6.6/10
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Rollerball (1975)

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

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
Ella
...
Moonpie
...
...
Mackie
...
Daphne
John Normington ...
Executive
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Rusty, Team Executive
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Japanese Doctor
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Girl in Library
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Bartholomew's Aide (as Rick LeParmentier)
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Strategy Coach for Houston Team
...
Librarian
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Storyline

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 <jmh@umich.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 June 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Роллербол  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$30,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film inspired the short-lived TNN sports show RollerJam (1999). See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the match with New York, after in many moments of the movie different characters repeated there would have been "No time limit", the scoreboard shows the countdown (starting from 20.00 mins). See more »

Quotes

P.A. Announcer: [before the start of the New York game] Your attention please... Rule changes for tonight's World Championship Game: No substitutions, no penalties... and no time limit!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Two and a Half Men: Gorp. Fnark. Schmegle. (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 5: Third Movement
(uncredited)
Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Charismatic Authority Will Defeat The Corporate Slime
4 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

My header is from the greatest sociologist who ever lived: Max Weber. To quote him, let us shine some verstehen upon this film. Weber was quite worried about the rise of rational authority especially paired with scientific business methodology he was sure it would lead to the "iron cage of rational authority." It is obvious that Jewison had read lots of Weber. This was before the modern age of basing all of our films upon comic books. See, decades ago people actually read books; I know, how quaint!! The film will now be completely understandable to you. The game is designed to show the futility of individual effort; Bartholomew states this to the other corporate slime. They fear Joanathan E because he embodies the only weapon Weber said could wipe out the iron cage of rational authority that is charismatic authority. This is why they are terrified of him. He has survived for ten years in a game that was designed to destroy individual players while promoting collectivism.

They all rise for the corporate anthem; they love to watch Rollerball and blow up trees to relieve the awareness that they are all slaves. They traded their freedom for security. In the words of Benjamin Franklin: "Those who trade freedom for security deserve neither." That is why the game is so gory and cruel. The same reason the drunken idiots shoot and blow up trees; they are such pathetic, impotent slaves cowardly obeying whatever orders are given. They sold their freedom for comfort and their minds are so wasted away that we have Maud Adams looking incredulously at Jonathan,"Why, comfort and freedom are the same, they always have been." Did everyone notice how all access to books is now gone everything is on computer in edited editions? Starting to worry you perhaps a bit? You know that instrument of divinity, the computer, you worship well look what good use it was put to here. Yes, Zero, the supercomputer that Ralph Richardson exasperatedly starts beating up, that is what truth you will get from the computer: ZERO.

Jonathan must be stopped for these slaves must never realize that an individual can say no. This is how it starts. One individual says no; he starts thousands, then millions saying no. Charismatic Authority, Weber said, was the only escape from the iron cage of the corporate slime. The movie moves well; it is expectedly violent but quite tame from the debauchery of films made 40 years later. I subtracted two points for some bad acting. Caan and Houseman are excellent actors. The supporting cast has some real weak spots. Moonpie, also seen in NORTH DALLAS FORTY, is a dreadful actor. Maud Adams, while very beautiful, shows why she should have staid in the Bond movies. The action scenes are well done and exciting. The scenes with Houseman and Caan together are worth the price of admission. James Caan, unlike his dreadful, midget son, was one of the greatest actors of the 1970s. Nobody else could have been Sonny in THE GODFATHER. He also shines in the only good film by Michael Mann: THIEF.

I recommend the film apart from my analysis; it moves well, has excellent action scenes and some great acting, directing and writing. I am not a fan of Norman Jewison: I hated MOONSTRUCK, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR and AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. This is the best movie the man ever made. It has a depth far beyond the action narrative; it is obvious to me the man read and was fluent in Max Weber. Ask anyone who knows their sociology, Max Weber is considered the greatest sociologist who ever lived. His ideas were well displayed with great power and skill. A Great Movie


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