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

Photos (See all 8 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
House of Games -- Trailer for this suspense thriller
House of Games -- Crystal shops for accessories for her test shoot and tries to find items that will fulfill her vision.
House of Games -- Brandi vents to her boyfriend Charles about the test shoot that Crystal and Amoy are working on together.

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   14,774 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
David Mamet (screenplay)
Jonathan Katz (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for House of Games on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 October 1987 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Nothing is as it seems. See more »
Plot:
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 »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Con Never Ends In "House Of Games" See more (103 total) »

Cast

  (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 ... Bar Patron (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
 
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
Ron Lynch .... location manager
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)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
102 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Ricky Jay is a sleight-of-hand artist and an acknowledged authority on the art of the con. In an NPR interview, Jay related that when David Mamet needed a short-change scam to be explained in "House of Games", he asked Jay for details of an authentic short-change hustle. However, Jay did not want to betray the confidence of the hustlers he knew who still used various short-change cons for their "livelihood". The envelope switch you see in the final film is an original switch invented by Ricky Jay specially for the film. Later, it was reported that an amateur thief had been caught attempting to use the switch as he had learned it from the film.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Margaret asks the House of Games's barman to call Mike out. Then he enters in the game room and closes the door. We don't see him comes back. So Mike opens the door and comes to talk her. During the conversation we don't see the barman behind the counter. But after Mike went to the game room, the barman appears behind the counter.See more »
Quotes:
Mike:I think you're bluffin', pal. I think you're trying to BUY it!
George:Then you're gonna have to give me some respect, or give me some money.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References King Kong (1933)See more »
Soundtrack:
This True Love Stopped For You (But Not For Me)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
42 out of 65 people found the following review useful.
The Con Never Ends In "House Of Games", 15 August 2000
Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon

David Mamet wrote the screenplay and made his directorial debut with `House of Games,' a character study fraught with psychological overtones, in which a psychiatrist is lured into the dark world of the confidence game. Margaret Ford (Lindsay Crouse) has a successful practice and has written a best-selling novel, 'Driven.' Still, she is somewhat discontented with her own personal life; there's an emptiness she can neither define nor resolve, and it primes her vulnerability. When a patient, Billy Hahn (Steven Goldstein), confides to her during a session that he owes big money to some gamblers, and that they're going to kill him if he doesn't pay, she decides to intervene on his behalf. This takes her to the `House of Games,' a seedy little dive where she meets Mike (Joe Mantegna), a charismatic con-man who wastes no time before enticing her into his world. Instead of the `twenty-five large' that Billy claimed he owed, Mike shows her his book, and it turns out to be eight hundred dollars. And Mike agrees to wipe the slate clean, if she'll agree to do him one simple favor, which involves a card game he has going on in the back room. In the middle of a big hand, Mike is going to leave the room for a few minutes; while he is gone, her job is to watch for the `tell' of one of the other players. By this time, not only Margaret, but the audience, as well, is hooked. The dialogue, and Mamet's unique style and the precise cadence with which his actors deliver their lines, is mesmerizing. As Mike leads Margaret through his compelling, surreal realm of existence, and introduces her to the intricacies of the con game, we are swept right along with her. From that first memorable encounter, when he demonstrates what a `tell' is and how it works, to the lessons of the `short con,' to the stunning climax of this film, Mamet keeps the con going with an urgency that is relentless. And nothing is what it seems. In the end, Margaret learns some hard lessons about life and human nature, and about herself. She changes; and whether or not it's for the better is open to speculation. Mantegna is absolutely riveting in this film; he lends every nuance possible to a complex character who must be able to lead you willingly into the shadows, and does. Crouse also turns in an outstanding performance here; you feel the rigid, up-tight turmoil roiling beneath that calm, self-assured exterior, and when her experiences with Mike induce the change in her, she makes you feel how deeply it has penetrated. She makes you believe that she is capable of what she does, and makes you understand it, as well. The dynamic supporting cast includes Mike Nussbaum (Joey), Lilia Skala (Dr. Littauer), J.T. Walsh (The Businessman), Ricky Jay (George) and William H. Macy (Sergeant Moran). `House of Games' is the quintessential Mamet; he's written and directed a number of high-caliber plays and films since, and will no doubt grace us with more in the future. But this film will be the one that defines him; and you can go to the dictionary and look it up. You'll find it under `Perfection.' This is one great movie you do not want to miss. I rate this one 10/10.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for House of Games (1987)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
When did the con start? 1bilbo
Ford is driven and needs to EXPERIENCE… land-hyper-b
The worst female leading role ever? the_nightfly
Why split the loot at the bar (spoilers)? kag2
Unbelievably Predictable splooner
As a director Mamet is a great writer Bitbyadeadbee
See more »

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