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The Game (1997)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 211,464 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 471 user | 145 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

Wealthy San Francisco financier Nicholas Van Orton gets a strange birthday present from wayward brother Conrad: a live-action game that consumes his life.

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Title: The Game (1997)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Peter Donat ...
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...
Charles Martinet ...
Scott Hunter McGuire ...
Young Nicholas
Florentine Mocanu ...
Nicholas' Mother
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Maria
...
Maggie
Daniel Schorr ...
Himself
...
Power Executive
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Storyline

Nicholas Van Orton is a very wealthy San Francisco banker, but he is an absolute loner, even spending his birthday alone. In the year of his 48th birthday (the age his father committed suicide) his brother Conrad, who has gone long ago and surrendered to addictions of all kinds, suddenly returns and gives Nicholas a card giving him entry to unusual entertainment provided by something called Consumer Recreation Services (CRS). Giving up to curiosity, Nicholas visits CRS and all kinds of weird and bad things start to happen to him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Game...You Just Lost See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and for some violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 September 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Igra  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,400,000 (Non-US) (31 October 1997)

Gross:

DEM 12,612,526 (Germany) (16 January 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicholas's "San Francisco" home was actually the historic Filoli Mansion, 25 miles south of San Francisco in Woodside, California. The plain gravel forecourt of the mansion was made to look more like a wrap-around driveway by the addition of the fountain, which was constructed of lightweight foam. The interior shots of the kitchen were made in the original time-worn kitchen, which is displayed on tours but no longer used. The kitchen's state of repair is not good, which partially accounts for the very dim lighting used in the kitchen scenes. The scenes in which the walls were defaced with graffiti was done by tacking up lightweight graffiti-painted foamcore boards over the wood paneling. All of the scenes at the mansion were completed in one day. See more »

Goofs

When Nicholas is at work, the secretary walks in to tell him his ex-wife is on the phone. The secretary then wishes him a happy birthday. We can assume she is calling to wish him the same. But later that night when his ex calls again, Nicholas says to her "You almost missed [my birthday] this year!" See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Christine: Would you like to have coffee with me at the airport?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits shatter in the form of jigsaw puzzle pieces in Reference to the Film's title. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Panic Room (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Java Headed Woman
Written by Dale Peterson
Performed by The Rhythm Lords
Courtesy of Mastersource
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Classic Thriller
12 December 2008 | by (India) – See all my reviews

I have to say I didn't expect this. I didn't have great expectations when I saw this. Especially considering the cold reception given to it by critics and audiences alike. But it is one of the most original Hollywood thrillers ever.

The story is about an investment banker named Nicholas Van Orton(Michael Douglas in one of his best roles) who is greedy and self centred and who lives alone in his huge mansion. His brother(Sean Penn) gives him a card telling him to contact the company and it is his birthday present to him. What follows is absolute edge of the seat stuff and it shows David fincher at a time when he made some of the finest movies ever seen in Hollywood. In the midst of all this, he meets a waitress named Christine. Revealing more might spoil the movie for you as it is a fun roller-coaster ride with many twists and turns.

What impressed me about this movie was the atmosphere throughout the movie. It is classic David fincher with the dark tone and great background music. The camera work is excellent especially in the scene where his father falls down to his death. These scenes also show another side to Nicholas van orton and indicate why he became the way he is. He starts out as a one dimensional guy but then when faced with crisis he shows so many sides. I feel the game is more a character study because it shows the myriad changes in his behaviour throughout the movie. Rather than depending on gimmicky twists and quick editing(which is the popular way of making movies today), The Game depends solely on atmosphere and the strength of its performances. Deborah Kara Unger gives a great performance as a character with shades of grey. She is the perfect person for this character with her mysterious look. Sean penn as usual gives a great performance but unfortunately he doesn't have much screen time.

Another aspect of the movie is the dark humor. Michael Douglas gives certain comments with a deadpan delivery that makes it even more humorous. In many ways the Game can be described as a satire on society and how people forget the most important things in life when pursuing success. It is interesting how facing a crisis brings out the most basic emotions in people and how it changes people is the basic theme of this movie. We experience the same emotions as Nicholas and thus it becomes a ride where we don't know the truth till the last moment.

I had tears in my eyes at the end and the credit should go to the direction and the music. The slow motion sequence at the end is also well done and this has got to be one of the best endings of all time.

10/10


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is it time for a re-make of this excellent movie? jsenright
Too many plot holes euronick61
Why put this in the movie? jdreck
Michael Douglas best role? tryggvason_asgeir
The biggest plot hole folsoml
Would you ever forgive your friends and family if they did this to you? ciara99
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