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


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


"Global Thermonuclear War." You may think it's one hell of a game. You couldn't be more right. See more »


Sci-Fi | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

3 June 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

War Games  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)


$79,568,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tom Mankiewicz says he wrote some additional scenes during shooting which were used.[9] See more »


When it is stated that "22 Typhoon class" submarines are departing. Only 6 Soviet Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines of this class were made. ("Typhoon class" were officially called "Project 941) were ever built. In 1983, the number would've been even fewer, as these six were built over an 8 years period (1981 - 1989). All of the Typhoon Class were based at Zapadnaya Litsa (Nerpichya Base) about 45 miles from the Norwegian border. See more »


General Beringer: Gentlemen, I wouldn't trust this overgrown pile of microchips any further than I can throw it.
See more »


Referenced in Traceroute (2016) See more »


History Lesson (Long Line Leading To Man)
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

Pleased with the film
6 February 2006 | by (Liberec, Czech Republic) – See all my reviews

If you want to see a film with the most real style of hacking, forget Swordfish, The Net and all these other films where "hackers" work in graphically superb programs and can hack government server in few seconds. Broderick, working in his text-only mode, using social-engineering and having good abilities handling primitive electric devices is nearest the real world's "hacking", at least in his period.

As thought that the film sometimes lacks tension, especially in the middle, it has its very strong moments. To be honest, I got most excited on the very beginning, I really loved it.

The performances are good, but I disliked and didn't believe the performance of the man, who should have played the wooden-head general. It seemed to be too overacted. He himself lowered my rating by one.

This film might not be so interesting for people, who aren't interested in computers, because, as I mentioned upper, the plot lacks some deeper crisis, but I thing that everyone else will like it, so if you match the upper criterion I can recommend you only one thing: Go and get it!

36 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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