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Rollerball (1975)

In a corporate-controlled future, an ultra-violent sport known as Rollerball represents the world, and one of its powerful athletes is out to defy those who want him out of the game.

Director:

Norman Jewison

Writer:

William Harrison (screenplay)
Reviews

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ON DISC
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Caan ... Jonathan E.
John Houseman ... Bartholomew
Maud Adams ... Ella
John Beck ... Moonpie
Moses Gunn ... Cletus
Pamela Hensley ... Mackie
Barbara Trentham ... Daphne
John Normington ... Executive
Shane Rimmer ... Rusty, Team Executive
Burt Kwouk ... Japanese Doctor
Nancy Bleier ... Girl in Library
Richard LeParmentier ... Bartholomew's Aide (as Rick LeParmentier)
Robert Ito ... Strategy Coach for Houston Team
Ralph Richardson ... Librarian
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Storyline

In a futuristic society where corporations have replaced countries, the violent game of Rollerball is used to control the populace by demonstrating the futility of individuality. However, one player, Jonathan E., rises to the top, fights for his personal freedom, and threatens the corporate control. Written by Jeff Hansen <jmh@umich.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This movie will haunt your future ... because it's almost here! See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 June 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Роллербол See more »

Filming Locations:

Frankfurt, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$30,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Algonquin See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first films to include the stunt crew's members in the final credits. See more »

Goofs

In the Madrid game, #9 for Madrid is seen taken off the scoreboard (injured or dead) early in the game. Yet, a player wearing that jersey number shows up at least 3 to 5 more times during that first game. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pregame announcer: Good evening everyone! And welcome to Houston, the energy city, home of the defending Rollerball World Champions. This key international battle pits the divisional champions, visiting Madrid, against powerful Houston. - - And here they come to a standing ovation. On the track comes Houston! Houston, lead by captain Jonathan E, again their leading scorer this year.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Executive Party Dance
(uncredited)
Composed by André Previn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The original and still the best of the genre
13 January 2004 | by raysondSee all my reviews

This film is a classic. A brilliant adaptation of the future and that is way better than the updated version that John McTiernan released which to this day cannot hold a candle to this science fiction masterpiece that was released in 1975. The year 1975 brought out some of the best movies of that year and some to this day still holds its own. From "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest",to "Jaws","Shampoo",the rock musicals "Tommy",and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" to the performances of "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" to "Dog Day Afternoon",and not to mention "Nashville" and the sequel "French Connection II",and "The Eiger Sanction",these films represented what a year it was in motion pictures especially in the year 1975.

The film "Rollerball"(United Artists,1975),was screenplay by William Harrison and directed by Norman Jewison,who was Oscar nominated for his brilliant direction in such films,"In The Heat Of The Night",and the musical "Fiddler On The Roof",is no stranger to science fiction material. The film is set in the year 2018 where there are no wars and no crime,but there is only....the Game. In a world where corporations rule and no one asks questions-the vicious and barbaric sport of Rollerball satisfies the violent impulses of the masses. Tuned to their televisions,the people watch the sport of the future which is a brutal mutation of football,the Romanesque gladiator fighting,motorcross and hockey. Jonathan E.(played brilliantly by James Caan) is the champion Rollerball player-a man too good for his own good. The corporation has taken away the woman he loves(Maud Adams),but they won't take away his soul even if the diabolical corporate head(John Houseman)tells him he'd better retire..or suffer the old-fashioned way.

With some surrealistic imagery,Orwellian theme,and tense action with some of the best action sequences ever filmed,this picture will grip you from the moment the ball rolling out and zooms into the stadium to its chilling cilmax,this movie has haunted audiences as it takes a look into the future and what the future would become,and has a stunning effect. James Caan's performance is something to marvel at and John Houseman's performance as the diabolical corporate executive is a chilling and stalking cold and with some of the strong support from its cast including John Beck,Moses Gunn,and Ralph Richardson.

The 1975 version is worth seeing..it is the original and still the best of its genre...Don't even bother with the 2002 version with was directed by John McTiernan.


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