7.3/10
17,918
120 user 66 critic

House of Games (1987)

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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.

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Margaret Ford
... Mike
... Joey
... Dr. Littauer
... The Businessman
Willo Hausman ... Girl with Book
Karen Kohlhaas ... Prison Ward Patient
... Billy Hahn (as Steve Goldstein)
... Bartender / House of Games
... George / Vegas Man
G. Roy Levin ... Poker Player
Bob Lumbra ... Poker Player
Andy Potok ... Poker Player
Allen Soule ... Poker Player
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bordet fanger  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$116,677, 18 October 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,585,639
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was originally intended to be a larger-budget film with many "name" actors, but David Mamet chose to direct on his own with his wife (Crouse) and friends (Mantegna) in the cast. See more »

Goofs

After Mike supposedly loses the game, he remains with his both hands on the table. Next shot he is holding the cigarette in front of his face, with his elbow leaning on the table. See more »

Quotes

The businessman: Mike, you are the ring-tail rounder. You are King Kong.
Mike: One riot, one ranger.
Mr. Dean: You put that bitch in the panic bag.
Mike: Hey, baby, this is my road game.
The businessman: What's next?
See more »

Connections

Remade as Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

A rare gem
2 July 1999 | by See 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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