IMDb > House of Games (1987)
House of Games
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House of Games (1987) More at IMDbPro »

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House of Games -- A famous psychologist, Margaret Ford, decides to try to help one of her patients get out of a gambling debt.
House of Games -- Trailer for this suspense thriller


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7.3/10   16,736 votes »
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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
David Mamet (screenplay)
Jonathan Katz (story) ...
View company contact information for House of Games on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 October 1987 (USA) See more »
Nothing is as it seems. See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
House of Dreadful Acting See more (115 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lindsay Crouse ... Margaret Ford

Joe Mantegna ... Mike

Mike Nussbaum ... Joey

Lilia Skala ... Dr. Maria Littauer

J.T. Walsh ... The Businessman

Willo Hausman ... Girl with Book
Karen Kohlhaas ... Prison Ward Patient

Steven Goldstein ... Billy Hahn

Jack Wallace ... Bartender - House of Games

Ricky Jay ... 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
Scott Zigler ... Western Union Clerk

William H. Macy ... Sgt. Moran (as W.H. Macy)

John Pritchett ... Hotel Desk Clerk

Meshach Taylor ... Mr. Dean
Johnny 'Sugarbear' Willis ... Hotel Doorman (as Sugarbear Willis)
Josh Conescu ... Garage Attendant
Julie Mendenhall ... Late Student
Rachel Cline ... Student
Patricia Wolff ... Patient - Ford's Office
Paul Walsh ... Man in Restaurant
Roberta Maguire ... Restaurant Hostess
Jacqueline de La Chaume ... Woman with Lighter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

John Nelson ... Pedestrian (uncredited)

Directed by
David Mamet 
Writing credits
David Mamet (screenplay)

Jonathan Katz (story) &
David Mamet (story)

Produced by
Michael Hausman .... producer
Original Music by
Alaric Jans 
Cinematography by
Juan Ruiz Anchía (director of photography) (as Juan Ruiz Anchia)
Film Editing by
Trudy Ship 
Casting by
Cyrena Hausman 
Production Design by
Michael Merritt 
Set Decoration by
Derek R. Hill  (as Derek Hill)
Costume Design by
Nan Cibula 
Makeup Department
Laurent Delouya .... hair stylist: Mr. Mantegna
Erin Lyons .... hair stylist
Gregory Villamil .... hair stylist: Ms. Crouse
Pamela S. Westmore .... makeup artist (as Pamela Westmore)
Production Management
Lee R. Mayes .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ned Dowd .... first assistant director
Michael Hausman .... second assistant director
Art Department
Jeff Balsmeyer .... storyboard artist (as Jeffrey Balsmeyer)
Valerie Ross .... property assistant
Samara Schaffer .... property master
J. Grey Smith .... leadman (as Grey Smith)
Jeffrey P. Soderberg .... set dresser (as Jeff Soderberg)
Sound Department
Douglas Axtell .... boom operator
Suki Buchman .... assistant sound editor (as Susan Buchman)
Anthony J. Ciccolini III .... supervising sound editor (as Anthony John Ciccolini III)
Pam DeMetruis-Thomas .... assistant sound editor (as Pam DeMetruis)
Kathleen Earle Killeen .... assistant sound editor (as Kathy Killeen)
Thomas A. Gulino .... sound editor
John Pritchett .... sound mixer
Marc S. Shaw .... adr editor
Gail Showalter .... assistant sound editor
Jeffrey Stern .... sound editor
Jacqueline Tager .... assistant sound editor (as Jacqui Tager)
Dick Vorisek .... sound re-recording supervisor
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Robert G. Willard .... special effects: Special Effects Unlimited (as Robert Willard)
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael F. Barrow .... gaffer (as Michael Barrow)
Michael F. Barrow .... grip equipment (as Michael Barrow)
Michael F. Barrow .... lighting equipment (as Michael Barrow)
Martin Bosworth .... grip (as Marty Bosworth)
Chris Centrella .... key dolly grip
Henry Cline .... second assistant camera
Geoffrey Coburn .... electrician
Robert Diehl .... electrician
Bill Flick .... grip
Lars Larson .... grip
Mark Lorge .... electrician
Hugh McCallum .... best boy grip
Robert McClure .... electrician (as Robbie McClure)
John Merriman .... best boy electric
George Mooradian .... first assistant camera
Lorey Sebastian .... still photographer
Michael Sudmeier .... electrician
Greg White-Wiegand .... electrician
Quintin Woo .... electrician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Candace Blake .... wardrobe assistant
Dawn Johnson .... costumer
Sally Roberts .... wardrobe assistant
Sally Roberts .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Peter B. Ellis .... apprentice editor
K.F. Ligammari .... apprentice editor
Colleen Sharp .... apprentice editor
Barbara Tulliver .... assistant editor
Location Management
Ron Lynch .... location manager
Music Department
Suzana Peric .... music editor
Transportation Department
Gregory W. Anderson .... driver (as Gregory Anderson)
Jerry Jackson .... transportation coordinator
Jon McCarthy .... driver (as Jon R. McCarthy)
David Milchen .... driver captain
Other crew
Alexa Albert .... production assistant
Rachel Cline .... assistant to producer
Liz Dixon .... coach
Liz Dixon .... consultant
Peter Hutcheson .... production assistant
Kevin Hyman .... production accountant
Ricky Jay .... consultant: confidence games
Richard Lorenzana .... financial representative
Susan McBrine .... caterer: Mac B's (as Susan MacBrine)
Ivan Passer Jr. .... production assistant
P.J. Pettiette .... dailies courier
Deborah Pritchett .... production office coordinator
Cathy Sarkowsky .... production office coordinator
Sheila Thompson .... craft service
Lynn Wegenka .... key production assistant
Christine Wilson .... script supervisor
Patricia Wolff .... production assistant
Scott Zigler .... production assistant
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer (uncredited)
Jonathan Sheinberg .... Head of Production Orion Pictures (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This was originally intended to be a larger-budget film with many "name" actors, but David Mamet chose to direct on his own with his wife (Crouse) and friends (Mantegna) in the cast.See more »
Continuity: Margaret Ford takes her smokes from a package of unfiltered "stubby" Camels, but the actual cigarettes she uses are longer (probably Pall Malls) so they'll "read" better on screen.See more »
Dr. Margaret Ford:Beg for your life, or I'm going to kill you.See more »
Movie Connections:
This True Love Stopped For You (But Not For Me)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
24 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
House of Dreadful Acting, 24 May 2015
Author: garthbarnes-97268 from United States

Spoilers Ahead:

Want to know why David Mamet stuck to writing after this with one or two more pieces of crap like this one? Watch this movie, a director is responsible for the performances he commits to film. Watch THE ARRIVAL or SLAP SHOT Lindsey Crouse is no Meryl Streep but she is light years better in those films than here. As an earlier great reviewer pointed out she sounds like a robot. Her delivery is so bad that Mantegna, playing Mike, looks pained in many of his scenes with her. This might have been a much better film with a capable director in charge. I have to compare it with Tea Leoni in DEEP IMPACT and even that is very unfair to Tea. Crouse has absolutely no inflection even before she is about to shoot Mike. She sounds Vulcan. Since she is on the screen in almost every scene, it A bombs the movie. She completely wrecks the film. Who, at Criterion Collection, decided that this should be 40 bucks on DVD? This is a classic? I grew up in the 80s and trust me nobody saw this film back then.

Like all Mamet works, this is a hit piece. The target is psychology. Look, I do not know maybe David had a therapist who overcharged him. Dave did not have too many logic classes; how do I know? In your first logic class, you learn all the logical fallacies so you can refrain from even joining combat when an opponent makes the error of using one. The whole movie is the logical fallacy of AD HOMINEM. This means to the person. If you cannot defeat someone's argument call them names or make fun of them. Let's grant all his assertions about Margaret; she is a closet sociopath, she enjoys stealing and hurting people, let's broaden it for him. Let's imagine that a majority of therapists are all corrupt just like Margaret Ford, have I proved that therapy does not work in any way? Do the mental or moral states of therapists have anything to do with the efficacy of therapy?

Yet, my friends, this is Mamet's thesis. Margaret is prototypical of hypocritical therapists who are sicker than their patients. Again, this is a giant non sequitur. The efficacy of therapy is not determined by the moral character of the fallible corrupt people who administer it any more than medical doctors treatments are undermined by their moral failings. Again, NON SEQUITUR, Dave take some logic please. Beyond these esoterics, look the film is slow, boring goes nowhere and you will endure, with the exception of Mantegna and Walsh, some of the worst acting you have ever witnessed. It will bore you to tears. We get she is goofy; OK, could we move on. No, we cannot because that is the entire point of this piece of crap. She is goofy, hence her therapy is hypocritical, ergo all psychology is a sham. Please, Dave you are embarrassing yourself.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Would this movie work as a play? dyingearth
Sex scenes? jthainesusa
I loathe this movie. rbblemur
*Spoiler* Was expecting a twist... indianzeppelin
Few things that annoyed me in this film (I voted 6) *SPOILERS* Myrzan
Another Question About the Ending - SPOILER timroth
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