6.7/10
140,060
278 user 154 critic

The Running Man (1987)

Trailer
1:54 | Trailer
In a dystopian America, a falsely convicted policeman gets his shot at freedom when he must forcibly participate in a TV game show where convicts, runners, must battle killers for their freedom.

Writers:

Stephen King (novel) (as Richard Bachman), Steven E. de Souza (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,004 ( 1,200)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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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 2019, 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:

2019. A game nobody survives. This year might be the exception. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The red car that drives Killian ('Richard Dawson') in front of the TV studio is a Maserati Quattroporte III stretch limo. See more »

Goofs

When Killian is visualizing potential contestants for his show, if you freeze the screen, the monitor displays a prisoner whose profession is listed as "interpretor". The correct form is interpreter. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[a helicopter is flying at night]
Man: [over radio] Yankee-nine-niner, what are your coordinates?
Ben Richards: 0-2-0, flight level 1-5. We're above release point Echo-Bravo-one.
Man: [over radio] Move in and check it out.
Ben Richards: Roger. Moving in.
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Crazy Credits

Continue watching the credits and towards the end you will hear a running man commercial similar to what would play at the end of a game show. 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

References Knight Rider (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Paula's Theme
Written and Produced by Jackie Jackson and Glen Barbee
Performed by Jackie Jackson and Glen Barbee
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User Reviews

What if it were made today?
24 August 2003 | by Puke BagSee all my reviews

If the film were remade today, it would have a little more resonance for a modern audience, especially with the amount of reality based television that is so prolific today.

A straight adaptation from Stephen King's original novel (under the pen name Richard Bachman) would have been much more suitable, especially with the rise of shows like Cops and World's Scariest Police Chases. Placing the entire game within an actual arena isn't quite like how the future turned out. However, they may have to modify the ending (the ending of a novel involves a large airplane crashing into a building).

Considering all the remakes and sequels that have been made as of late, it's surprising that they haven't remade this one, even though it's a bit more relevant to today's audience than it was back in 1987. Shoot the whole thing on digital video (a la "Series 7: The Contenders") and throw in a lot more dark comedy, and you'd have yourself a nice little independent flick and a cult classic in the making. No need for something with an overbloated budget.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$38,122,105
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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
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