A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kent Williams ...
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Joe Dorsey ...
Irving Metzman ...
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William Bogert ...
Susan Davis ...
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David Clover ...
Stockman
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Storyline

A young computer whiz kid accidentally connects into a top secret super-computer which has complete control over the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It challenges him to a game between America and Russia, and he innocently starts the countdown to World War 3. Can he convince the computer he wanted to play a game and not the real thing ? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wouldn't YOU rather play chess? See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

3 June 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

War Games  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$79,568,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The keypad lock tones heard when the guard unlocks the infirmary door are the tones used by touch-tone telephones. The tones heard correspond to dialing 222333 on a touch-tone phone. See more »

Goofs

When David is asking about the list of games that he printed out earlier, he asks Jim why the list has games such as checkers and backgammon. However when David was printing the list of games, backgammon was not one of the listed games. See more »

Quotes

David Lightman: [typing] Is this a game... or is it real?
Joshua: What's the difference?
David Lightman: [muttering] Oh wow.
Joshua: You are a hard man to reach. Could not find you in Seattle and no terminal is in operation at your classified address.
David Lightman: [typing] What classified address?
Joshua: D.O.D. pension files indicate current mailing as: Dr. Robert Hume, a.k.a. Stephen W. Falken, 5 Tall Cedar Road, Goose Island, Oregon 97...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Goldbergs: Shall We Play a Game? (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Video Fever
Performed by Arthur B. Rubinstein, Cynthia Morrow, Brian Banks and Anthony Marinelli (as The Beepers)
Lyrics by Cynthia Morrow
Music by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Produced by Anthony Marinelli (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Nuggets of Truth
9 July 2003 | by (Shermer, Illinois) – See all my reviews

WarGames remains the definitive "hacker" movie, surpassing the raunch of Swordfish and the idio-parody of AntiTrust. Historically-speaking, there are two movies that have shaped public opinion about computers: 2001 and WarGames. With 2001, there is the question of "What happens when an automated computer system makes decisions on its own?" In today's world of automatic Windows updates and random error messages for no reason, it seems very prophetic. WarGames poses the question of "Who uses the computer and what do they do?" The consequences, as one can easily guess, are enormous. Even when hardware ages, the ethics remain.

WarGames isn't perfect. There are plenty of logic problems in the script, but it still presents its topic with a naive fascination. What the writers don't know, they pretend they do. Matthew Broederick is, once again, the nerdy teen with social problems (Ferris Bueller had a different problem, though). Aside from Glory, he won't be able to shake that image even now in his 40s.

I saw this movie when I was eight and had to admit that if someone didn't understand the 80s "Red paranoia", then the whole movie was a misfire. I will admit, it fascinated me with computers and military hardware, changing my life forever in a subtle fashion.

Overall, an interesting movie that becomes more real every year. In today's world of identity theft, cyber-terrorism, MicroSoft, and broadband, some elements are undoubtedly lost on someone who can't remember or understand the Cold War. 3.5 out of 5 stars


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