IMDb > Rollerball (1975)
Rollerball
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Rollerball (1975) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.6/10   14,905 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
William Harrison (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Rollerball on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 June 1975 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It's More Than Just a Game! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Dated Look But Top-Notch Filmmaking See more (157 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Caan ... Jonathan E.

John Houseman ... Bartholomew

Maud Adams ... Ella

John Beck ... Moonpie

Moses Gunn ... Cletus

Pamela Hensley ... Mackie
Barbara Trentham ... Daphne
John Normington ... Executive

Shane Rimmer ... Rusty, Team Executive

Burt Kwouk ... Japanese Doctor
Nancy Bleier ... Girl in Library

Richard LeParmentier ... Bartholomew's Aide (as Rick LeParmentier)

Robert Ito ... Strategy Coach for Houston Team

Ralph Richardson ... Librarian
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Craig R. Baxley ... Madrid Biker #1 (uncredited)
Steve Boyum ... Biker (uncredited)
Miquel Brown ... (unconfirmed) (uncredited)

Tony Brubaker ... Blue - Houston Biker (uncredited)
Loftus Burton ... Reporter (uncredited)
Anthony Chinn ... Reporter (uncredited)
Barrie Cookson ... Executive (uncredited)

Sarah Douglas ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Dick Enberg ... Pregame announcer (uncredited)
Abi Gouhad ... Reporter (uncredited)
David Griffin ... Man Collecting Coats (uncredited)
Alan Hamane ... Biker (uncredited)
Patti Hammond ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
John Harvey ... Directorate Executive (uncredited)
Andy Ho ... Reporter (uncredited)
Robert Lee ... Executive (uncredited)
Bob Leon ... Biker (uncredited)

Angus MacInnes ... Jonathan's Guard (uncredited)
Mac McDonald ... Executive (uncredited)
Bob Miller ... Game Announcer (uncredited)

Bob Minor ... Rollerball Team Member (uncredited)

Walter Scott ... Tuffy (uncredited)
Alfred Thomas ... Team Trainer (uncredited)
Burnell Tucker ... Jonathan's Captain of Guard (uncredited)
Danny Wong ... Biker (uncredited)

Directed by
Norman Jewison 
 
Writing credits
William Harrison (screenplay)

William Harrison  short story "Roller Ball Murder" (uncredited)

Produced by
Norman Jewison .... producer
Patrick J. Palmer .... associate producer (as Patrick Palmer)
 
Original Music by
André Previn 
 
Cinematography by
Douglas Slocombe (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Antony Gibbs 
 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
 
Production Design by
John Box 
 
Art Direction by
Robert W. Laing  (as Robert Laing)
 
Costume Design by
Julie Harris 
 
Makeup Department
Leonard .... hair consultant (as Leonard of London)
Wally Schneiderman .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Larry DeWaay .... supervising production manager (as Larry De Waay)
Ted Lloyd .... production manager
Dieter Meyer .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kip Gowans .... first assistant director
Chris Kenny .... assistant director
Max Kleven .... second unit director
Peter Price .... assistant director
Dietmar Siegert .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Charles Bishop .... assistant art director
Michael Redding .... construction manager
Jack Towns .... property master
 
Sound Department
Derek Ball .... sound mixer
Archie Ludski .... dubbing editor
Gordon K. McCallum .... sound re-recordist
Les Wiggins .... dubbing editor
John Hayward .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Sass Bedig .... special effects
John Richardson .... special effects
 
Stunts
Craig R. Baxley .... stunts (as Craig Baxley)
Tony Brubaker .... stunts
Gary Epper .... stunts
Max Kleven .... stunt coordinator
Bob Minor .... stunts
Jimmy Nickerson .... stunts (as Jim Nickerson)
Chuck Parkison Jr. .... stunts
Dar Robinson .... stunts
Roy Scammell .... stunts
Walter Scott .... stunts (as Walt Scott)
Dick Warlock .... stunts
Jerry Wills .... stunts
Diamond Farnsworth .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Dennis Fraser .... key grip
Robin Vidgeon .... camera assistant
Chic Waterson .... camera operator
Robin Browne .... photographer: second unit and aerials (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Renate Arbes .... casting: Munich (as Renate Arbes-Neuchl)
Mary Selway .... casting: London
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
John Hilling .... wardrobe supervisor
Ron Postal .... wardrobe designer: Mr. Caan
 
Editorial Department
Terry Busby .... assistant editor
Brian Mann .... assistant editor
Amanda Palmer .... assistant editor
Hubert de La Bouillerie .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
André Previn .... conductor
 
Transportation Department
Don French .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Yvonne Axeworthy .... continuity (as Yvonne Axworthy)
Charles Cannon .... production accountant
Tom Carlile .... publicist
Peter Hicks .... skating supervisor
Golda Offenheim .... production assistant
Julia Pascal .... secretary to producer
Herbert Schurmann .... track architect
Brian Smedley-Aston .... multivision sequences
Robin Demetriou .... cast and crew chef (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
125 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) | 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)
Certification:
Australia:M | Canada:PG (Manitoba) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Québec) | Canada:14A (Alberta) (re-rating) (1999) | Finland:K-16 (uncut) (2000) | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1988) | Finland:K-18 (uncut) (1975) | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2000) | Netherlands:18 | New Zealand:M (re-rating) (2002) | New Zealand:R18 (orginal rating) (1976) | Norway:18 (1976) | Singapore:NC-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (1987) | USA:R | West Germany:18 (original rating)
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Ann Turkel turned down a featured role in this.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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:
[at the start of the Tokyo game]
P.A. Announcer:Ladies and gentlemen, will you stand please for the playing of our Corporate Hymn.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Symphony No. 5: Third MovementSee more »

FAQ

Why was Jonathan E being forced to retire?
What is "Rollerball"?
What are the 'rules' of Rollerball?
See more »
20 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Dated Look But Top-Notch Filmmaking, 3 August 2001
Author: Jubal28

"Rollerball" is one of those classics of sci-fi that I somehow managed to miss for all of my 30 years. Whilst browsing the local store, I found the DVD for ten dollars and figured I had nothing to lose -- to rent it, if I could even find it on DVD, wouldn't cost THAT much less.

I had some vague notion of the storyline, but I tried not to read the case or liner notes and take in the movie on a first impression. Released in the summer of 1975, there are definite and readily apparent influences of earlier films, not the least of which being Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange." The colors, the film stock, the editing style are all reminiscent of that earlier, similarly-themed master work, yet I don't believe it detracted from this film at all.

Supposedly set in the year 2018 (though this is never established in the movie, that I could tell), corporations have replaced governments and managed to eliminate war, poverty, disease and bad hair days. People don't have too much of a say in what goes on around them, but they're all very physically comfortable. Of course, the violent nature of the human beast must be satisfied, and it is -- in the gladitorial ring of the world's most popular sport, Rollerball. The game consists of two teams (from cities all over the world) skating and motorbiking around a 1/8-mile track, trying to get a steel ball into a goal. As the course of the season progresses, more and more limitations as to what constitutes fair play are removed, and by the final, the melee is total.

James Caan plays the Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Joe Montana of Rollerball, Jonathan E.. He's the biggest star in the world, but he's also a thinking man, and when the corporation which owns his team wants him to retire, he refuses, wanting to know first why they'd want him to retire when he's playing at his best.

The rest I leave to the viewer to find out. I can only say it is a very well-crafted script with plenty to say about violence, the spirit of the individual man, and the bloodlusts that a happy and idle populace can muster. Very well-filmed with touches of brilliance in editing and framing.

A detraction which really couldn't be helped involves the portrayal of the future. Director Norman Jewison couldn't know what the world of forty years in his future would be like, so he took the wise route of not making it all that different from 1975, but with subtle changes (such as the interesting but impractical "multivision" concept in which all TV sets have a large screen and three smaller screens above it, each showing different but related pictures). The result, though infinitely preferable to lots of neon and superfluous antennae, is that the place looks like 1975 with slightly cooler gadgets. I can't tell you what 2018 will look like, but it won't look like that.

Interestingly, the "corporate inevitability" concept of the future, which I believe Jewison meant earnestly, plays out much more as a satire of the opposite, a communist world. Much of what the coroprate culture says, as personified by John Houseman's Mr. Bartholomew, sounds much like the rhetoric of communism -- people are fed and comfortable and happy, but the individual is beholden to the group at all costs. Indeed, some of the words of description of the culture seem lifted straight from Marx and Engels.

The DVD leaves something to be desired, though. The picture is a lot dirtier than I'd like, especially in still-shot scenes. The color is muted, though this may be part style, and some shots seem positively muddy.

The remastered 5.1 soundtrack is a disappointment. The rear speakers get very little play. One particular effect of note, I must concede, is one moment when you can hear the ball roll all the way around the arena, and it's as though you're standing in the center.

In all, it's an excellent movie, which I can't recommend enough, but if the disc had been any pricier than it was, I would have felt as though I was somewhat taken.

Perhaps after the release of the upcoming remake, there will be a better special edition.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (157 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Rollerball (1975)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
One of the most under-rated SF films of all time. neil-321
Why did they want him to quit? wmlopez
NEGATIVE. NEGATIVE. NEGATIVE. mattslittlebrother
Sadly True Ezrateach
Ex-wife WASN'T stolen by the corporation (+ what that means) bolsonne
The Helicopter (possible spoiler) dalmdad
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