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:

To David Lightman, "Global Thermonuclear War" will just be one hell of a game. To everybody else, it will be hell waiting to happen. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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

Jennifer and David ride a Derbi Variant moped. It's a Spanish motor scooter. See more »

Goofs

In the 1980s it was not permitted for any Department of Defense computer with classified information on it to be connected to external communication equipment. It would therefore be impossible to dial in as shown. However, during a scene, the military technician exclaims that the phone company "screwed them", implying an external contractor allowed the connection against request and policy. See more »

Quotes

David Lightman: Hey, I don't believe that any system is totally secure.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Surviving Disaster (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

War Games
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Stills
Performed by Crosby Stills & Nash (as Crosby, Stills & Nash)
[Promotional song used in theatrical trailer and MTV video]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Interesting, original idea that delivers for the most part...
29 February 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. Matthew Broderick is the teenager computer nerd who hacks into a military database through a "back door" and starts to unintentionally play games--which are, quite surprisingly, not games after all. He's really controlling the military! With WWIII nearing, the movie takes some twists and turns and it's all good fun.

Broderick is well-cast and this is probably one of the roles, along with Ferris Bueller, that stereotyped him as a continual teenager--which makes it hard for him to get adult roles nowadays. (He's in the upcoming remake of "The Producers"--yay!)

Ally Sheedy and Dabney Coleman both have supporting roles.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film and rate it a solid "4" of five stars.

Trivia note: Sheedy and Broderick both appeared in separate movies by John Hughes: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "The Breakfast Club."


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