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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.

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(novel) (as Richard Bachman), (screenplay)
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1,357 ( 302)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dynamo (as Erland Van Lidth)
Marvin J. McIntyre ...
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Subzero
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Mic
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Brenda
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Sven (as Sven Thorsen)
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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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sobreviviente  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the takeover of the network, Mick makes a reference to Spock from Star Trek (1966), to which the reply is "Who's Spock?". The filmmakers obviously thought that "Star Trek" would be decommissioned by 2017 when the film is set, so the younger characters in the film wouldn't know what it was. In real life, Leonard Nimoy portrayed the character until his final appearance in Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013), which was released two years prior to his death in 2015 where he shared a scene with a younger version of himself. As of 2016 (with the franchise now 50 years old), the Star Trek franchise is still around with the 2009 Kelvin time line films and a TV series planned for a Spring 2017 release on CBS with Rod Roddenberry (Gene Roddenberry's son) as executive producer. See more »

Goofs

When Richards kills Fireball, he does this near the corpses of last year's winners, however at TV time the crowd doesn't know this, as they can't see the dog tags around their necks, and the TV crew could easily have muted the transmission later. When Mick's film at the end shows the crowd who the bodies belong to, they show surprise. This is because they realize Killian has been lying to them. See more »

Quotes

[Damon Killian is talking to the operator on the telephone]
Damon Killian: Hello, this is Killian. Give me the Justice Department, Entertainment Division. No, no, hold that, Operator? Get me the President's agent.
See more »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in T2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1996) 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

 
Reality TV Taken to the Extreme
27 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a classic action flick from the '80s featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his most memorable roles. Set in a futuristic police state where the government controls everything, including the television networks. One of their most popular TV shows is "The Running Man", where convicted felons are hunted down and killed for the entertainment of millions. It's set up like a game show, where the audience votes for their favorite "stalkers", trained killers who hunt down and kill the show's unlucky "contestants". Audience members also win prizes for correctly predicting who will be killed by whom. And the host is played by none other than Family Feud's Richard Dawson, who's game show experience makes him well suited for this role. When Ben Richards (Arnold) is falsely accused of mass murder, he is forced to play this sadistic game.

This movie is chock full of classic Arnold one-liners, such as his famous "I'll be back" right before he enters the arena. And he taunts a stalker armed with a flamethrower with "How about a light?" I could go on and on, but I don't want to spoil the movie. It's funny stuff!

Whether it was intended or not, this movie serves as a great parody of today's "Reality TV" craze. Already there are numerous programs that show people enduring pain and humiliation for the entertainment of viewers, and even court cases are televised for their "entertainment value". Running Man demonstrates what would happen if reality TV hit rock bottom, and it is a scary picture. One can only hope that the networks have the common sense not to let it go that far.

Overall, this is a fun film & I highly recommend it. 9 out of 10!


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