7.3/10
19,244
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
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
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
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
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
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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

The $6000 check Margaret Ford (Lindsay Crouse) writes to settle the phony debt at the poker game early in the film is dated May 12, 1987. May 12 (1948) is Crouse's birthday. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, Margaret Ford returns to her private office and cuts herself. Several drops of blood fall on the cover label of a dossier lying on the desk. In subsequent shots, the blood stain jumps down the label and finally ends up on the back cover, leaving the label clean. See more »

Quotes

Mike: It's called a confidence game. Why? Because you give me your confidence? No. Because I give you mine.
See more »

Connections

References Meteor (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

This True Love Stopped For You (But Not For Me)
by Rokko Jans
Sung by June Shellene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Riveting, disturbing... near-flawless psychological suspense
15 May 2000 | by cathyyoung1See all my reviews

If your idea of a thriller is car chases, explosions, and dozens of people being mowed down by gunfire, then "House of Games" is definitely not the movie for you. If you like and appreciate psychological drama and suspense, then, by all means, see it.

"House of Games" tells the story of an esteemed psychologist and writer, Dr. Margaret Ford (Lindsay Crouse), who tries to help a patient and gets involved in the shadowy world of con men led by the charismatic Mike (Joe Mantegna). To say anything more about the plot would ruin the suspense. Frankly, I find it hard to believe anyone who says they saw the twists coming. Just like a clever con artist, this movie draws you into its web and lulls your vigilance.

The story is taut and well-crafted, the dialogue smart and laconic, the acting uniformly good (Mantegna is superbly charismatic). Some have complained that Dr. Ford is not a very sympathetic character, and wondered why Mamet would make Lindsay Crouse look so physically unattractive. But Dr. Ford is supposed to be cold and aloof; moreover, her homeliness is in a way essential to the plot (at one point, I believe that an injury to her sexual self-esteem is a key part of her motivation ... I'll say no more).

"House of Games" is a dark look at the underside of human nature that concludes on a note of discomforting ambiguity. It will hold your attention every second while you are watching, and stay with you for a long time afterwards.


38 of 57 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 Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed