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The Running Man (1987)

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

Writers:

(novel) (as Richard Bachman), (screenplay)
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1,776 ( 429)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dynamo (as Erland Van Lidth)
Marvin J. McIntyre ...
Gus Rethwisch ...
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Mic
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Stevie
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Brenda
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Sven (as Sven Thorsen)
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Lenny (as Eddie Bunker)
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Storyline

In the year 2017, the world economy has collapsed. The great freedoms of the United States are no longer, as the once great nation has sealed off its borders and become a militarized police state, censoring all film, art, literature, and communications. Even so, a small resistance force led by two revolutionaries manages to fight the oppression. With full control over the media, the government attempts to quell the nation's yearning for freedom by broadcasting a number of game shows on which convicted criminals fight for their lives. The most popular and sadistic of these programs is "The Running Man," hosted by Damon Killian. When a peaceful protest of starving citizens gathers in Bakersfield, California, a police officer named Ben Richards is ordered to fire on the crowd, which he refuses to do. Subdued by the other officers, the attack is carried out, and Richards is framed for the murder of almost a hundred unarmed civilians. Following a daring jail break months later, Richards is... Written by Curly Q. Link

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It is the year 2019. "The Running Man" is a deadly game no one has ever survived. But..... Schwarzenegger has yet to play. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sobreviviente  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$38,122,105 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The incidental background dialogue and visuals are often nonsensical. Two examples of this are the non sequitur Latin and French phrases used by the lawyer reading Ben Richards' contract, and also the end credits for the Running Man game show that play on the monitor behind Killian, which say things like "Art Direction by Red G. Bleu and Primary Colors" and "What Next: I Don't Know". See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Damon Killian: Hi, cutie pie. You know one of us is in deep trouble. You know who I am?
Ben Richards: I've seen you before. You're the asshole on TV.
Damon Killian: That's funny. I was going to say the same thing about you.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Anime Abandon: Demon City Shinjuku (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

(Restless Heart) Running Away With You
Music and Lyrics by Harold Faltermeyer and John Parr
Performed by John Parr
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Reality TV Taken to the Extreme
27 June 2005 | by (Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

This is a classic action flick from the '80s featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his most memorable roles. Set in a futuristic police state where the government controls everything, including the television networks. One of their most popular TV shows is "The Running Man", where convicted felons are hunted down and killed for the entertainment of millions. It's set up like a game show, where the audience votes for their favorite "stalkers", trained killers who hunt down and kill the show's unlucky "contestants". Audience members also win prizes for correctly predicting who will be killed by whom. And the host is played by none other than Family Feud's Richard Dawson, who's game show experience makes him well suited for this role. When Ben Richards (Arnold) is falsely accused of mass murder, he is forced to play this sadistic game.

This movie is chock full of classic Arnold one-liners, such as his famous "I'll be back" right before he enters the arena. And he taunts a stalker armed with a flamethrower with "How about a light?" I could go on and on, but I don't want to spoil the movie. It's funny stuff!

Whether it was intended or not, this movie serves as a great parody of today's "Reality TV" craze. Already there are numerous programs that show people enduring pain and humiliation for the entertainment of viewers, and even court cases are televised for their "entertainment value". Running Man demonstrates what would happen if reality TV hit rock bottom, and it is a scary picture. One can only hope that the networks have the common sense not to let it go that far.

Overall, this is a fun film & I highly recommend it. 9 out of 10!


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