IMDb > WarGames (1983)
WarGames
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WarGames (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   62,992 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Lawrence Lasker (written by) &
Walter F. Parkes (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for WarGames on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 June 1983 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The only winning move is not to play. See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(358 articles)
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User Reviews:
Shall We Play A Game? See more (144 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Matthew Broderick ... David

Dabney Coleman ... McKittrick

John Wood ... Falken

Ally Sheedy ... Jennifer

Barry Corbin ... General Beringer

Juanin Clay ... Pat Healy
Kent Williams ... Cabot

Dennis Lipscomb ... Watson
Joe Dorsey ... Conley
Irving Metzman ... Richter

Michael Ensign ... Beringer's Aide
William Bogert ... Mr. Lightman

Susan Davis ... Mrs. Lightman

James Tolkan ... Wigan
David Clover ... Stockman

Drew Snyder ... Ayers
John Garber ... Corporal in the Infirmary
Duncan Wilmore ... Major Lem
Billy Ray Sharkey ... Radar Analyst

John Spencer ... Jerry

Michael Madsen ... Steve
Erik Stern ... Commander
Gary Bisig ... Deputy
Gary Sexton ... Technician
Jason Bernard ... Captain Knewt
Frankie Hill ... Airman Fields

Jesse D. Goins ... Sergeant (as Jesse Goins)

Alan Blumenfeld ... Mr. Liggett

Len Lawson ... Boys Vice Principal

Maury Chaykin ... Jim Sting

Eddie Deezen ... Malvin

Stephen Lee ... Sgt. Schneider
Lucinda Crosby ... Nurse in Infirmary
Stack Pierce ... Airman

Art LaFleur ... Guard
Brad David ... Flight Pilot Leader (as Brad David Berwick)
Martha Shaw ... Vice Principal's Secretary
Howie Allen ... Boy in Arcade

Michael Adams ... Travis

James Ackerman ... Joshua
Jim Harriott ... Newscaster
Tom Lawrence ... Sgt. Sims
Frances E. Nealy ... Visitor (as Frances Nealy)
Charles Akins ... Major Ford
Glenn Standifer ... Major Wenstin
Edward Jahnke ... NORAD Officer
Paul V. Picerni Jr. ... Technician
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Tory Christopher ... Arcade Kid (uncredited)

William H. Macy ... NORAD Officer (uncredited)

Directed by
John Badham 
 
Writing credits
Lawrence Lasker (written by) &
Walter F. Parkes (written by)

Walon Green  uncredited

Produced by
Leonard Goldberg .... executive producer
Richard Hashimoto .... associate producer
Harold Schneider .... producer
Bruce McNall .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Arthur B. Rubinstein 
 
Cinematography by
William A. Fraker (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Tom Rolf 
 
Casting by
Wallis Nicita  (as Wally Nicita)
 
Production Design by
Angelo P. Graham 
 
Art Direction by
James J. Murakami 
 
Set Decoration by
Jerry Wunderlich 
 
Costume Design by
Barry Francis Delaney (costumes: men) (as Barry F. Delaney)
 
Makeup Department
Michael Germain .... makeup artist (as Perry Michael Germain)
Lynda Gurasich .... hair stylist
Brenda Todd .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Richard Hashimoto .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Newt Arnold .... first assistant director
Robert J. Doherty .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Gregg H. Bilson .... property master
Robert Scaife .... construction coordinator
John M. Schenk .... assistant property master
Chris Courtois .... model maker (uncredited)
Kevin Shanks .... tile/floor covering (uncredited)
Daniel Turk .... carpenter (uncredited)
Peter Van Zyl .... greensman (uncredited)
Mike Villarino .... propmaker (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Milton C. Burrow .... supervising sound effects editor
Willie D. Burton .... sound mixer
Carlos Delarios .... sound re-recording mixer
Michael J. Kohut .... sound re-recording mixer
William L. Manger .... supervising sound effects editor
Aaron Rochin .... sound re-recording mixer
Craig Harris .... voice processing (uncredited)
Philip Rogers .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Mick Baran .... special electronic effects crew
Bill Cobb .... special electronic effects crew
Robert Cole .... special electronic effects foreman
Joe Digaetano .... special effects
Richard Hoffenberg .... special electronic effects crew
Bruce Knechtges .... special electronic effects crew
Robin Dean Leyden .... special electronic effects crew
Robin Reilly .... special electronic effects crew
Mark Stivers .... special electronic effects crew
Robert Wilcox .... special electronic effects crew (as Robert G. Wilcox Jr.)
David Domeyer .... special effects (uncredited)
R.J. Hohman .... special effects wireman (uncredited)
Donald Pennington .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Colin Cantwell .... computer graphics design consultant
Jack Cooperman .... miniature photography
Marcia Dripchak .... computer graphics unit
Michael L. Fink .... visual effects supervisor
Linda Fleisher .... visual effects consultant
Steve Grumette .... computer video consultant
Don Hansard .... process coordinator
David R. Hardberger .... computer graphics unit (as David Hardberger)
Judith Herman .... computer graphics unit
Geoffrey Kirkland .... visual consultant
Sylvia Lovegren .... computer graphics unit
Jonathan Seay .... computer graphics unit
Wayne Baker .... assistant camera: miniature unit (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Marguerite Happy .... stunts
Al Jones .... stunts
Michael Adams .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Rick Avery .... stunts (uncredited)
Tom Elliott .... stunt double: Matthew Broderick (uncredited)
Marguerite Happy .... stunt double: Ally Sheedy (uncredited)
Al Jones .... stunt double: John Wood (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Dave Anderberg .... grip
Gerald H. Boatright .... assistant chief lighting technician
David E. Diano .... assistant camera
Gary R. Dodd .... key grip (as Gary Dodd)
To Lee .... camera assistant trainee
Ralph Nelson .... still photographer (as Ralph Nelson Jr.)
Doug Pentek .... chief lighting technician
Richard Turner .... assistant camera
Richard Walden .... additional camera operator
Steve Yaconelli .... camera operator
 
Casting Department
Pat Orseth .... location casting: Seattle
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Linda Matthews .... costumer: women
Ray Summers .... wardrobe supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Ray Martin .... color timer
Liz Randol .... assistant film editor (as Liza Randol)
Michael Ripps .... associate film editor
 
Music Department
Mark Hoder .... orchestrator
Joe Tuley .... music editor
Anthony Marinelli .... musician: synthesizer (uncredited)
Anthony Marinelli .... song producer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Randy Musselman .... driver captain
 
Other crew
Joy Anzarouth .... production coordinator
Robert C. Decker .... location manager (as Robert Decker)
Robert Eggenweiler .... location manager
Lyla Foggia .... unit publicist
John Garber .... dialogue coach
Dana Satler Hankins .... assistant: Mr. Badham (as Dana Satler)
Richard Keefe .... process librarian
Harold Michelson .... continuity consultant
H. Bud Otto .... script supervisor
Derry J. Pearce .... production auditor
Bill Watson .... pterosaur consultant
Duncan Wilmore .... technical advisor
Mike Berro .... computer programmer (uncredited)
Lynn Hendee .... production executive (uncredited)
Alexander Kanellakos .... prop runner (uncredited)
Kevin King .... payroll accountant (uncredited)
Anthony Marinelli .... synthesizer programmer (uncredited)
Lynn Dee Schwarz .... location scout (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"War Games" - Japan (English title)
See more »
Runtime:
114 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
When McKittrick (Dabney Coleman) is showing David (Mathew Broderick) around the war room, David asks him about working with Professor Falken; 'he must have been pretty amazing, huh?' referring to Falken in the past tense because David read about Falken dying. McKittrick replies in the present tense; "Well, he's a brilliant man, a little flakey..." revealing, if you catch it, that Falken is not dead, and McKittrick knows it.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: After David is arrested, the next scene is at NORAD where a tour group is being escorted. The escort asks a woman with a camera around her neck to sit in the command chair. A visitor would not be allowed to bring a camera into NORAD.See more »
Quotes:
Joshua:Shall we play a game?
David Lightman:Oh!
Jennifer:[giggles] I think it missed him.
David Lightman:Yeah. Weird isn't it?
Jennifer:Yeah.
David Lightman:[typing] Love to. How about Global Thermonuclear War?
Joshua:Wouldn't you prefer a nice game of chess?
[Jennifer laughs]
David Lightman:[typing] Later. Let's play Global Thermonuclear War.
Joshua:Fine.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Edge Of The WorldSee more »

FAQ

How did David manage to connect with such a secure defense system computer like "Joshua", aka the WOPR?
What's the video game that David is playing at the arcade when he's late for school?
Why was David letting his computer dial so many random numbers in the Sunnyvale area?
See more »
56 out of 62 people found the following review useful.
Shall We Play A Game?, 4 May 2004
Author: Bill Slocum (bill.slocum@gmail.com) from Greenwich, CT United States

Cyberthrillers may not have started with "WarGames," but it was here the form achieved an early peak. As more filmmakers follow its example of portraying a high-tech faceoff between man and machine, "WarGames" remains a standard to be measured against. While it's not a film classic, it's a very, very good popcorn thriller of uncommon craft, charm, and humanity.

Seattle high schooler David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) has only a few hours to undo what he thought was a sneak preview of an upcoming computer game but what instead got him tinkering with the U.S. Air Force's WOPR (War Operation Planned Response) computer system in such a way as to trigger a countdown to World War III. The FBI thinks he's a Soviet spy, while classmate Jennifer Mack (Ally Sheedy) is wondering if this isn't all really about a rejiggered biology grade.

Broderick is solid, and Sheedy even better, but what really sells this film is everything else. Start with the excellent supporting performances. John Wood as a reclusive professor and Barry Corbin as a tobacco-chewing general get much of the kudos, and rightly, but there's a whole deep bench of quality work beyond that, like Kent Williams as a curt White House advisor, William Bogert and Susan Davis as David's out-of-it parents, Alan Blumenfeld as the swaggering bully of a biology teacher, and Juanin Clay as a beautiful but underappreciated assistant (even by herself as she uses her own mouth as an ashcan for her boss's discarded gum.) You know the casting people behind this movie were on the ball when the opening sequence features two very recognizable faces, those of Michael Madsen and John Spencer, in what were film debuts for both.

That sequence with Madsen and Spencer as missile men point up another quality of "WarGames," the way the movie works in terms of setting up expectations and developing pace. The harrowing business between the two of them is mercilessly presented ("Turn your key, sir!") and then effectively abandoned so as to work in the central storyline, the replacement of these men with computers. We get a macro-view where Dabney Coleman as a tunnel-visioned warroom executive effectively makes the case for "taking the men out of the loop" and then zoom back into what seems a totally unrelated story, that of slacker teen David Lightman and his high school travails.

The film could have just started with Lightman, and worked its way out to the business with the WOPR. But the early peek behind the curtain is a clever way of raising the stakes with the audience before the protagonist realizes what's up.

The set design, cinematography, lighting, and editing all work wonders as well. The NORAD warroom is really a character onto itself, the ultimate source of reality in this film (and better for my money than the warroom in `Dr. Strangelove,' an obvious inspiration.) The way the cameras dart around from terminal to terminal as uniformed USAF technicians follow the progress of an apparent Soviet attack, lighting onto one of them just before he or she relays an important piece of information, is highly addictive and entertaining.

There's some sloppiness in the movie. Madsen and Spencer's talk about this great pot Spencer's character has scored strains credulity in the high-security setting they are in, and its blindingly obvious that the two men we see exiting a helicopter and entering a jeep during the credits are not the same two men getting out of the jeep moments later. The musical score is terrible, except for the elegiac tune at the end by which time it's too late. And there's no real examination of the morality of Lightman's serial lawbreaking.

But this is a funny, exciting, consciousness-raising movie that is as entertaining now with the Cold War more than a decade behind us as it was all those years ago. For all the technical innovation on display, it's ironically appropriate we remember it for showing us how to butter an ear of corn, because it's the human side of the equation `WarGames' keeps in its sights at all times.

[The DVD features a terrific, candid commentary from director John Badham and writers Lawrence Lasker and Walter Parkes that gives one a real appreciation for the value of creative license as well as factual diligence in making a film of this kind work.]

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This Would Make a Great Remake rjames1973
Hotwiring a pay phone?! Horacetorys
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Similarities between War Games + Dear Brigitte thekidds8407
What film did Falken show on the projector? krs000
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