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Night Games (1980)

 -  Drama  -  11 April 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 175 users  
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A Californian housewife is terrified of having sex because of a past assault. When this phobia threatens to destroy her marriage, she takes refuge in a series of erotic fantasies about a masked man. But is it really all just a fantasy?


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Valerie St. John
Barry Primus ...
Jason St. John
Julie Miller
Paul Jenkins ...
Sean Daniels
Mark Hanks ...
The Phantom
Juliet Fabriga ...
Clem Persons ...
Carla Reynolds ...
Valerie at 13
Rene Knecht ...
Pamela Mellish ...
Walt Faggerstrom ...
George Weber ...
Policeman #1
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A Californian housewife is terrified of having sex because of a past assault. When this phobia threatens to destroy her marriage, she takes refuge in a series of erotic fantasies about a masked man. But is it really all just a fantasy?

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Bardot... Deneuve... Fonda. Roger Vadim exposed them all to the world. And Now he has discovered a new star, Cindy Pickett--a woman of the 80's--in a new American film that is elegant, erotic and explicitly free... See more »




R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

11 April 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love Games  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The picture was marketed on the director Roger Vadim's ability to launch new sex symbols onto the big screen, as he had done previously with Brigitte Bardot, Jane Fonda and Catherine Deneuve (the first two he had been married to and the latter had a relationship with). However, the introduction of Pickett here was not as significant as the others. See more »

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User Reviews

"I think I hate men sometimes."
31 December 2011 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Director Roger Vadim has worked with many beautiful women (Bardot, Fonda and Deneuve) in his career and for this offering he gets a hold of Cindy Pickett (who likes to wander around in a see through nightgown) and Joanna Cassidy in support. "Night Games" is transfixing, but muddled erotica as Pickett plays wealthy Beverly Hills housewife Valerie St. John, whose marriage seems to be falling apart with her inability to make love with her publisher husband due to a traumatic memory of childhood rape. So to achieve sexual fulfilment she escapes to her fantasies, especially when her husband just gets up and goes leaving her alone in their mansion. Every night she is visited by a phantom (from her illustrations - in some striking costumes), who helps her overcome her fears and with him explores her sexuality in the hope of freeing herself of the past. But Valerie's attachment to this fantasy begins to have a toll when reality becomes forgotten putting her in a dangerous predicament. Cindy Pickett's performance is right on the money, capturing the very neurotic state of her repressed character's mind. Vadim plays around with Pickett's frigid character's imagination --- dreams or reality in what becomes a dangerous cocktail of sexual healing ("The dark can play funny tricks on ya. That's all"). The busty redhead Cassidy (who looks great) is the good friend and has some memorable sequences; like the poolside scene and the old-fashion styling in a sexual daydream sequence. Also stealing some instances is Paul Jenkins as a scruffy alcoholic Welsh writer and Gene Davis as a young admirer. The slow-going story does come across fragmented and lean, but Vadim's elegant direction gives it emotional depth in its vividly inspired imagery along with Jon Barry's infatuating musical score that has a sensually smooth swing and the leering camera that glides about the vast estate is profoundly projected.

"Does everything have to mean sex for you?"

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