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The Running Man (1987)

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A wrongly convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a game show.

Writers:

Stephen King (novel) (as Richard Bachman), Steven E. de Souza (screenplay)
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1,310 ( 337)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Ben Richards
Maria Conchita Alonso ... Amber Mendez
Yaphet Kotto ... William Laughlin
Jim Brown ... Fireball
Jesse Ventura ... Captain Freedom
Erland van Lidth ... Dynamo (as Erland Van Lidth)
Marvin J. McIntyre ... Harold Weiss
Gus Rethwisch ... Buzzsaw
Professor Toru Tanaka ... Subzero
Mick Fleetwood ... Mic
Dweezil Zappa ... Stevie
Richard Dawson ... Damon Killian
Karen Leigh Hopkins ... Brenda
Sven-Ole Thorsen ... Sven (as Sven Thorsen)
Edward Bunker ... Lenny (as Eddie Bunker)
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Storyline

In the year 2017, the world economy has collapsed. The great freedoms of the United States are no longer, as the once great nation has sealed off its borders and become a militarized police state, censoring all film, art, literature, and communications. Even so, a small resistance force led by two revolutionaries manages to fight the oppression. With full control over the media, the government attempts to quell the nation's yearning for freedom by broadcasting a number of game shows on which convicted criminals fight for their lives. The most popular and sadistic of these programs is "The Running Man," hosted by Damon Killian. When a peaceful protest of starving citizens gathers in Bakersfield, California, a police officer named Ben Richards is ordered to fire on the crowd, which he refuses to do. Subdued by the other officers, the attack is carried out, and Richards is framed for the murder of almost a hundred unarmed civilians. Following a daring jail break months later, Richards is... Written by Curly Q. Link

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to America in 2019, when the best men don't run for president, they run for their lives. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Running Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,117,465, 15 November 1987

Gross USA:

$38,122,105
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) says to Killian, "to hell with you!"). His character, he says the same thing while praying to Krom in Conan the Barbarian (1982). See more »

Goofs

A springboard launches Ben when Dynamo shoots with a lightning bolt. See more »

Quotes

[Ben Richards finds a mortally-wounded Laughlin]
William Laughlin: I'm going somewhere, but not with you. Buzzsaw took care of my traveling arrangements.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Announcer's voiceover: "The Running Man has been brought to you by: Breakaway Paramilitary Uniforms, Orthopure Pure Procreation Pills, and Cadre Cola - it hits the spot. Promotional considerations paid for by Kelton Flame Throwers, Wainwright Electrical Launchers, and Hammond & Gage Chain Saws. Damon Killian's wardrobe by Chez Antoine, 19th-century craftsmanship for the 21st-century man. Cadre trooper and studio guard's sidearms provided by Colchester, the pistol of patriots. Remember, tickets for the ICS studio tour are always available for class A citizens in good standing. If you'd like to be a contestant on The Running Man, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to ICS Talent Hunt, care of your local affiliate, and then go out and do something really despicable! I'm Phil Hilton. Good night and take care!" See more »

Alternate Versions

When the film aired on TV3 in New Zealand in the early 1990s, graphic scenes of violence and profanity were cut for censorship: The "F' words are missing. The graphic violent scenes in the film that were cut is as follows: Digo's head exploding in the opening prison breakout sequence is missing. The graphic close-up shot of Sub-Zero's throat being sliced by barb wire is missing. Buzzsaw's death was edited which blood splattering on his face and his high pitched scream is removed. Ben's fake death was also edited, which the shot of the spikes impaling his body is removed and an innocent bystander being shot and killed by a ICS soldier in climatic shootout sequence at the end of the movie is missing. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Paula's Theme
Written and Produced by Jackie Jackson and Glen Barbee
Performed by Jackie Jackson and Glen Barbee
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Came up with a rather bizarre movie that differs greatly from the story it was taken from.
21 July 2005 | by Aaron1375See all my reviews

Arnold stars as a wrongly convicted federal criminal who escapes a futuristic prison. Once out he promptly is recaptured and put on a television show called the Running Man. A show where one must make his way through a labyrinth being pursued by trackers that include a chainsaw wielding maniac to a hockey playing sumo. It makes for an entertaining ride though it differs greatly from the Richard Bachman novel from which it came from (aka Stephen King). In that story there was no game show arena, rather you just went to the outside world trying to elude the trackers as best you could and the longer you kept hidden from them the more money your family got. Here it is different and look who is in it. With Arnold you need larger than life villains to go against him and also of note is Richard Dawson who is actually rather good as the host of the demented show. Let's face it though, he isn't exactly differing drastically from what he used to do all the time. So what do you get here? Lot's of action and wham bam finish and a little social commentary thrown in for good measure. You also get an entertaining movie that won't keep you on the edge of your seat, but will pass some time in a fun way.


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