IMDb > The Wizard (1989)
The Wizard
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The Wizard (1989) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.0/10   8,959 votes »
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Up 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer (WGA):
David Chisholm (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Wizard on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 December 1989 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
They're on a cross-country adventure to the world's greatest video championship. It's more than a game...it's the chance of a lifetime. See more »
Plot:
A boy and his brother run away from home and hitch cross country with the help of a girl they meet to compete in the ultimate video game championship. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Sentimental Favorite See more (95 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Luke Edwards ... Jimmy Woods / The Wizard
Vince Trankina ... Tate (as Vincent Leahr)

Wendy Phillips ... Christine Bateman
Dea McAllister ... Councelor

Sam McMurray ... Bateman

Beau Bridges ... Sam Woods

Fred Savage ... Corey Woods

Christian Slater ... Nick Woods
Will Seltzer ... Putnam
Roy Conrad ... Bus Clerk

Jenny Lewis ... Haley
Roderick Dexter ... Trucker #1 / Wrecking Yard Man
Ray Bickel ... Trucker #2
Chuck Skinner ... Grease Monkey
W.K. Cowan ... Salesman #1
William C. Thompson ... Salesman #2
Sonny Dukes ... Biker

T. Dan Hopkins ... Old Navajo

Jason Oliver ... Tough Teen #1
Rowden Metzger ... Tough Teen #2 (as Rowdy Metzger)
Preston Lee ... Tough Teen #3 (as Preston Scott Lee)

Beth Grant ... Diner Manager
Gregor Hesse ... Younger Boy
Jackey Vinson ... Lucas
Tom Kerley ... Pinball Teen

Frank McRae ... Spankey
Gene Skillen ... Stickman
Blair Anthony ... Hotel Security
Thomas Stanczyk ... Rick the Video Counselor
Jacqueline Lear ... Bubblegum Girl
Valana C. Hatter ... Diner Waitress
Terri Lynn Neish ... Poolside Waitress

Lee Arenberg ... Armageddon Registrar

Steven Grives ... Armageddon Announcer
Marisa DeSimone ... Mora Grissum
Zed Frizzelle ... Lucas' Buddy

Jim Pirri ... Studio Tour Guide
David D'Ovidio ... Armageddon Official
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Candice Hill ... Gamer (uncredited)

Tobey Maguire ... Lucas' Goon at Video Armageddon (uncredited)
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Directed by
Todd Holland 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
David Chisholm (written by)

Produced by
David Chisholm .... producer
Lindsley Parsons Jr. .... executive producer
Daniel Schneider .... associate producer
Ken Topolsky .... producer
 
Original Music by
J. Peter Robinson 
 
Cinematography by
Robert D. Yeoman 
 
Film Editing by
Tom Finan 
 
Casting by
Sally Lear 
 
Production Design by
Michael L. Mayer 
 
Art Direction by
Robert Sissman 
 
Set Decoration by
Claire Jenora Bowin 
 
Costume Design by
Scilla Andreen  (as Scilla Andreen-Hernandez)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mark Hansson .... dga trainee
 
Art Department
Richard F. Anderson .... carpenter
Nat Bocking .... assistant property master
Kathleen B. Cooper .... painter
Jonathan R. Hodges .... property master
Quinn Monahan .... on-set dresser
Leon Ranch Jr. .... shop construction
Stephen Tibbo .... swing
 
Sound Department
Lawrence L. Commans .... boom operator
J. Paul Huntsman .... supervising sound editor
Mortesa Rezvani .... sound mixer
Brad Sherman .... sound effects editor
 
Special Effects by
Josh Hakian .... special effects supervisor
 
Stunts
Clay Boss .... stunts
Gilbert B. Combs .... stunts
Kerrie Cullen .... stunts
Jeffrey J. Dashnaw .... stunts
Steve M. Davison .... stunts
Gardner Doolittle .... stunt performer
Andree Gibbs .... stunts
James M. Halty .... stunt coordinator
James M. Halty .... stunts
Billy Hank Hooker .... stunts
Tommy J. Huff .... stunts
John Meier .... stunts
Paula Marie Moody .... stunts
Larry Nicholas .... stunts
Bobby Porter .... stunts
George A. Sack Jr. .... stunts
Alan Gibbs .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Tom Glass .... truck action (uncredited)
Gene Hartline .... stunt driver (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Arsenault .... video playback engineer
David E. Elkins .... first assistant camera: second unit
Wes Houle .... gaffer: second unit
Wes Houle .... set electrician
Bob Leitelt .... dolly grip
Zeph R. Makgetla .... assistant camera
Willie Mann .... best boy grip
Chris Morley .... gaffer
Vince Onken .... electrician
Les Percy .... key grip
Charles Smith .... grip
 
Editorial Department
John Nicolard .... color timer
Suzanne Spangler .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Michael Dittrick .... music editor
Katherine Quittner .... music editor: temp score (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Howard Bachrach .... transportation captain
 
Other crew
Alitzah .... adr loop group
Richard Arsenault .... video
David Combs .... studio teacher
John Glaeser .... assistant production office coordinator
Jonathan Glassner .... story editor
Andy Spilkoman .... production assistant
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Nintendo of America  appears by courtesy of: the "Super Mario Bros. 3" game (as Nintendo of America Inc.)
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min | USA:100 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:G (Nova Scotia) (original rating) | Canada:PG (Nova Scotia) (re-rating) (1994) | Iceland:L | New Zealand:PG | UK:PG | USA:PG (No. 30083) | West Germany:6
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
When Corey has Jimmy challenge the businessmen to an arcade game bet, the side of the arcade cabinet features an ad for the then-recent Tom Petty album Full Moon Fever.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Sam is driving down the highway right before he gets his tires slashed, the tree in the back of his truck has few or no leaves. When he runs out of the restaurant later to see his tires slashed, the tree is full of bright green leaves.See more »
Quotes:
Corey:50,000! You scored 50,000 points on Double Dragon?See more »
Soundtrack:
Leavin' On Your MindSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
40 out of 43 people found the following review useful.
A Sentimental Favorite, 9 September 2006
Author: jonathon_naylor from Manitoba, Canada

THE WIZARD is a sentimental favorite for anyone who raced home after school to turn on their gray and black Nintendo Entertainment Systems. For this set, born in the late '70s and early '80s, the excitement in the air was palpable when previews for the film appeared on TV. It not only combined our two favorite entertainment vehicles -- Nintendo and movies -- but also provided a thrilling sneak preview of the year's most anticipated game, Super Mario Bros. 3. NES geeks (of course they weren't geeks back then... Nintendo was cool) thought they'd died and gone to eight-bit heaven.

When we finally got mom and dad to take us to the theater or pick up the video, THE WIZARD was every bit as good as we'd hoped. Critics almost universally panned it as a 90-minute Nintendo commercial, but young viewers were enthralled. (Besides... a 90-minute Nintendo commercial wasn't exactly an awful thing!). The film combined very human storytelling with hardy laughs and wide-eyed exhilaration. It gave us playground catchphrases (Lucas with "I love the Power Glove. It's so bad" and Jimmy with "Calli-forn-ya... Calli-forn-ya!") Sure the highlight was all the cool video game-related stuff, but video games were a big part of our lives, one that our parents just didn't understand. The people who made this movie, whatever their intentions, did.

Most eight- or nine- or ten-year-olds who caught THE WIZARD upon release would give it two big thumbs up, if not the Oscar for Best Picture of All-Time. Of course we're not eight or nine or ten anymore, and THE WIZARD, in hindsight, is not actually a cinematic masterpiece. But nor is it the sort of mindless junk that stuffy critics would have us believe. The film is actually a sweet, harmless cross-country adventure. It has laughs (who could forget Haley's scream of "He touched my breast!" to ward off the hapless Putnam?) and emotion (Jimmy's reflections of his late sister are undeniably heartbreaking). And the video game competition finale holds up surprisingly well even with the novelty of the Super Mario Bros. 3 footage long worn off.

Beyond that, THE WIZARD carries deeper meanings that children can pick up on. Jimmy, the autistic video game prodigy, demonstrates that all of us, regardless of our limitations, possess marvelous gifts. Putnam, the cold-hearted family services worker trying to take Jimmy away, helps illustrate that families are what matter. And the villainous Lucas is an example of how we should treat our enemies: with dignity and by letting our actions speak louder than our words, as Jimmy does. Okay, it's not exactly Nietzsche, but it's not total fluff, either.

THE WIZARD is not the greatest movie of all-time. It's probably not even a great movie. But it is a special period piece, a reminder of a simpler time when our only worry in the world was passing math and knocking off goombas. It will forever hold a special place in the hearts of many.

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