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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 ... See full summary »


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


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 in 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


It's simple, Play or be Played 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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Release Date:

12 September 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Igra  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$14,337,029 (USA) (12 September 1997)


$48,265,581 (USA) (19 December 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Deborah Kara Unger fractured a bone in her foot and jumped into a dumpster infested with real rats while working on this film. See more »


When Nicholas gets off the truck in San Francisco, it's daytime. When he arrives at his house, it's nighttime. However, seeing as how he walked the distance from the middle of the city to his house, it would have taken him several hours to arrive at his house. See more »


Daniel Schorr: Discovering the object of the game *is* the object of the game.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in The Simpsons: Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind (2007) See more »


In The Mall
Written by William Loose
Courtesy of Don Great Music Library/Mastersource
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Fincher's under appreciated gem.
18 December 2014 | by (London) – See all my reviews

I don't tend to write reviews on IMDb, but saw this gem and was compelled to do so simply due to the fact it isn't mentioned AT ALL, by anyone. It's one of Fincher's best films and deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as Fight Club, Se7en etc etc.

It starts by slowly showing us the world of Nicholas (Michael Douglas) and how he's alone on his 48th birthday. He receives and odd gift off of his brother which he then decides to follow up on. What follows then is sheer cinematic brilliance. It's dark, unpredictable and unrelenting. It got to a point where any single character couldn't be trusted, and it made it all the more gripping. Seeing the protagonist descend slowly into desperation made us feel empathy for him. There's not much to say other than it's a typical Fincher film. Including his long tracks, his persistent use of the tripod, and I think it really compliments the story and builds up this sense of unease.

I just needed to express my gratitude for everyone who worked on this film and obviously David Fincher himself. It's so underrated and should be classed as one of his best films - without a shadow of a doubt.

Enjoy. You won't want it to end.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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this movie is possibly the best example of why IMDB is a gift + a curse redbeardnopirate
MASSIVE plot hole xskingsx
Is it time for a re-make of this excellent movie? jsenright
This movie was awful. leftwichqb7
Michael Douglas best role? tryggvason_asgeir
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