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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:

Human nature is a sucker bet. 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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Audio from this movie was sampled by the band Saint Etienne in their song "Etienne Gonna Die." See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, Margaret Ford returns to her private office and cuts herself. Several drops of blood fall on the cover label of a dossier lying on the desk. In subsequent shots, the blood stain jumps down the label and finally ends up on the back cover, leaving the label clean. See more »

Quotes

Mike: What'd you do, win again?
George: That's right. If you wanna win the hand, you've gotta stay in 'til the end.
See more »


Soundtracks

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