Is It A Game, Or Is It Real?

Computer hacker David Lightman (Broderick) can bypass the most advanced security systems, break the most intricate secret codes and master even the most difficult computer games. But when he unwittingly taps into the Defense Department's war computer, he initiates a confrontation of global proportions - World War III! Together with his girlfriend (Sheedy) and a wizardly computer genius (Tony Award Winner John Wood), David must race against time to outwit his opponent...and prevent a nuclear Armageddon.

An Amazingly Entertaining Thriller.
A Masterpiece ! - Roger Ebert.

Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club) star in this compelling drama filled with action, suspense and high-tech adventures! Featuring superb performances by Dabney Coleman and Barry Corbin, WarGames is brilliant...funny...and provocative" (New York) - a fast-paced, cyber-thriller.


General Beringer. Barry portrays the commander of the NORAD defense system who is skeptical about computer control. Pitted against a computer advocate from the Defense Department (played by Dabney Coleman), Corbin's General Beringer is quite the opposite of the mad general played by Sterling Hayden in the 1963 version of Armageddon found in "Dr. Strangelove." Even as he barks orders inside the NORAD command center during a World War III alert, Beringer throws over the military stereotype, erring on the side of caution.

Barry's commentary: "I considered the part of Beringer a good opportunity to play a general officer who was not a fool and who was not a villain. I think General Beringer starts out with people assuming he's gonna be some kind of tobacco-chewin' redneck monster. By the end of the picture, hopefully, people will like him and decide that he's not such a bad guy after all."

Barry's commentary on his famous adlib:
1. " First of all I’m glad you liked the sparkplug line - I threw that in there because I really had my cousin do that when we were kids. He didn’t think it was quite as funny as you did! "
2. " I had heard that John Badham (the director of War Games) had mentioned that line in the DVD version, but he didn't use me in his last picture, a western called 'The Jack Bull'! I guess my brilliant writing went for naught! "


GENERAL BERINGER : Gentlemen, we've had men in these silos since before any of you were watching Howdy Doody (chuckles). For myself, I sleep pretty well at night knowing those boys are down there.

GENERAL BERINGER : Gentlemen, I wouldn't trust this overgrown pile of microchips any further than I could throw it. And I don't know if you want to trust the safety of our country to some silicon diode.

GENERAL BERINGER : Conley, take us off full alert. Hold at DEFCON 4 till we find out exactly WHAT IN THE HELL'S HAPPENING HERE!
PAUL : (To Pat) I didn't tell you to cut the line! Did I tell you to cut the line? You cut the line! Sir, they shut down before we could complete our trace!
PAT : We did manage to locate the original area where the transmission originated.
PAT : Seattle, Washington.
GENERAL BERINGER : Somebody's playing a game with us.

WIGAN : The kid claims he was looking for a toy company.
GENERAL BERINGER : (Chuckles) That's great! Anybody in here buy that one?
McKITTRICK : We can find the password and take it out, but it might help to beef up security around the WOPR.
GENERAL BERINGER : Oh, beef up, huh? How about screwed up? We did all that and he broke in again.

CONLEY : Sir, the Soviets are denying any increase in their submarine deployment. They want to know what the hell we've doing provoking them.
GENERAL BERINGER : They're full of shit. We know they're down there. I'm gonna blow their ass out of the water.

GENERAL BERINGER : (Speaking on the telephone) Mr. President, we've got 48 nuclear subs closing on the United States and we've got 100,000 soviet troops massing in East Germany and we're monitoring their bombers that are in alert...Yes, sir -- OH, THAT'S A LOAD OF SHIT! -- Oh, no, no, no, sir. Not you. Yes sir, we'll be in touch as soon as the information changes.

GENERAL BERINGER : What does WOPR recommend, Mr. McKittrick?
McKITTRICK : Full-scale retaliatory strike.
GENERAL BERINGER : (Chuckles) I need some machine to tell me that?
McKITTRICK : General, the machine has locked us out and is sending random numbers to the silos.
PAT : It's trying to hit the codes to launch the missiles.
GENERAL BERINGER : Just unplug the GODDAMN thing! Jesus Christ!
McKITTRICK : That won't work, General. It would interpret a shutdown as the destruction of NORAD. The computers in the silos would carry out their last instructions and launch.
GENERAL BERINGER : Can't we disarm the missiles?
PAT : Over a thousand of them? There's no time. At this rate it'll hit the launch codes in 5.3 minutes.
GENERAL BERINGER : Mr. McKittrick? After very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks.

DAVID : If he wants to play a game, then play it! Have it listed games!
McKITTRICK : Stephen, for Christ's sake!
JENNIFER : No, let him! He's played it before.
FALKEN : He can hardly do worse than you have, John.
GENERAL BERINGER : GOD DAMN IT! I'd piss on a sparkplug if I thought it'd do any good! Let the boy in there, Major.



Release Date
  • Friday, June 3, 1983.
  • Sci-Fi / Thriller.
Directed By
  • John Badham.

Executive Producers

  • Leonard Goldberg.

Produced By

  • Harold Schneider.


  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Publicity Stills



Main Cast

  • Matthew Broderick as David Lightman.

  • Dabney Coleman as McKittrick.

  • John Wood as Falken.

  • Ally Sheedy as Jennifer.

  • Barry Corbin as General Beringer.

  • Juanin Clay as Pat Healy.

  • Kent Williams as Cabot.

  • Dennis Lipscomb as Watson.

  • Joe Dorsey as Conley.

  • Irving Metzman as Paul.

Filming Locations

  • El Segundo High School, El Segundo, California.
  • Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • Anderson Island, Washington State.
  • Cascades, Washington State.
  • Lake Chelan, Washington State.
  • Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington State.
  • Westchester High School, Los Angeles, California.

Running Time

  • 1 Hour 53 Minutes.

MPAA Rating

  • PG.

DVD Special Features

  • Feature-length audio commentary by
    director John Badham and writers Lawrence Lasker
    and Walter F. Parkes.
  • New Dolby Digital 5.1 Soundtrack.
  • Trivia and production notes.
  • Original Theatrical Trailer.
  • Interactive Menus.
  • Scene Access.
  • Widescreen version. Theatrical release format.
  • English, French and Spanish language subtitles.





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