The Game
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FAQ for
The Game (1997) More at IMDbPro »

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FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Game can be found here.

No. The Game is based on an original screenplay by screenwriters John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris. The basic story idea, however, is lifted from the "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" episode (Season 1, Episode 18), "Happy Birthday" that aired on March 23, 1986.

Consumer Recreation Services. However, CRS shows up in a number of staged companies using the same abbreviation, e.g., Cable Repair Specialists, California Regal Sedans (the cab company), and the Claremont Resort and Spa (hotel).

Neuropsychological research has shown that the two sides (or hemispheres) of the human brain function in two different modes of thinking. The left hemisphere focuses on logical thinking, analysis, and accuracy. The use and understanding of language is also centered on the left hemisphere. Right-brained thinking, on the other hand, is described as focusing on aesthetics, feeling, and creativity. Feingold (James Rebhorn) was referring to the fact that Nicholas (Michael Douglas)'s tests had shown that his dominant mode of thinking was very logical and analytical, so he would be just the type to correct a grammatical error.

That was in reference to a scene near the end of The Wizard of Oz (1939) when Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion are asking the Wizard to fulfill their wishes after they successfully liquidated the Wicked Witch of the West. The Wizard is portrayed as a large face over a wall of fire [see here], but Toto (the dog) pulls open a curtain to reveal the real "wizard" -- an ordinary little man in a booth pulling a lot of gizmos and talking into a microphone.

That was White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. It also was played during the ending credits.

Nicholas drove a BMW 7-series. Conrad drove an '86 Impala.

How does the movie end?

Nicholas gets Feingold to take him into the CRS building after Feingold reveals that CRS owns the entire 20-story building but that they keep changing the offices from floor to floor. Feingold leads him to a cafeteria where Christine (Deborah Kara Unger) and all the other actors that have figured into his Game are sitting around, eating and talking. Using Christine as a hostage, Nicholas tries to leave the cafeteria, but the guards open fire on him, inadvertently shooting Feingold. Christine leads Nicholas out on the roof of the building and tries to convince him that this is all part of the Game and that the people pursuing him are just his birthday guests, but Nicholas doesn't believe a word that Christine says. Then she notices that the gun he has pointed on her is not the automatic that the CRS security guard had in the parking garage. "He's got a gun!" she screams as the door to the roof opens and Nicholas fires off a bullet into the abdomen of his brother Conrad (Sean Penn), who is carrying a bottle of champagne. "You shot him! He's dead," Feingold exclaims. Totally distraught, Nicholas walks off the edge of roof and falls 20 stories, breaks through two skylights, and lands on a huge air-filled balloon in the middle of a restaurant filled with his family and friends, all waiting for the birthday boy to drop in. After Nicholas is helped down from the balloon, Conrad appears, carrying a T-shirt that reads: I WAS DRUGGED AND LEFT FOR DEAD IN MEXICO - AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS STUPID T-SHIRT. The party guests give Nicholas a round of applause, Feingold tells Nicholas, "Thank God you jumped. If you hadn't, I was supposed to throw you off," and the birthday celebration ensues. In the final scenes, Nicholas asks Christine (who reveals that her real name is Claire) whether she will have dinner with him. Unfortunately, Christine/Claire is on her way to Australia, but she invites Nicholas to have coffee with her at the airport.

Because there was not enough evidence to prove that his life is in danger. On the other hand, he could have hired a private security team. Or more reasonably and realistically, as most of his phone calls were made by cellphone (his cellphone, which we already know was compromised), they were all intercepted by Can't Remember Sh-- by the CRS company and their people. In the "cafeteria" scene, you can see the "police" who responded to his call were really CRS employees. He likely never dealt with any actual police, merely CRS employees posing as police (it's amazing the psychological power that a badge infers; id est the "Blue Light Bandit" phenomenon and The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery in 1990 are two examples).

"Christine" feigns fear that the gun he is holding was not one of the "prop" guns that the CRS Security Guards carry, implying that this was a gun that Van Orton owned that CRS didn't know about and thus wouldn't have been able to "fix." They knew about the gun all along; the State of California is incredibly restrictive in their gun laws and any firearm that a private citizen purchases is on record. With CRS's many contacts and key players in influential positions, they were likely able to discover the record of his handgun and, during their reconnoiter (and eventual ransacking) of his home, found it and replaced the live rounds with blanks (which can still kill; when Van Orton was holding the gun to "Christine's" head, the tremendous pressure created by the expanding gases caused by firing a blank would've been more than enough to kill her at that range). Purchasing a new firearm in California is also very difficult, with background checks, paperwork and a waiting period; likely CRS would've been alerted had he attempted to purchase a new handgun. Though if Van Orton were initiate in firearms (which he doesn't seem to be [CRS would've discovered all this during his "exam"] as demonstrated by the manner he holds the "PI's" gun after his house had been burgled), he would've checked to see that the gun was loaded and, with all that had happened to him creating such incredible paranoia, checked the rounds to make sure they were live. CRS would've been in big trouble if he had another box of ammunition or kept the (loaded with live rounds) gun he took from the "PI". Let's just say that this movie wouldn't work if set in Texas or the like.

Page last updated by alan-brockett, 10 months ago
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