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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
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Popularity
899 ( 1,779)

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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:
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:

The only winning move is not to play. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$79,568,000
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The part of Prof. Falken was originally written with the idea of John Lennon playing the part. See more »

Goofs

When we see David, Jennifer and the Professor running from the entrance to the NORAD tunnel to the blast door it takes them only 27 seconds to travel from the tunnel opening to the blast door. The distance from the tunnel opening to the blast door at NORAD is one mile. The world record for fastest one mile run is 3 minutes; 43 seconds and 13 nanoseconds. There's no way they could have possibly made it from the tunnel entrance to the blast door (one mile; on foot) in 27 seconds. See more »

Quotes

Stephen Falken: What you see on these screens up here is a fantasy; a computer enhanced hallucination!
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 Lethal Weapon: Fools Rush In (2017) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A young computer whizz kid accidentally taps into a top secret super-computer and nearly starts WW3
26 July 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

A rogue young man named David (Matthew Broderick) along with his best friend Jennifer (Ally Sheedy) hack into their high school's computer to change his grade and later on , find a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III . As the United State's Department of Homeland Security is led to believe an American teen hacker playing a terrorist-attack simulator game online is a real terrorist out to destroy the U.S . The system is called the War Operation Plan Response, or WOPR for short, developed by brilliant but now deceased scientist Stephen Falken (John Wood), who programmed the system to learn continually through game simulations . At the end , a message : The only winning move is not to play.

This is an entertaining film of the 80s ; it was way ahead of its time and it stills grips the spectator . A popular flick in which a young computer whiz hooks into a game manufacturer's computer and accidentally starts WWII when he decides to play a selection titled ¨Global Thermonuclear Warfare¨ . The picture contains almost no violence , nor murders or any other sensationalistic content . Interesting as well as amusing screenplay by writers Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes who during their extensive research for the film, made friends with many 'hackers' and security experts. They later wrote ¨Sneakers¨ another film featuring 'hackers' and security experts. Likable starring couple , Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy , both of whom hold a great chemistry . Large support cast such as Barry Corbin , Dabney Coleman , Dennis Lipscomb and many of them uncredited as Michael Madsen , Eddie Deezen , James Tolkan , ArtLeFleur , William H. Macy , Maury Chaykin and John Spencer . Special mention to John Wood as Professor Stephen Falken ; main inspiration for this character was Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking ; he was originally approached to appear in the movie, but he declined because he didn't want the producers exploiting his disability . Adequate musical score accompanying the action by Arthur B. Rubinstein and inventively photographed by classic cameraman William A Fraker . The film was part of a 1980s cycle of films about atomic bombs and nuclear warfare which had started in 1979 with ¨The China syndrome¨. The films included ¨Silkwood¨, ¨Testament¨, ¨Threads¨, ¨The day after¨ , ¨The Atomic Cafe¨, ¨Ground zero¨,¨Special Bulletin¨ , ¨Barefoot Gen¨, ¨Rules of Engagement¨, ¨Letters from a Dead Man¨ , ¨The chain reaction¨, among others . Followed by an inferior remake titled ¨ WarGames: The Dead Code (2008)¨ by Stuart Gillard with Matt Lanter as Will Farmer , Amanda Walsh as Annie D'Mateo , Colm Feore as Joshua and Chuck Shamata as Bill Carter .

The motion picture was professionally directed by John Badham , though the original director was Martin Brest, and several of the scenes he shot are still in the movie , but he was fired as filmmaker a short while into production due to creative differences . Badham's breakthrough credit was the box office smash Fever Saturday night (1977) ; other hits on his resume include The Blue Thunder (1983), War games (1983), and Shortcircuit (1986). He's a nice director who achieved his greatest success in the 80s and 90s . He directed several hits (Drop zone , Nick of time , Skateout ,Point of No Return , Bird on a wire) , though today making TV movies (Jack Bull , Floating away) and television episodes (Crossing Jordan, Psych, Las Vegas, Standoff , Heroes).


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