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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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1,108 ( 490)
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:

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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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

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

The character - Mrs. McArdle -, The host (Damon Killian) of the show's 'number one fan', is an homage to Mrs. Miller, a long-time fixture of many series, including The Merv Griffin Show, whose entire claim to fame (seriously) was her coming almost every day to the tapings. The real Mrs. Miller - who was not a young woman - actually parlayed her notoriety into several ventures, including recording an (entire) album, entitled - what else - 'Mrs. Miller Sings'. It's an album which is only heard on Dr. Demento-type shows. See more »

Goofs

While the chainsaw chain is not moving all the time when Ben fights Buzzsaw, that's normal; the chain doesn't move, even though the engine is running, unless the clutch is being held. See more »

Quotes

Fireball: [Richards rips his fuel line] My gas line! My gas line! Go to commercial! Go to Commercial!
Ben Richards: [lights a flair] How about a light?
Fireball: [Fireball screams and then explodes]
Ben Richards: What a hothead.
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 »

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 The Terminator (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Vedro Mentr'io Sospiro (The Count's Aria)
(From "The Marriage Of Figaro")
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Erland van Lidth
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Cheesy 80's Brilliance
27 January 2007 | by TravisCheliosSee all my reviews

(***Potential Spoiler***) The Movie is called Running Man, Its from the 80's, It stars Arnold Schwartzeneger and the Tag Line goes something like "A game nobody survives. But Schwarzenegger has yet to play". Honestly you should know what sort of movie to expect. So if Dumb action movies are not your thing then stay clear and reserve your comments to yourself, if not sit back have a few beers, maybe some Snacks, get a few Friends round and enjoy 90 Minutes of senseless Fun.

The Film is set in the not too distant future(2017). America is a military controlled state and the citizens are severely oppressed. Arnie plays Ben Richards, a former police officer who is wrongly convicted of the massacre of innocent civilians. Sent to prison, Arnie escapes only to be captured again. His only choice now is to take part in a sinister Game show where Convicted Criminals Face deadly opponents. Along with two other convicts William Laughlin (Yaphet Kotto) and Harold Weiss (Marvin J.McIntyre) and a woman Richards met along the way, Amber Mendez (Maria Conchita Alonso), Arnold must try his best to survive this game show hell.

Along the way Richards battles Maniacs with Chainsaws, FlameThrowers and Electro bolts. Expect the usual Action and Violence seen in films such as Commando and Predator and of course a few Golden "Arnie" Lines thrown in there all in the pursuit of delivering justice to Richards' Biggest enemy, the game show host Damon Killian (Richard Dawson).

If you want to watch a cinematic Masterpiece, see Casablanca or The Godfather. If you want to see a film regarded as Art, look at Fellini films. If you want to see a fun action ARNIE film watch the Running Man. Perhaps a bit dated (A not too dissimilar more recent film is perhaps Battle Royale) but arguably this film never gets old as it can be watched over and over again. Is it predictable? Yes. Is it Stupid? Yes. Is it Cheesy? Yes. But is it Fun? VERY MUCH SO, YES.

7.5/10


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