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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.

Director:

John Badham
Reviews
Popularity
2,547 ( 8)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Broderick ... David
Dabney Coleman ... McKittrick
John Wood ... Falken
Ally Sheedy ... Jennifer
Barry Corbin ... General Beringer
Juanin Clay ... Pat Healy
Kent Williams ... Cabot
Dennis Lipscomb ... Watson
Joe Dorsey ... Conley
Irving Metzman Irving Metzman ... Richter
Michael Ensign ... Beringer's Aide
William Bogert ... Mr. Lightman
Susan Davis Susan Davis ... Mrs. Lightman
James Tolkan ... Wigan
David Clover 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:

"Global Thermonuclear War." You may think it's one hell of a game. You couldn't be more right. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The NORAD command center built for the movie was the most expensive set ever constructed up to that time, built at the cost of one million dollars. The producers were not allowed into the actual NORAD command center, so they had to imagine what it was like. In the DVD commentary, director John Badham notes that the actual NORAD command center isn't nearly as elaborate as the one in the movie; he refers to the movie set as "NORAD's wet dream of itself." See more »

Goofs

When David first places the phone receiver on the modem he puts it on with the cord to the front; all other times he puts it on with the cord to the back. At all times he activates it by the button on the front. See more »

Quotes

1st Lieutenant Steve Phelps: Seven... Eight... Nine... Ten... All missiles enabled.
Computer Voice: T-minus thirty.
Captain Jerry Lawson: Get me Wing Command post on your direct line.
1st Lieutenant Steve Phelps: That's not the correct procedure, Captain.
Captain Jerry Lawson: SAC? Try SAC on the HF.
1st Lieutenant Steve Phelps: That's not the correct procedure...
Captain Jerry Lawson: Screw the procedure, I want somebody on the goddamn phone before I kill 20 million people!
Computer Voice: T-minus twenty.
[LT Phelps tries the phone lines]
1st Lieutenant Steve Phelps: I got nothing here! They might've been knocked out already.
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the premiere telecast version of the film, in the scene where the female airmen is counting down to Impact, there is more background music that plays than in the theatrical version and home video releases containing English language versions. However, the extra background music plays in foreign versions of the movie. Also, the extra BGM has not played in subsequent TV airings since that first telecast, as far as I am aware. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Role-Playing Game (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

War Games
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Stills
Performed by Crosby Stills & Nash (as Crosby, Stills & Nash)
[Promotional song used in theatrical trailer and MTV video]
See more »

User Reviews

 
Still packs a punch
20 October 2009 | by imdb-9163See all my reviews

Watching this movie 25 years on, it still works. Obviously the onward march of technology has rendered several of the central plot devices redundant (although, to be honest, most modern techno-thriller entries are far less plausible) but the sheer tension of the story grabs you almost from the off and never lets go - there aren't many genre movies that got an Oscar-nomination for screenplay, which amply demonstrates its quality.

And the last ten minutes or so are still jaw-dropping. That spectacular (if implausible) NORAD set is as astounding as ever, and the last line still deserves it's place in the pantheon.

Laugh at the antiquated tech by all means, but be impressed by the effort taken to make it feel believable (cf. the sequence where Broderick's character gets the password for the school computer.) Hacker movies have rarely come this close to being real - and, as someone who had been there and done that at about that time, it was scarily right.

In no way is this one of the greatest movies ever made. But there's no question that it achieves the rare quality of transcending it's genre.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM | Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 June 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

War Games See more »

Filming Locations:

Culver City, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,227,804, 5 June 1983

Gross USA:

$79,567,667

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$79,567,667
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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