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The Running Man (1987)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Sci-Fi  |  13 November 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 105,492 users  
Reviews: 219 user | 120 critic

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


(novel) (as Richard Bachman) , (screenplay)
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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


The year is 2019. The finest men in America 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 code to deactivate the Sonic Deadline (the explosive neck collars) is "653-9X". See more »


Damon Killian's stunt double can be seen when Ben flings him into the Running Man starting rocket. See more »


Damon Killian: What's the matter? Steroids make you deaf?
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 Gilligan's Island (1964) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Silly and flat 80's sci-fi action movie but still holds a charm
25 April 2009 | by (North Carolina) – See all my reviews

The Running Man is very silly. They use silly sound effects, the helicopter has a jet sound effect, the M-16s have hand gun sound effects, and there were a couple more examples I laughed about but can't remember now. The plot is a ridiculous but irresistible near future dystopian society that uses gladiator games to quell the masses and take their minds from their empty bellies. I've no doubt this movie would have been long forgotten if not for some very charismatic and memorable performances by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Richard Dawson. Jesse Ventura also appears with what looks to be a very bad toupee but isn't given much to do. My biggest pet peeve with this movie is the poor editing, we jump from scene to scene at times too abruptly. It isn't as if you'll have trouble following the story, but five minutes edited back in would have given the movie much better flow. Still this is an action movie and Arnold delivers while also delivering his trademark one liners.

11 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Running man 2.... nhill-10
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