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House of Games (1987)

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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.

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Margaret Ford
...
Mike
...
Joey
...
Dr. Maria Littauer
...
The Businessman
Willo Hausman ...
Girl with Book
Karen Kohlhaas ...
Prison Ward Patient
...
Billy Hahn
...
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
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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:

Where the game is never over. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The numeral 187 appears in the film in different instances. A license plate reads "HSX 187". Also it is the number of the airport locker used at the end. 187 is the police code for murder. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, at the end of the airport baggage area scene viewing Mike and Margaret from above a ventilation duct, Margaret's travel bag is visible on the far left exactly parallel with the edge of the conveyor belt upon which it's placed. But in the next shot from the same view, the bag is at a 45-degree angle from its original position. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Littauer: When you have done something unforgivable, I'll tell you exactly what to do. You forgive yourself.
See more »

Connections

References Breathless (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

This True Love Stopped For You (But Not For Me)
by Rokko Jans
Sung by June Shellene
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User Reviews

 
Yell at the Screen Awful
19 December 2003 | by (NC, USA) – See all my reviews

Here's a review for people like me. This movie sucks from beginning to end. I threw popcorn at the screen and resorted to entertaining myself a la MSF2000. The plot hinges on chance happenings and relies on stupidity from people who are supposed to be smart. The lead falls for a con man and it doesn't occur to her that she might get conned????? And she's rich???? And she's a famous psychologist????? COME ON, people. She enters the bar at just the most convenient moment when everyone is assembled to talk about conning her??? That was so staged that it felt like slap in the face to even half-witted movie viewers. Rain man would have been insulted. I also admit that I despise Mamet dialogue with the kind of passion that some people have for meat-eaters, war-starters, and fur-wearers. My hatred is so complete that it defies logic. But I'll give it a shot. That it's not supposed to sound real is fine. I don't care. It's that everyone talks the SAME. Mamet can't create characters; all he can do is foist his voice on us relentlessly through different actors. No wonder his actors are so wooden. They're confused about everyone being the same character. (However, his later films do improve.)


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