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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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Popularity
1,558 ( 135)
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:

The year is 2019. The finest men in America 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, Wide Release

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

Many people who worked with Richard Dawson on the game show Family Feud (1976) say that in real life Dawson was much like his character Damon Killian in his handling of underlings. See more »

Goofs

It has been stated that Mick's group couldn't have obtained the photos of the deceased Whitman, Price and Haddad which they included in their "Killian is Lying" montage shown to the studio audience in the film's final act. The deaths of the three previous "winners" were closely guarded secrets by I.C.S., so it was assumed that there were no surveillance cameras in the area where their remains were discovered and where Fireball met his fate; nor did Ben Richards or Amber carry any photo or video equipment. However, this assumption may be incorrect, as the audience is seen loudly cheering at Fireball's on-screen death, implying that they were able to see the entire fight and that there must have been cameras inside the room. And if there was footage of the fight, the resistance could have easily obtained a few screenshots of the dead runners. See more »

Quotes

Damon Killian: There are still two crack stalkers out there. Dynamo and Fireball. Who do you think will make the next kill?
Elderly Lady: Oh, boy. That's a tough one.
Damon Killian: Come on. You can do it. Who do you think?
Elderly Lady: Okay, I think the next kill will be made by... Ben Richards.
Damon Killian: Agnes, Richards is a runner. You gotta pick a stalker.
Elderly Lady: I can pick anyone I choose. And I choose... Ben Richards. That boy's one mean motherfucker.
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

The German Video-version (FSK-16) is heavily cut (about 10 Minutes) to remove extreme violence. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Fat Guys in Movies and TV (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Death March
Written and Produced by Jackie Jackson and Glen Barbee
Performed by Jackie Jackson and Glen Barbee
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An outrage to King's vision, but enjoyable nonetheless
17 August 2015 | by Eric_CubedSee all my reviews

I've read the Stephen King story about 5 times, and this movie does not follow the fable, even vaguely. But that does not make it a bad movie. In King's version, Schwarzenegger's character is a skinny, intense and relentless character, a person with integrity that surpasses all expectations and vigor, in a Dystopian world. In King's version, the protagonist is "every man," just an average Joe who is lucky enough to be elected for the "Running Man" game show. He runs and runs and runs and kicks some serious a--. Unfortunately in the movie, it's all about Arnold getting revenge. But this doesn't make it a bad movie, just one that is a betrayal to the passion and the voice of the original story. In this regard, the movie is a fraud, and yet, it is enjoyable in the heyday of Arnold's magnificence.


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