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 106,601 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
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
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
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
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
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


Welcome to America in 2025, when the best men don't run for president, they run for their lives. 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?


The character "Mick," the leader of the underground, is played by drummer Mick Fleetwood of the super group Fleetwood Mac. His compatriot in the movie, a character named "Stevie" and played by Dweezil Zappa, is an obvious homage to Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. See more »


When Killian turns and shouts, "It's time to start running," he takes the microphone away from his mouth halfway through the phrase yet his voice remains the same. See more »


Ben Richards: [after strangling Sub-Zero with barbed wire)] What a pain in the neck.
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 »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Deathrow Gameshow (2010) See more »


Theme from Gilligan's Island
By Sherwood Schwartz and George Wyle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"What a hot-head!"
30 September 2004 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Mild Spoilers

In the near future, Arnold stars as Ben Richards, a wrongly convicted man coerced into playing 'The Running Man', a deadly TV game show where people have to keep moving to try and escape brutal deaths at the hands of the 'Stalkers'. Of course, people are expected to die eventually and its up to Arnold to prove the system wrong.

I haven't read the Stephen King book, but this is a great film regardless, one of Arnold's best. He does what he does best in the action man role, delivering death with unforgettable one-liners. Classics are probably the 'He was a real pain in the neck' after strangling a guy with barb wire, and 'He had to split!', referring to whereabouts he just chain sawed someone vertically. Dawson is perfectly irritating as the TV presenter, and all the 'Stalkers' are suitably camp. The action is violent, but its an action film. That's the point. The film is fast paced, and at 90 minutes it doesn't overstay its welcome.

With Starsky and Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser at the helm, and made in the wake of the success of The Terminator, previously this film was probably seen as just another mindless action vehicle for Arnold, and very far fetched. But today, anyone who watches a lot of TV could see how the film is getting closer to reality. I wouldn't be surprised if I turn on the TV in the 'near future' and see a show not to far from this.

On that depressing note, I must however recommend 'The Running Man' to anyone who likes the 80s, Arnold, ridiculous acts or violence or just a good action film. 9. 5 / 10

71 of 84 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: