Up 977 this week

The Running Man (1987)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Sci-Fi  |  13 November 1987 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 106,578 users  
Reviews: 221 user | 121 critic

A wrongly convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a game show.


(novel) (as Richard Bachman) , (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Commando (1985)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A retired elite Black Ops Commando launches a one man war against a group of South American criminals who have kidnapped his daughter to blackmail him into starting a revolution and getting an exiled dictator back into power.

Director: Mark L. Lester
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Dan Hedaya
Total Recall (1990)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or does he?

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside
True Lies (1994)
Action | Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A fearless, globe-trotting, terrorist-battling secret agent has his life turned upside down when he discovers his wife might be having an affair with a used car salesman.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold
Predator (1987)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall
Eraser (1996)
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A Witness Protection specialist becomes suspicious of his co-workers when dealing with a case involving high-tech weapons.

Director: Chuck Russell
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vanessa Williams, James Caan
Red Heat (1988)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A tough Russian policeman is forced to partner up with a cocky Chicago police detective when he is sent to Chicago to apprehend a Georgian drug lord who killed his partner and fled the country.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Peter Boyle
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Conan leads a ragtag group of adventurers on a quest for a princess.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Grace Jones, Olivia d'Abo
Twins (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A physically perfect but innocent man goes in search of his long-lost twin brother, who is a short small-time crook.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Kelly Preston
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A tough cop is given his most difficult assignment ever: to masquerade as a kindergarten teacher in order to find a drug dealer.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed
The 6th Day (2000)
Action | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Futuristic action about a man who meets a clone of himself and stumbles into a grand conspiracy about clones taking over the world.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Rapaport, Tony Goldwyn
End of Days (1999)
Action | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

At the end of the century, Satan visits New York in search of a bride. It's up to an ex-cop who now runs an elite security outfit to stop him.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

With the help of a magic ticket, a young film fan is transported into the fictional world of his favorite action film character.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, F. Murray Abraham, Art Carney


Cast overview, first billed only:
Erland van Lidth ...
Dynamo (as Erland Van Lidth)
Marvin J. McIntyre ...
Gus Rethwisch ...
Professor Toru Tanaka ...
Sven (as Sven Thorsen)
Lenny (as Eddie Bunker)


Set in a totalitarian society. Ben Richards is a cop who was blamed for a massacre which wasn't his fault. He would be sent to prison and breaks out with some other inmates. He tries to escape but the woman whom he dragged into his plan turns him over to the authorities. Damon Killian, who is the host of THE RUNNING MAN a game show wherein convicted felons are given the chance to run to freedom but have to elude the stalkers; men who hunt them down and kill them in gruesome manners. When he learns that Richards has been caught, he wants him to be the show's next contestant. After being brought to Killian, Richards turns him down, Killian then reveals to Richards that his two friends who were in prison with him and who broke out with him have been caught, so unless Richards does the show they will. But on the night of the show, Richards is set to go but Killian also reveals that Richards' two friends are going with him. Richards tells Killian that he will be back. But first ! Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It is the year 2017. "The Running Man" is a deadly game no one has ever survived. But..... Schwarzenegger has yet to play. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sobreviviente  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)


$38,122,105 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (4 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Arnold Schwarzenegger thought Paul Michael Glaser was a terrible choice to direct, what with Glaser coming from a TV background, and having no film experience as a director whatsoever. He thought Glaser shot The Running Man (1987) like a TV show, losing all of the script's deeper themes; Schwarzenegger suspected because Glaser was a last minute replacement, he didn't have time to research this future he was depicting, unlike James Cameron had with The Terminator (1984); also in television, they hire you and the very next week you shoot, so he didn't place all of the blame at Glaser's feet. See more »


Wire visible to stop Dynamo's car when it crashes and rolls down the hill. See more »


[last lines]
Phil Hiton: *The Running Man* has been brought to you by: Breakaway Paramilitary Uniforms, Ortopure Procreation Pill, and Cadre Cola; it hits the spot! Promotional considerations paid for by: Kelton Flame Throwers, Wainwright Electrical Launchers, and Hammond & Gage Chainsaws. Damon Killian's wardrobe by Chez Antoinne: 19th-Century craftsmanship for the 21st-Century man. Cadre Trooper and studio-guard side arms provided by Colchester: the pistol of patriots. Remember: Tickets for the ICS studio...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Announcer's voiceover: "The Running Man has been brought to you by: Breakaway Paramilitary Uniforms, Orthopure Pure Procreation Pills, and Cadre Cola - it hits the spot. Promotional considerations paid for by Kelton Flame Throwers, Wainwright Electrical Launchers, and Hammond & Gage Chain Saws. Damon Killian's wardrobe by Chez Antoine, 19th century craftsmanship for the 21st century man. Cadre trooper and studio guard's sidearms provided by Colchester, the pistol of patriots. Remember, tickets for the ICS studio tour are always available for class A citizens in good standing. If you'd like to be a contestant on The Running Man, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to ICS Talent Hunt, care of your local affiliate, and then go out and do something really despicable! I'm Phil Hilton. Good night and take care!" See more »


References The Terminator (1984) See more »


Music by Richard Wagner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A rollercoaster of a movie - great fun
18 April 2000 | by (somewhere much higher than you...) – See all my reviews

Released just as Arnold Schwarzenegger was achieving megastar status, this film about stardom is a wry pun on his career and the media business around him. Films like these are not meant to be analysed, they are meant to be enjoyed, and THE RUNNING MAN certainly manages to do that.

After a shaky start involving the worst title sequence in the history of cinema (although it's good to see the Sinclair Spectrum finally get global use!), director Paul Michael Glaser presents an eye-popping glimpse at the television of tomorrow. This witty slice of sociological irony would have admittedly been slicker in the hands of regular Paul Verhoeven, but Glaser keeps the action flowing throughout, and presents us with some bizarrely fascinating villains as well as the usual action frolics. One query, though, is over the level of violence. Oddly enough there doesn't really seem to be enough. In a program where the broad concept is horrifically barbaric, Glaser seems reluctant to horrify us beyond the disappointing "see the blood spattering from the violence that's just off camera" and those awful rubber corpses! I do not wish to appear to be encouraging unnecessary violence, but in a comic-book film where 'gore is its core', not including it almost makes you feel that it is trying to take itself too seriously, and therefore makes it even more horrific. Perhaps this delicate subject is better explained by Paul Verhoeven in his excellent commentary to ROBOCOP (DVD Criterion Collection).

But the performances in THE RUNNING MAN are suitably solid, from the powerful Schwarzenegger to the sleazy game show host. Any fan of the 80s action genre will love this, so sit back and prepare for SHOWTIME!!!!!!

21 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Running man 2.... nhill-10
*beep* movie screenplay writers! and-638-944219
Same plot as Hunger Games grintster-babe
What Captain Freedom's suit was supposed to do? Slavic
If they remade, who would you cast as Ben? dpeters6
100 things we learned from The Running Man.... mikepcls
Discuss The Running Man (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: