7.3/10
19,258
120 user 75 critic

House of Games (1987)

Trailer
2:06 | Trailer
A psychiatrist comes to the aid of a compulsive gambler and is led by a smooth-talking grifter into the shadowy but compelling world of stings, scams, and con men.

Director:

David Mamet

Writers:

David Mamet (screenplay), Jonathan Katz (story) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Homicide (1991)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Jewish homicide detective investigates a seemingly minor murder and falls in with a Zionist group as a result.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Joe Mantegna, William H. Macy, Vincent Guastaferro
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An employee of a corporation with a lucrative secret process is tempted to betray it. But there's more to it than that.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Steve Martin, Ben Gazzara, Campbell Scott
Things Change (1988)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Shoe-shiner Gino is hired to take the rap for a mafia murder. Two-bit gangster Jerry watches over Gino and gives him a weekend to remember.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Don Ameche, Joe Mantegna, Robert Prosky
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A movie crew invades a small town whose residents are all too ready to give up their values for showbiz glitz.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Rebecca Pidgeon
Redbelt (2008)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Emily Mortimer
Oleanna (1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a student visits her professor to discuss how she failed his course, the discussion takes an awkward turn.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: William H. Macy, Debra Eisenstadt, Diego Pineda
Spartan (2004)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The investigation into a kidnapping of the daughter of a high-ranking US government official.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Val Kilmer, Derek Luke, William H. Macy
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Following the theft of a postal-order, a fourteen-year old cadet is expelled from Naval College. To save the honour of the boy and his family, the pre-eminent barrister of the day is engaged to take on the might the Admiralty.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Rebecca Pidgeon, Jeremy Northam, Nigel Hawthorne
Heist (2001)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A career jewel thief finds himself at tense odds with his longtime partner, a crime boss who sends his nephew to keep watch.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Gene Hackman, Rebecca Pidgeon, Danny DeVito
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Long-repressed feelings of bitterness and betrayal explode when three inner-city losers plot the robbery of a valuable coin in a seedy second-hand junk shop.

Director: Michael Corrente
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz, Sean Nelson
Wag the Dog (1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Shortly before an election, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover up a Presidential sex scandal.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lindsay Crouse ... Margaret Ford
Joe Mantegna ... Mike
Mike Nussbaum ... Joey
Lilia Skala ... Dr. Littauer
J.T. Walsh ... The Businessman
Willo Hausman Willo Hausman ... Girl with Book
Karen Kohlhaas Karen Kohlhaas ... Prison Ward Patient
Steven Goldstein ... Billy Hahn (as Steve Goldstein)
Jack Wallace ... Bartender / House of Games
Ricky Jay ... George / Vegas Man
G. Roy Levin G. Roy Levin ... Poker Player
Bob Lumbra Bob Lumbra ... Poker Player
Andy Potok Andy Potok ... Poker Player
Allen Soule Allen Soule ... Poker Player
Ben Blakeman Ben Blakeman ... Bartender / Charlie's Tavern
Edit

Storyline

A famous psychologist, Margaret Ford, decides to try to help one of her patients get out of a gambling debt. She visits the bar where Mike, to whom the debt is owed, runs poker games. He convinces her to help him in a game: her assignment is to look for "tells", or give-away body language. What seems easy to her becomes much more complex. Written by John J. Magee <magee@helix.mgh.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where the game is never over. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tell See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$116,677, 18 October 1987

Gross USA:

$2,585,639

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,585,639
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmhaus See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut theatrical feature film directed by playwright and screenwriter David Mamet. He replaced the original first choice who was Peter Yates. See more »

Goofs

When Margaret is talking with Maria outside at the picnic table she lights a cigarette with her right hand and in the process of removing the cigarette from her mouth it changes to her left hand. See more »

Quotes

Mike: Hey, fuck you! This is what you always wanted, you crooked bitch! You thief! You always need to get caught, 'cos you know you're bad. I never hurt anybody, I never shot anybody. You sought this out. This is what you always wanted. I knew it the first time you came in. You're worthless, you know it? You're a whore. You came back like a dog to its own vomit You sick bitch - I'm not gonna give you shit.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: The Best Films of the '80s (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Fugue from the Toccata in C Minor
(BWV 911)
by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Warren Bernhardt, piano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Regarding some idiots reviewing this brilliant film
4 September 2015 | by akademic78See all my reviews

(SPOILER FREE) Seen a couple reviews here, specifically one where the author claims "dreadful acting". Funnily enough, the same guys gave "QoS" a higher rating than Scorcese's "Casino". Couldn't resist but to put my two cents in, while laughing at clueless wannabe-critics like this.

This is one of Mamet's best. It's not for kids with ADD, much like the guy who claimed "dreadful acting". It's a relatively slow-paced, compact, but short and sweet con movie. Mamet's writing is delivered by a cast that understands very well what they're in for - a con movie.

Much like the protagonist, the viewer should focus on small psychological details - the way the characters speak, move, act, blink. All the clues are there, and yes, although it's somewhat predictable, as with any Mamet's film, the beauty comes from the writing. It's the little nuances with which he directs his cast that make the writing shine.

Don't listen to wannabe-critics, they're clueless. This is a well-written and well-acted film.


4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 120 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed