7.3/10
20,830
131 user 80 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 & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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:

Human nature is a sucker bet. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene outside with Margaret and Dr. Littauer was filmed in front of the main entrance to the iconic art deco PacMed Building on Seattle's Beacon Hill. At the time the PacMed Building was a medical facility, but would later become the headquarters (until 2010) of Amazon. See more »

Goofs

When Mike is dressing in the hotel room, the narrow (back) side of his necktie is clearly three inches too long when he finishes. One edit later, wardrobe has obviously corrected the error. See more »

Quotes

Mike: You can't bluff someone who's not paying attention.
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Connections

Referenced in The X-Files: The Amazing Maleeni (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

This True Love Stopped For You (But Not For Me)
by Rokko Jans
Sung by June Shellene
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User Reviews

A rare gem
2 July 1999 | by Rob PaulSee all my reviews

I knew nothing about this movie when I saw it on tv many years ago and had never seen 'The Sting' before seeing this. It's best to enjoy these type of movies without any prior knowledge, because if you knew anything about it before hand, you could work out the plot after 10 minutes. A movie that seems a straight forward thriller, but actually deals more with the desire to explore one's darker side. Mamet maybe made some of the plot twists seem a tad to obvious and doesn't quite manage to shake of a 'tv' approach, but that doesn't matter because Joe Mantegna gives a superb performance that lifts the other cast members above tv standard.

One of David Mamet's better movie efforts (like Untouchables, Spanish Prisoner and Glengarry Glen Ross), it's best knowing nothing about this movie before seeing it.

8/10.


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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tell See more »

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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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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