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  • Wargames [VHS] [1983]
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Wargames [VHS] [1983]


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Product details

  • Actors: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood, Dabney Coleman, Barry Corbin
  • Directors: John Badham
  • Writers: Lawrence Lasker, Walon Green, Walter F. Parkes
  • Producers: Bruce McNall, Harold Schneider, Leonard Goldberg, Richard Hashimoto
  • Format: PAL, Full Screen, Colour
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: MGM
  • VHS Release Date: 1 April 2000
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RJ7H
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,782 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) is a young computer whizz who hacks into what he believes is a new line of video games, little knowing that it is in fact NORAD, America's defence program. He inadvertently creates a hostile global situation, placing the world on the brink of nuclear war. Together with his girlfriend Jennifer (Ally Sheedy) and a misanthropic computer expert (John Wood), David must fight to prevent an atomic meltdown.

From Amazon.co.uk

Cute but silly, this 1983 cautionary fantasy stars Matthew Broderick as a teenage computer genius who hacks into the Pentagon's defence system and sets World War III into motion. All the fun is in the film's set-up, as Broderick befriends Ally Sheedy and starts the international crisis by pretending while online to be the Soviet Union. After that, it's not hard to predict what's going to happen: government agents swoop in, but the story ends up in the "hands" of machines talking to one another. Thus we're stuck with flashing lights, etc. John Badham (Saturday Night Fever) directs in strict potboiler mode. Children still like this movie, though. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dusty Bin on 22 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD
I have to disagree with the Amazon review:

"After that, it's not hard to predict what's going to happen: government agents swoop in, but the story ends up in the "hands" of machines talking to one another. Thus we're stuck with flashing lights, etc."

You have to remember this film was brought out during the cold war and the era of the ZX Spectrum. Square blobs on a screen were impressive enough, but the idea of playing out multi-screen global nuclear war was enough to blow any 13 year old's mind at the time. This was combined with the fact that the computer software in question was named after the programmer's dead son and played the same kind of games, tic-tac-toe, that a child would. So, the final scene is not just about flashing lights, it's about a father teaching his son about life and the futility of war - and in so doing teaching every adult present in the US Army bunker the same lesson. This amounts to a very tense and touching finale.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on 13 Dec. 2002
Format: DVD
This movie is a classic, a must own for all the "computer people". It's the Nostradamus of computer movies. It talks about hacking at a time where the internet was science fiction and the average computer was half as powerfull as a Game Boy. It has some old school phreaking (tampering phone lines) in there as well but all information is just of historical value. All the things that you see in the movie is a common thing of todays computers, like speech, but when you watch this film have in mind that it was produced in 1983! It's also the movie that inspired programmers to write War Dialers (well known type of software among todays crackers used to find phone lines connected to computers). If you are not interested in classics and historical values but you want some computer action try something like "Hackers", "SWORDFISH" and "Antitrust". But if you are interested in classics also check "Tron".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. K. P. Burke on 20 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember the day my father took me to the cinema to see this movie. Several months before going to see it I was very fortunate to have been bought a Commodore 64 computer (ask your parents) by my parents as a birthday present. My young mind was full of possibilities after seeing that movie, I recall standing in the foyer of the cinema after the screening talking to other kids around the same age as myself at that time (15 y/o) and fantasizing about what we could do with our computers! This was I suppose the first ever movie to cover the issue of "hacking" whereby you gain access to another computer system illegally. This was long before the advent of the Internet as we know it today. It was a era when these issues were only dreams and fantasies of admirers of technology back then. One thing was for sure, I never looked at a computer in the same light again. The performances of the main characters David & Jennifer (Broderick & Sheedy) were quite believable back then. I suppose there was a lot of virgin technology that the characters had to get to grips with making the fluent dialogue sound quite realistic. Mathew Broderick was only 19 years of age when appearing in Wargames and just fitted the part of the computer nerd perfectly. If this is your kind of film you may also be interested in these titles: "Battle Beyond the Stars" and "The Last Star Fighter" both of which I have been able to buy on Amazon bringing the memories of my childhood on to my home cinema system today. Great movie for it's time.
Yours Kevin Burke from Glasgow Scotland UK
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Milne on 3 Feb. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was one of my favourite movies of the '80s, but which I had somehow neglected adding to my DVD collection until now. I expected to find it juvenile, and rather naive regarding technology, but in fact found that it still holds up surprisingly well as a thriller. I had no problem believing in any of the characters or their motivations. I enjoyed it so much that I watched it again with a friend the following evening, both of us enjoying a bit of movie nostalgia.

Listening to the excellent commentary even answered one of my old minor objections to the movie: you see I was then (and still am) a computer programmer. I could see that most of his equipment was years obsolete even when the movie came out, but the commentary pointed out that this was deliberate, after all this was a schoolkid - no income, so all his kit was hand-me-downs that others were throwing away.

My personal standard for a 5 star movie is, will I still want to be watching this in a few decades time? Since this movie has already met that test the score must be automatic! So 5 stars it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bob burns aka Batman on 15 May 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It may be an old film now but its still a cracking good story that has stood the test of time very well.We are so used to computers now that its a bit easy to forget we didn't always have pcs,we may have had some sorts of computers but nothing like we have now so its a gentle reminder of how far we have progressed in technology.The U.S. DO play wargames,as do the Russians,as did we when we were a significant nuclear power.Now we are but a shadow of our former slightly aggressive and distinctly prickly selves,its somewhat reassuring to know that such wargames are practised by the one power in the world that is not totally without honour,they do at least have the sense to put themselves first and to hell with trying to please everyone,its a damn shame we don't have the courage to follow suit.
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