7.1/10
79,993
162 user 74 critic

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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2,338 ( 475)

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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
... 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:

The only winning move is not to play. 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

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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

According to John Badham, Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy were "stiff as boards" when they came onto the sound stage, having both Martin Brest's dark vision and the idea that they would soon be fired. Badham did 12-14 takes of the first shot to loosen the actors up. At one point, Badham decided to have a race with the two actors around the sound stage with the one who came last having to sing a song to the crew. Badham lost and sang "The Happy Wanderer", the silliest song he could think of. See more »

Goofs

After the Soviet ICBM salvo is underway, a Soviet sub-launch detection is reported. The camera shows the screen, on which 14 subs (7 in the Pacific, 7 in the Atlantic) had launched their SLBMs simultaneously. In the scene before the impact of the Soviet warheads, however, the screen shows only 7 SLBM launches (5 in the Pacific, 2 in the Atlantic), and based on their distances from the target, they were launched at different times. See more »

Quotes

David Lightman: [typing] People sometimes make mistakes.
Joshua: Yes, they do.
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Computer Age Movies (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Edge Of The World
Performed by Yvonne Elliman
Music by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Lyrics by Cynthia Morrow
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wanna play Global Thermonuclear War ?
4 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

It was with much interest to me to revisit this early 80s hacker piece armed with the knowledge of just how the advent of change in the computer world had evolved. With that in mind the film could quite easily be classed as a bit clunky due to the now almost Neanderthal toys, games and computers used in the movie, but casting aside the nostalgia feelings I had with it, it still hits the spot as both a poignant piece of interest, and a dam good thriller as well.

Matthew Broderick is David Lightman, a young computer gamer geek who is something of a whizz kid on the PC. He can change his school grades and hack into various sites he shouldn't be even looking at. During one eventful sitting he hacks into a computer called Joshua and plays a game called Global Thermonuclear War, he harmlessly chooses to be The Soviet Union and proceeds to launch a nuclear attack on his own country, the U.S.A. Trouble is is that the game is for real and the wheels are in motion for World War III!.

It helps to remember the time this film was made {for those old enough of course}, for it was the time of the ever worrying cloud of the Cold War, a time when nuclear war was more than a hearsay threat. I really think that in this day and age where computers literally do run our lives, this film stands up really well not only as a warning piece about messing with technology, but also as a gentle poke in the ribs about defence systems and the people we trust to run them. Tho the film is a kind of watered down and accessible 2001: A Space Odyssey for the 80s set, it impacts well and only really suffers from a pointless romantic plot strand involving the sprightly Ally Sheedy (could they not just have been pals?) and the aforementioned dated gadgets. The ending to the film is excellent as the tension builds up nicely and we are left chewing our nails watching a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, sounds simple doesn't it? Not so.

Good honest and intelligent entertainment. 7.5/10.


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