The Running Man (1987) Poster


Add to FAQ
Showing all 6 items
Jump to:


  • The prologue notes that the world economy has collapsed, and there are food shortages. Even a simple can of cola costs six dollars, so on top of shortages most people probably cannot afford regular meals, Most likely, the bulk of the world's population are starving. Edit

  • This film is based VERY loosely on the novel of the same name. Specific differences include: The novel takes place in the year 2025. This film takes place in 2019, according to the DVD cover, two years after the collapse of world economy in 2017 advertised following the film title sequence. While this film takes place in California, the novel takes place on the Northeastern Coast of the United States, tracing Richards from Co-Op City near the fictional MidWest city of Harding, to Boston, Massachusetts; from Boston to Manchester, New Hampshire; and from Manchester to Portland and Derry, Maine (the former being Stephen King's hometown, the latter being the fictional primary setting for King's novels It, Dreamcatcher, "Insomnia," and "Bag of Bones"); then from Derry back to New York. Richards enters the game willingly as opposed to being forced to, in order to acquire money for his ailing infant daughter. He is deemed an enemy of the state and receives a hundred dollars for every hour he stays alive over a period of thirty days, an additional hundred for every law enforcement officer or "Hunter" (not "Stalker") he kills, and one billion in "New Dollars" (worth far more than original American dollars). As opposed to being confined to the site of an earthquake in California in the film, Richards can travel anywhere in the world to evade the Hunters, but must videotape two messages per day and courier them to the Games Network or forfeit his money. Richards, a Caucasian male, shows signs of racism early on in the novel, but is taken in by the Throckmortons, an African American family in Boston, and after he is told of the situations the government forces them to live in, decides to help them. Laughlin is a Caucasian, and enters the tournament willingly as does Richards. Laughlin eventually meets his end in Topeka, Kansas, where police burn the shed he hides in. Dan Killian (called Damon Killian in the film) is an African American. Killian is also the producer of "The Running Man," not the host. Unlike in the film, the only Hunter mentioned by name in the novel is Evan McCone, the chief Hunter, who is eventually shot dead by Richards. While in Boston, Richards escapes his pursuers by setting fire to a YMCA he is hiding in and narrowly escapes through a sewer pipe. The resulting fire kills five police officers. The ending is far more dire in the novel than in the film. In Derry, Maine, Richards carjacks a woman named Amelia Williams and makes his way to Derry's airport, hijacking a plane, where he also takes McCone hostage. As with in the film, Richards is given the chance to become leader Hunter (much to McCone's chagrin) by Killian, though unlike in the film, he accepts. He is later given the terrible news that both his wife and daughter had been killed even before he had even first appeared on "The Running Man," giving him time to ponder the offer more. Feeling he has nothing left to lose, Richards overpowers the flight crew and kills McCone, but is mortally wounded in the process. Setting Williams free via a parachute, Richards makes a suicide run on the Games Building in New York, killing Killian and everybody inside. Edit

  • King describes the book's protagonist, Ben Richards, as "scrawny" and "pre-tubercular". King also added that Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Ben Richards in the film adaptation of The Running Man, portrayed the character very differently than he wrote about him in the book, saying that Richards (in the book) was " far away from the Arnold Schwarzenegger character in the movie as you can get." Edit

  • While going through the box from the closet, Ben Richards notes that everything inside is contraband. This would imply that the recorded material was not reproduced on any updated technology as that would have been illegal.

    Practically, The Running Man was filmed in 1986. The Compact Disc had only been first developed in 1982, four years prior, and CD technology was still in its infancy. Rather than spend large amounts of money on creating new props to show a mere 33 years of progress, they decided to simply stick with as much existing technology as they could, which at the time, still included cassette tapes for music. Edit

  • This can only be answered by a real life answer, its because the visual futurists had not thought of putting it in the film because by 1986 mobile phones were still in early stages. Not to mention were the size of bricks and weighed nearly as much. At the time it was unlikely that anyone in production thought that mobile phones would be something virtually everyone would have. Edit

  • After he is wrongly convicted for the mass murders of unarmed rioters in Bakersfield. Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) a former LAPD cop escapes from prison. Ben breaks into the apartment of Amber Mendez (Maria Conchita Alonso) an employee of the ICS television network and takes her as a hostage. After attempting to flee the country with Amber, Ben is captured and taken to the ICS television network building. Damon Killian (Richard Dawson) the arrogant and manipulative creator and host of the popular televised violent game called "The Running Man" wants Ben to appear and take part in the show as an contestant. In The Running Man, contestants must venture across the ruins of Los Angeles that has been devastated by a Earthquake, as the contestants fight for survival as they are hunted by the psychotic and sadistic gladiators called The Stalkers whom are sent into the ruins of Los Angeles to hunt them down and kill him. Joined by revolutionaries Harold Weiss (Marvin J. McIntyre) and William Laughlin (Yaphet Kotto) whom helped Ben escape from prison, Ben engages The Stalkers in an epic fight to the death. But, Ben and his companions are soon joined by Amber, whom has begun to question Ben's innocence, when a fake news report states that Ben was armed and that he killed some people at the airport, which was untrue and s caught looking through ICS's media network documents and finds a video containing unedited footage of the Bakersfield massacre, which has been edited for TV to make Ben look guilty and Ben and his companions set off in search for a secret resistance base and aid resistance leader Mic (Mic Fleetwood) to hack the ICS network satellite and bring down the corrupt new regime, as well as the ICS network itself, which is brainwashing and lying to it's viewers and expose the truth about both the regime and the ICS network. But, Amber reveals that she managed to smuggle the video of the unedited Bakersfield massacre footage and convinces the resistance to broadcast the unedited footage of the Bakersfield Massacre instead live on The Running Man and help Ben clear his name. Edit



See also

Awards | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed