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Wargames (1983)

Director: John Badham     Starring: Matthew Broderick
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Wargames DVD 1 of 1

Learn more about Wargames:

Format: DVD
Sku: 40096262
UPC: 027616705624
UPC 14: 00027616705624
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Action/Adventure
Is it a game, or is it real?|"Is it a Game, Or is it Real?"
A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting world war III.

"An amazingly entertaining thriller. A masterpiece!  Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The movie's effect on Hollywood and the American consciousness can still be seen today.  Christopher Null,
"Classic techno-thriller. Despite the old hardware, the concepts still hold up today.  Fred Topel,
"Exciting and well-paced.  James O'Ehley, Sci-Fi Movie Page
"As tense and effective now as it was 25 years ago.  Michael Booth, Denver Post

Editor's Note
In director John Badham's WARGAMES, Matthew Broderick stars as David Lightman, a young hacker who accidentally logs on to the Department of Defense's network. Thinking that he's found a cool new computer game manufacturer, David plays checkers, chess, and other more intriguing games like Global Thermonuclear War. Realizing that their system has been tampered with, military operatives arrest him. However, the computer continues to play the "game" of thermonuclear warfare without David and generates the very real threat of World War III. In an attempt to prevent global disaster, David and his girlfriend, Jennifer (Ally Sheedy), search desperately for the scientist who designed the system before the goverment computer initates a full-scale nuclear war.

A landmark of 1980s cinema, WARGAMES was keenly tuned into its time. Computers remained a relative mystery in the early 1980s, as they were used primarily by large corporations and government agencies, but not by many individuals at home. The general public had already been warned of the danger of computer takeover in 1968 with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and this paranoia grew as computers became more popular. The threat of communist takeover and nuclear war loomed large in the collective consciousness, before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the cold war. Video games had become highly popular, however, and for a generation of Pac-Man and Space Invaders players WARGAMES combined the country's deepest fears with its biggest fantasies. Badham's suspenseful film brings those fears to light in an exciting, fast-paced film with a great cast (Broderick, Sheedy, John Wood, Barry Corbin, Dabney Coleman) and excellent special effects.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Collector's Edition, Theatrical Version, Trailers

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: MGM
Video Release Date Release Date: 3/20/2001
Video Play Time Running Time: 113 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 1983
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 907056
Video UPC UPC: 00027616705624
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English [CC], English, French Dubbed
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  1.85:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Ally Sheedy
Video Cast Info Dabney Coleman
Video Cast Info John Wood
Video Cast Info Matthew Broderick
Video Cast Info Alan Blumenfeld
Video Cast Info Barry Corbin
Video Cast Info John Spencer
Video Cast Info Michael Madsen
Video Cast Info John Badham - Director
Video Cast Info William A. Fraker - Director of Photography
Video Cast Info Arthur B. Rubinstein - Musical Score
Video Cast Info Harold Schneider - Producer
Video Cast Info Leonard Goldberg - Producer
Video Cast Info Richard Hashimoto - Producer
Video Cast Info Walter F. Parkes - Writer
Video Cast Info Lawrence Lasker - Writer
Video Cast Info Angelo P. Graham - Production Designer
Video Cast Info Arthur B. Rubinstein - Original Music By
Video Cast Info James J. Murakami - Art Director
Video Cast Info Lawrence Lasker, et. al. - Writer
Video Cast Info Leonard Goldberg - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Tom Rolf - Editor
Video Cast Info William A. Fraker - Cinematographer
Plot Summary
Matthew Broderick stars as David Lightman, a teenage computer whiz in the 1980s who causes an international nuclear crisis when he hacks into the U.S. Defense Department's computer system. Director John Badham's film is a finely wrought, edge-of-the-seat thriller that helped to define a generation of young video game players and computer geniuses living under the threat of nuclear war. A state-of-the art set and huge computer headquarters created an atmosphere of science fiction fantasy as well as real technological mastery.


Winner (1984)
   Video Award Name British Academy Awards, Willie D. Burton, et. al., Best Sound

Nominee (1984)
   Video Award Name British Academy Awards, Angelo P. Graham, Best Production Design/Art Direction
   Video Award Name British Academy Awards, Michael L. Fink, Best Special Visual Effects
   Video Award Name Oscar, William A. Fraker, Best Cinematography
   Video Award Name Oscar, Michael J. Kohut, et. al., Best Sound
   Video Award Name Oscar, Lawrence Lasker, Walter F. Parkes, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Memorable Quotes

"Wouldn't you prefer a good game of chess?"----Joshua, the government computer, in response to David's (Matthew Broderick) request to play Global Thermonuclear War.

Professional Reviews

New York Times
"...Entertaining....[Broderick is] very appealing..." 06/03/1983 p.C17

"...A terrifically exciting story charged by an irresistible idea for today's young audience..." 05/11/1983

Variety 8 of 10
Although the script has more than its share of short circuits, director John Badham solders the pieces into a terrifically exciting story charged by an irresistible idea: an extra-smart kid can get the world into a whole lot of trouble that it also takes the same extra-smart kid to rescue it from...Matthew Broderick is on the mark as the bright teenager, bored by traditional high school subjects like biology, but brilliant with computers. Unfortunately, thinking he's sneaking an advance look at a new line of video games, he taps into the country's Norad missile-defense system to challenge its computer to a game of global thermonuclear warfare...WarGames' weakness, sad to say, is that the adult side of the yarn is not peopled with very realistic characters, although the performances are fine...Ally Sheedy is perfectly perky as Broderick's girlfriend; Dabney Coleman brings his usual dissonance to the role of the computer-reliant defense specialist; but John Wood's large talents aren't fully used in a somewhat confusing part as the misanthropic eccentric who designed the computer.

Chicago Sun-Times 10 of 10
Computers only do what they are programmed to do, and they will follow their programs to illogical conclusions...Sooner or later, one of these self-satisfied, sublimely confident thinking machines is going to blow us all off the face of the planet. That is the message of "WarGames," a scary and intelligent new thriller...As a premise for a thriller, this is a masterstroke. The movie, however, could easily go wrong by bogging us down in impenetrable computerese, or by ignoring the technical details altogether and giving us a "Fail Safe" retread. "WarGames" makes neither mistake. It convinces us that it knows computers, and it makes its knowledge into an amazingly entertaining thriller..."WarGames" was directed by John Badham, best known for "Saturday Night Fever" and the current "Blue Thunder," a thriller that I found considerably less convincing on the technical level. There's not a scene here where Badham doesn't seem to know what he's doing, weaving a complex web of computerese, personalities and puzzles; the movie absorbs us on emotional and intellectual levels at the same time. And the ending, a moment of blinding and yet utterly elementary insight, is wonderful. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Broderick,Matthew
Product attributeLabel:   Mgm Entertainment
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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