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:
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  »

Filming Locations:


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 shot sequence ahead of the New York game shows the Palácio da Alvorada as well as the Congresso Nacional in Brasília, Brazil, the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican and Lower Manhattan, NY, USA. See more »


Plenty of times one of the Houston skaters wears a number 3 shirt. The number 3 shirt should always be worn by a biker. See more »


Librarian: We are confused again here today. This is embarrassing. It's embarrassing to misplace things.
Jonathan E.: Misplaced some data?
Librarian: Hmmm.
[Looks at a computer punch card]
Librarian: The whole of the 13th century. Misplaced the computers, several conventional computers. We can't find them. We're always moving things around, getting organized, my assistants and I. This - this is Zero's fault - Zero, he's the world's file cabinet. Pity, poor old 13th century.
Librarian: Well, come along now, you want to get started, don't you?
Jonathan E.: ...
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References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »


Executive Party
Composed by André Previn
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Controlling the beast within
26 July 2000 | by (Northridge, Ca) – See all my reviews

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.

59 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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