WarGames (1983)



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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. Full summary »

Genre: Drama,Thriller

WarGames (1983)
Release Date: 3 June 1983 (USA)
Country: USA
Director: John Badham
  • Matthew Broderick
  • Dabney Coleman
  • John Wood
  • Ally Sheedy
  • Barry Corbin
  • Juanin Clay
  • Kent Williams
  • Dennis Lipscomb
  • Joe Dorsey
  • Irving Metzman
  • Michael Ensign
  • William Bogert
  • Susan Davis
  • James Tolkan
  • David Clover

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33 Responses to WarGames (1983)

  1. Prem_Raj

    who hangs around with the big knobs?

    – London is so me –

  2. vorakam24

    when they’re running to the ferry, she looked off balance, nothing like the athlete we saw jogging at the beginning of the movie.

  3. robbarker98

    any one know where i might find audio files of Joshua ? I could just record them from the dvd i have but i dont want the audio files to have any back ground noises like mabey a copy of the original recordings

  4. dbemery

    "Don’t you think I would have tried that?"

    What’s the name of the character who says this? It’s toward the end, when they are locked out of WOPR, and the pudgy computer geek says it, replying to a question about getting access. (Okay, figured it out – it’s Paul Richter played by Irving Metzman at about 1:40 into the movie.)

    Just trying to track down a certain possible Spielbergain homage. Anyone guess what I’m thinking?

  5. Captain_Wesker

    Just three more boxes of Raisin Bran Crunch to go .

    It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  6. azactor

    When they book airfare from Chicago to Paris, it only cost them $178.00. I don’t know if that was the total for 1 or 2 tickets. Either way…sign me up!!!

    Also, when the FBI grabs David at the 7-11, there is a sign on a window that says a carton of Cigarettes is $6.99!!!! 25 years and the prices went up about 700%!

  7. irish102-1

    Come on people. Do you honestly think the US government is goning to let

    a teenager run amuck in NORAD. Get real. His ass would have been on the

    first plan to DC if he had hacked missle defense.

    And then this balony about tic,tac,toe? You have a two star general standing there,

    and he can’t run a computer?

    Sorry,but this movie ranks with the rotten tomatoes of all time.

  8. benbigwig-1

    I sat down to watch this movie with my Little Brother, not having seen it in years but remembering that I liked it. He is into computer stuff so I thought it would be perfect for him. What I didn’t remember was how much swearing was in the film– way more than you would expect to see in a PG film! GD and S-bombs were dropped every 30 seconds at some points, it seemed. My little comes from a very conservative family and we had to stop watching the movie about 30 minutes in because he was becoming visibly uncomfortable with the content.

    I’m not necessarily knocking the movie; I personally don’t care one way or the other and I still like the movie a lot. It was just very surprising. I know that it was made before the PG-13 rating so a lot of PG films were like this (Goonies also springs to mind). I just don’t know why the writers felt it was necessary to include so much swearing in a film obviously meant for kids. I hope I’m not coming across as prudish. Swearing makes sense in movies like Fight Club– clearly adult films starring adults, who have adult behaviors and adult language. It just doesn’t seem to fit in with the subject matter of this movie.

  9. yuckybear7

    Oh man, this movie makes me want corn. I didn’t understand what he meant when he said "can we have pills and cook the corn." Cook the corn with pills? Now I realize he meant have vitamins and cook the nutrients out of the corn.

  10. devilmaster

    I remember a scene from an 80s movie where two kids take control of a space shuttle with their computer, and when one of them made a movement with the joystick, the space shuttle reacted accordingly. Then the space shuttle exploded, and the kids just thought they lost at a video game, unaware that they actually blew up a shuttle instead.

    I thought it was Wargames… until I saw that there was no space shuttle involved in Wargames. So what was that movie?

  11. fistoffury

    We’ve got David, a computer geek. For the most part he is a very "nerdy" kid. You don’t see him hanging out with the cool crowd and you don’t see him playing any sports. For all intents and purposes it can be assumed that he does not play any sports. As it is, though, he ends up with a really hot girl, Jennifer. So I find it quite a bit out of the ordinary that a geeky kid like David would end up with such a great girl. Oh well, thats how it is in the movies.

  12. Anonymous
  13. dawelo

    At the end of the movie, Joshua is trying to find the launch code for the missles. It is a ten-character code of letters and numbers. This would of course provide millions of possibilities and be very difficult to crack; provided you had to get all ten characters at once.

    The problem is that Joshua locks the code numbers in one at a time and therefore only has to cycle thru 26 letters and ten digits for each slot in the code. Doing it this way would take a computer no time at all and the missiles would be away.

    I know it’s a dramatic device but it’s always bugged me. :)

  14. yandoblu

    Just saw this after not having seen it since 1990’s.

    Is it just me or has the portrayal of cops changed.

    In this film the cops are bumbling, not so bright

    guys who have you rooting for the teen computer whiz.

    Nowadays with tasers, shows like COPS, Law and Order, Police Women of Broward County, it’s all about "authority." Anyone with a badge is on the good side

    to be admired and obeyed. (But then again I just went to a trial

    where the officer blatantly lied repeatedly so I know this is *beep*

    Seeing this movie reminded me of a different attitude.

    Anyone concur?

  15. Anonymous
  16. vile5

    Had a bug today to buy the soundtrack, can’t wait to get it in the mail.

  17. jonandshellie

    In this day and age, where electronic and computer technology has reached a point of advancement that no one could have imagined 27 years ago in 1983, there isn’t any movie more deserving of a good, solid sequel, than "Wargames".

    The original movie was ahead of it’s time in not only technolgy BUT terminology as well. The use of words like "modem", "processor", and "firewall" were above most peoples heads at that time and still the movie was a runaway smash. The fear of nuclear war, although not prevalent in todays society, was still a serious issue in 1983. The movie fed off of the booming personal computer field, as well as the state of the world and even arcade games whcih saw their popularity SKYROCKET between 1980 and 1985.

    This movie was finally given a "sequel" in 2008 with "Wargames: The Dead Code". Anyone who has seen it will tell you that, not only should it NOT be considered a sequel (regardless of th emany references to "Joshua") but it should NEVER have been made to begin with.

    If a true sequel were to be made, it could not/should not be made without John Badham at the helm or at least part of the production, nor should it be made without the services of Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, Dabney Coleman, Barry Corbin, and John Wood.

    Unlike alot of movies out there, Wargames could easily have a good, solid sequel made, especially in this day and age of the fear of terrorism. If only someone out there had the foresight to create a good script to get the ball rolling.

  18. ex250

    There is a Cadillac CTS commercial out now in which the line of CTS cars are launched like land-bound rockets across the desert. Does anyone else think that the shot of the woman doing the countdown is an homage to WG? It even looks like the same actress. I keep waiting for her to say "impact."

  19. mail-2775

    Incredibly, I just saw this for the first time in 2010. It is a great film!

    It isn’t much different than if it had been made today. It was far ahead of it’s time in a lot of respects. I almost fell over when one of the characters used the word "firewall"!

    The only thing that makes it look dated is the smoking in every scene.

    The music is fantastic, both orchestral and electronic in good balance.

    A lot of people talk about various aspects of this film that were unbelieveable, but most of them never occurred to me. The only thing that jumped out at me was the jeep crash near the end. A whole bunch of people, including children, piled loosely into an open-air jeep, then rammed a gate at full speed, causing the jeep to flip over! They they all just ran about a mile into the mountain…

    The only problem with the characters was that the Ally Sheedy character needn’t have existed, and the film would have been better and less sappy all around if she weren’t in it.

    I understand they have to do this to sell a movie to the suits, like the impossible love interest forced on Jack Bauer in every single season of 24, but this one is just absurd.

    Sure, a guy like Bauer would tap a little here and there when it was totally convenient, but anyone who used a computer in high school in 1983 did NOT have a chick coming over to their house and into their room every day! I’ll bet Bill Gates made $2B before he ever even copped a feel…

  20. Anonymous
  21. burgershmurger

    I’ve always found it odd how lots of movies relied on the internet in the 80s, be it "war games". "ferris bueller" or "jumpin jack flash" etc. and yet i never knew anybody who actually had internet access at home nor did we ever consider looking for it! but there must have been people hooked up to the internet. i know the www with the graphics surface emerged in the 90s, but the text-only internet has been around since the 60s when it was invented by the military. but how come nobody actually had internet access at home and how come it was never advertised? or did i miss out on the ads? how much did internet access cost at the time? and how was the speed?

  22. dwillsxbr

    Check out all this info on his computer gear.


  23. Kupotek

    at NORAD it is stated that someone has stolen the codes to launch the missiles. But, it’s okay because the missiles cannot be launched unless they’re at DEFCON 1, and then the next sentence the General has them go to DEFCON 3… seems kind of silly to progress the DEFCON if they just said that’s the one thing that will make the missiles available to launch…

    Just seemed kind a dumb writing lol.



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  24. PiercedDiva

    I just read that Professor Falcon is supposed to be modeled after John Lennon,I don’t know if it’s just me but he reminded me more of Roger Waters from Pink Floyd!

    It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there,and I’m wearing Milk-bone underwear

  25. nebka23

    Who is the actor in NORAD scenes he is the Computer tek that runs and say it is a summation he has a beard and kind of heavy set.

  26. BraffStaff

    I don’t why that computer believe you can’t win at Tic Tac Toe and that is always a tie. Almost anyone over the age of 10 know if the first person places an X in a corner he can win with no tie! It two movies he can force the second player to give him a double win. Why doesn’t a computer know that?

  27. A_szany

    Damm she is So fine looking in this movie and David wants to play a computer game instead of being with her. Now that,s messed up. If he was with her in his bedroom instead of playing games he wouldn,t had almost started World War 3 hehe.

    But this is a kewl movie. Seen it a million times and never got sick of it.

  28. DarthBill

    An important character, or generic eye candy?

  29. jononfire

    his fly in one scene where Jennifer comes into his room? Very odd…are we given to assume he’s been pleasuring himself?

    "Believe not what you wish to believe, but what in truth you can"

  30. jj0908

    Remember Mandark from Dexter’s Lab? Well, there’s a guy in this film that sound’s and almost looks like a human manifestation of Mandark. When the main character brings the print-out to his buddies (one being a bearded guy, and the other a skinny tall guy wearing glasses), the guy wearing glasses sounds just like Mandark. Did anyone else recognize this immediately?

  31. arngusa

    Ugh, as if Wargames: The Dead Code wasn’t enough, now they want to remake a classic movie such as WarGames? It just doesn’t work nowadays!

    Link: http://www.cinemablend.com/new.php?id=12024

  32. edsugrue

    Sorry if there have been lots of other posts about this. I didn’t look very carefully for old threads.

    I was just thinking that this movie, together with all those home computer scenes in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, probably had a pretty substantial impact on the popularity of home computing. They had been around for awhile before this of course. I remember in about 1981 or so, playing with my cousins’ TRS-80, which needed a cassette player to load programs. That was awesome… but still, I would consider this film, along with Ferris Bueller, to be ENORMOUS influences on the popularity of PCs.

    I wonder how many of todays computer corporations got started by people who were inspired by movies like this, when they were kids.

    Mathew Broderick probably just needed the work, but duuuuuude, what an impact he had.

    Does anyone know of an article, or essay, on the topic?

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