A shadowy freedom fighter known only as "V" uses terrorist tactics to fight against his totalitarian society. Upon rescuing a girl from the secret police, he also finds his best chance at having an ally.
An robotic warrior from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a 20-year old drifter and his future wife from an most advanced robotic assassin and to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack.
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 <email@example.com>
This was the first film to give full screen credits to the stunt performers. Normally their work would go uncredited, but the director was so impressed by their work, he felt moved to include their names in the closing credits. Ever since, stunt performers have received screen credit for their work. See more »
In the Madrid game, #9 for Madrid is seen taken off the scoreboard (injured or dead) early in the game. Yet, a player wearing that jersey number shows up at least 3 to 5 more times during that first game. See more »
Sweet Dreams, Moonpie. That's a bad habit you've got there. You know what that habit will make you dream, Moonpie? You'll dream you're an executive. You'll have your hands on all the controls, and you will wear a gray suit, and you will make decisions. But you know what, Moonpie? You know what those executives dream about out there behind their desks? They dream they're great rollerballers. They dream they're Jonathan; they have muscles, they bash in faces.
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Why some people have called this film shallow, I will never understand, considering it focuses on character more than most all sci-fi films, especially those action ones made today. Not surprisingly, the recent remake dwelt more on action than character, and perhaps it's significant that director Norman Jewison normally avoids making science-fiction films.
Also, I personally don't interpret ROLLERBALL as an anti-sport drama. It doesn't attack sports per se as much as violence. In his audio commentary to the DVD, Jewison, like many Canadians, admits he's a hockey fan, and once, while witnessing a game get bloodily out of hand, he was inspired to adapt Harrison's marvelous short story.
All in all, I think of the movie as a plea for all of us to find our own basic humanity (and those who say the film lacks humanity really baffle me). In our present competitive world, where the U.S. speed limit is 65 MPH but everyone drives 75 or faster, this motion picture reminds us to control the anarchistic, power-driven beast within.
To offer one example, in its final scene, Jonathan E is about to murder the last opposing team player...but relents. If the film were truly anti-sport,then I think Jonathan would drop the ball and leave; he would mock the game as Mandy Patinkin's character does hockey at the end of SLAPSHOT. Instead, Jonathan E still plays it: he baskets the ball to earn his point because, though he may have touched his humanity, he still retains the drive to win and the thrill of the game. Unlike other--often more sentimental and simple-minded--anti-sports dramas, ROLLERBALL represents the positive aspects of sports (such as ethical aspiration, etc.), while at the same time its negative aspects (such as triumphalist violence, etc.). Afterwards, as the crowd roars, the film might have concluded with a standard, comforting triumph-of-the-human-spirit message, but instead it freezes on a deliberately distorted shot of Jonathan with Bach's portentious music indicating what awaits. Yes, he may be a winner today, but in this world, where the corporation is everything and the individual nothing, his future is dim indeed.
A shallow film? Nonsense! I think this movie taps into ones humanity more than most of the sentimental tripe hyped as significant drama these days.
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