7.3/10
17,218
117 user 64 critic

House of Games (1987)

A psychiatrist comes to the aid of a compulsive gambler and is led by a smooth-talking grifter into the shadowy but compelling world of stings, scams, and con men.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Homicide (1991)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Jewish homicide detective investigates a seemingly minor murder and falls in with a Zionist group as a result.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Joe Mantegna, William H. Macy, Vincent Guastaferro
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An employee of a corporation with a lucrative secret process is tempted to betray it. But there's more to it than that.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Steve Martin, Ben Gazzara, Campbell Scott
Things Change (1988)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Shoe-shiner Gino is hired to take the rap for a mafia murder. Two-bit gangster Jerry watches over Gino and gives him a weekend to remember.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Don Ameche, Joe Mantegna, Robert Prosky
Oleanna (1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Student Carol visits Professor John to discuss how she failed his course but the discussion takes awkward turn.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: William H. Macy, Debra Eisenstadt, Diego Pineda
Heist (2001)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A career jewel thief finds himself at tense odds with his longtime partner, a crime boss who sends his nephew to keep watch.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Gene Hackman, Rebecca Pidgeon, Danny DeVito
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A movie crew invades a small town whose residents are all too ready to give up their values for showbiz glitz.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Rebecca Pidgeon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Early 20th century England: while toasting his daughter Catherine's engagement, Arthur Winslow learns the royal naval academy expelled his 14-year-old son, Ronnie, for stealing five ... See full summary »

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Rebecca Pidgeon, Jeremy Northam, Nigel Hawthorne
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Margaret Ford
...
Mike
...
Joey
...
Dr. Littauer
...
The Businessman
Willo Hausman ...
Girl with Book
Karen Kohlhaas ...
Prison Ward Patient
...
Billy Hahn (as Steve Goldstein)
...
Bartender / House of Games
...
George / Vegas Man
G. Roy Levin ...
Poker Player
Bob Lumbra ...
Poker Player
Andy Potok ...
Poker Player
Allen Soule ...
Poker Player
Ben Blakeman ...
Bartender / Charlie's Tavern
Edit

Storyline

A famous psychologist, Margaret Ford, decides to try to help one of her patients get out of a gambling debt. She visits the bar where Mike, to whom the debt is owed, runs poker games. He convinces her to help him in a game: her assignment is to look for "tells", or give-away body language. What seems easy to her becomes much more complex. Written by John J. Magee <magee@helix.mgh.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Human nature is a sucker bet. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bordet fanger  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,585,639 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The hotel room that Mike takes Margaret to is room #1138 which is yet another reference to George Lucas's THX 1138 (1971). See more »

Goofs

When Margaret is talking with Maria outside at the picnic table she lights a cigarette with her right hand and in the process of removing the cigarette from her mouth it changes to her left hand. See more »

Quotes

Mike: I read a book once which said this: If you're fired from your job, when you're going home, take something. A pencil... Something to assert yourself. Take a memento. Take something from life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shade (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Fugue from the Toccata in C Minor
(BWV 911)
by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Warren Bernhardt, piano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Riveting, disturbing... near-flawless psychological suspense
15 May 2000 | by (Middletown, NJ) – See all my reviews

If your idea of a thriller is car chases, explosions, and dozens of people being mowed down by gunfire, then "House of Games" is definitely not the movie for you. If you like and appreciate psychological drama and suspense, then, by all means, see it.

"House of Games" tells the story of an esteemed psychologist and writer, Dr. Margaret Ford (Lindsay Crouse), who tries to help a patient and gets involved in the shadowy world of con men led by the charismatic Mike (Joe Mantegna). To say anything more about the plot would ruin the suspense. Frankly, I find it hard to believe anyone who says they saw the twists coming. Just like a clever con artist, this movie draws you into its web and lulls your vigilance.

The story is taut and well-crafted, the dialogue smart and laconic, the acting uniformly good (Mantegna is superbly charismatic). Some have complained that Dr. Ford is not a very sympathetic character, and wondered why Mamet would make Lindsay Crouse look so physically unattractive. But Dr. Ford is supposed to be cold and aloof; moreover, her homeliness is in a way essential to the plot (at one point, I believe that an injury to her sexual self-esteem is a key part of her motivation ... I'll say no more).

"House of Games" is a dark look at the underside of human nature that concludes on a note of discomforting ambiguity. It will hold your attention every second while you are watching, and stay with you for a long time afterwards.


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?