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Rollerball (1975) Poster

(1975)

Trivia

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.
The game of Rollerball was so realistic the cast, extras, and stunt personnel played it between takes on the set.
The game sequences were filmed in the Olympic Basketball Arena in Munich. Munich citizens were invited to the filming to serve as spectators to the games. Norman Jewison intended the movie to be anti violence, but audiences so loved the action of the game that there was actually talk about forming rollerball leagues in the wake of the film which horrified him.
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Asked what the movie was about, James Caan reportedly answered, "It's about 90 minutes."
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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.
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Norman Jewison said he cast James Caan as Jonathan E, the champion Rollerball player, after seeing him play Brian Piccolo, the real-life Chicago Bears running back in Brian's Song (1971).
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There was only one "Rollerball" rink. It was redressed to appear as different cities.
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Contrary to rumors, no one died during the filming of any of the stunts.
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Outside shots of the Energy Corporation building are actually of the corporate headquarters of car maker BMW in Munich. Outside shots of the bowl-shaped library building are of the old BMW museum. It is located only a few steps to the left of the headquarters' entrance.
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During the Tokyo-Houston game, the Tokyo fans are chanting "Ganbare Tokyo!", which translates into "Do Your Best, Tokyo!"
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In the liner notes to the Region 2 DVD, director Norman Jewison is quoted as being influenced by Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971). The influence is most obviously seen in the repetitive use of zooms, classical music and modern (i.e. concrete and glass) architecture.
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The laser pistol that drunken party guest use to incinerate pine trees during the big corporate soirée is actually a Ruger Standard .22 caliber target pistol introduced by the Ruger firearms company in 1949. The weapon used in the movie has an elaborately modified barrel to make it look more like a futuristic ray gun.
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The helicopter that Moonpie's body is picked up with at the Tokio hospital is a German Boelkow Bo 105.
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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.
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Director Norman Jewison notes on the DVD commentary track that using classical music in a science fiction film, as was the case here and on 2001: A Space Odyssey, reduces the tendency for a film to become "dated" over time. Only the party sequence contains contemporary 1970's music with analog synthesizer sounds common to the period.
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Some of the other "rollerball cities" mentioned in the movie: Madrid, Manila, Rome, Pittsburgh.
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Ann Turkel turned down a featured role in this.
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When Jonathan E. heads for the computer bank in Geneva, it's the Palais des Nations at the same place.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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