpie's been hit again, Jonathan says: "Stay close", but again, his lips don't match what he's saying. See more »


Moonpie: What do you want books for? Look Johnny, if you wanna learn somethin', just get a Corporate Teacher to come and teach it to ya'. Use yer Privilege Card.
See more »


References Sleeping Beauty (1959) See more »


Symphony No. 5: Fourth Movement
Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Action Classic With Brains!
14 March 2005 | by (Troy, NY) – See all my reviews

I first saw this movie on HBO at the age of 14 and I sensed immediately that it was a classic, a combination of action, sports, sex, and social commentary. All the years of viewing other films have only made me more and more appreciative of this movie's many strengths.

On one level, I believe this is the best sports movie ever made. It is miles ahead of more "realistic" films like NORTH DALLAS FORTY or SEMI TOUGH or even critical favorites like COBB and EIGHT MEN OUT. The very fact that Rollerball is a make believe sport adds believability to the action sequences. Watch a baseball film and you can see at a glance that Robert Redford or Kevin Costner are not real athletes. But since rollerball has never been played, James Caan as Jonathan E really looks like the best in the game. There are no "clichés" like home runs or long passes to spoil the danger and excitement -- every crash and goal is new, never having been seen before. And there are no clichés about the fans, the athletes, or "win one for the Gipper" or gamblers or shady ladies trying to make Our Hero throw the game. From the beginning we sense the stakes are higher -- Jonathan E will either conform or die.

That brings up the fact that ROLLERBALL also shares a central theme with a lot of other powerful movies, like FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, COOL HAND Luke, and even A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. What happens when a uniquely gifted individual refuses to participate in a corrupt system? This movie is so powerful as a drama you hardly notice the sci fi trappings. The rugged action scenes are so real you hardly notice that rollerball is a make believe game.

James Caan as Jonathan E turns in a sensitive, nuanced performance, deliberately underplaying the tough guy side as much as possible. Michael Beck as Moonpie is the foolishly overconfident one, playing Frank Sinatra's Maggio to Caan's Robert E. Lee Pruitt. But unlike the hard luck privates in this man's army, these rollerball stars get to have glamor, luxury, and unlimited sex between vicious games of rollerball. The movie captures so much sensuality and glamor that you can see why men risk death game after game to be known as "great rollerballers who bash in faces." This movie is spectacular -- an action classic with brains!

37 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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