7.1/10
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WarGames (1983)

PG | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 3 June 1983 (USA)
A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... David
... McKittrick
... Falken
... Jennifer
... General Beringer
... Pat Healy
Kent Williams ... Cabot
... Watson
Joe Dorsey ... Conley
Irving Metzman ... Richter
... Beringer's Aide
... Mr. Lightman
Susan Davis ... Mrs. Lightman
... Wigan
David Clover ... Stockman
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Storyline

A young computer whiz kid accidentally connects into a top secret super-computer which has complete control over the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It challenges him to a game between America and Russia, and he innocently starts the countdown to World War 3. Can he convince the computer he wanted to play a game and not the real thing ? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wouldn't YOU rather play chess? See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 June 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Genius  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,227,804, 5 June 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$79,568,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A video game version of this movie was made in 1984 for the ColecoVision, Commodore 64 and Atari 8-Bit Computer. The game started out greeting you as Professor Falken and you would play a game of Global Thermonuclear War. Your objective was to stop nuclear war from occurring by protecting the country with various military vehicles and weapons in a set time limit without reaching Defcon 1. See more »

Goofs

The movie is set in the early 1980's. The OS used in the NORAD network would have been UNIX. No version of UNIX would allow a user to login with out a user name and a password. The use of the word Joshua for login purposes is a plot device used to give the WOPR an form of empathy towards Prof. Falken. See more »

Quotes

David Lightman: [on the computer] Hello, are you still playing the game?
Joshua: Of course. I should reach Defcon 1 and release my missiles in 28 hours. Would you like to see some projected kill ratios?
David Lightman: 69% of the housing destroyed. 72 million people dead.
[Types into computer]
David Lightman: Is this a game or is it real?
Joshua: What's the difference?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scrubs: My Mentor (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

History Lesson (Long Line Leading To Man)
Performed by Arthur B. Rubinstein, Cynthia Morrow, Brian Banks and Anthony Marinelli (as The Beepers)
Lyrics by Cynthia Morrow
Music by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Produced by Anthony Marinelli (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Nuggets of Truth
9 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

WarGames remains the definitive "hacker" movie, surpassing the raunch of Swordfish and the idio-parody of AntiTrust. Historically-speaking, there are two movies that have shaped public opinion about computers: 2001 and WarGames. With 2001, there is the question of "What happens when an automated computer system makes decisions on its own?" In today's world of automatic Windows updates and random error messages for no reason, it seems very prophetic. WarGames poses the question of "Who uses the computer and what do they do?" The consequences, as one can easily guess, are enormous. Even when hardware ages, the ethics remain.

WarGames isn't perfect. There are plenty of logic problems in the script, but it still presents its topic with a naive fascination. What the writers don't know, they pretend they do. Matthew Broederick is, once again, the nerdy teen with social problems (Ferris Bueller had a different problem, though). Aside from Glory, he won't be able to shake that image even now in his 40s.

I saw this movie when I was eight and had to admit that if someone didn't understand the 80s "Red paranoia", then the whole movie was a misfire. I will admit, it fascinated me with computers and military hardware, changing my life forever in a subtle fashion.

Overall, an interesting movie that becomes more real every year. In today's world of identity theft, cyber-terrorism, MicroSoft, and broadband, some elements are undoubtedly lost on someone who can't remember or understand the Cold War. 3.5 out of 5 stars


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