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Encyclopedia > The Running Man (film)
The Running Man

The Running Man movie poster
Directed by Paul Michael Glaser
Produced by George Linder
Tim Zinnemann
Written by Stephen King (novel)
Steven E. de Souza
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
Maria Conchita Alonso
Yaphet Kotto
Richard Dawson
Jim Brown
Jesse Ventura
Erland Van Lidth
Marvin J. McIntyre
Mick Fleetwood
Music by Harold Faltermeyer
Vassal Benford
Cinematography Thomas Del Ruth
Editing by John Wright
Mark Roy Warner
Edward A. Warschilka
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s) November 13, 1987 (premiere)
Running time 101 min.
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $27,000,000 US
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

The Running Man is a film loosely based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, released in 1987, and was directed by Paul Michael Glaser, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Ben Richards. It also featured future governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, Arnold's bodybuilding-buddy Sven-Ole Thorsen, and pro football legend Jim Brown. Richard Dawson, in a self-parody of his role as the host of Family Feud, plays the host of The Running Man television show, Damon Killian. The theme music was done by Harold Faltermeyer. Image File history File links The Running Man poster (from http://www. ... Paul Michael Glaser (born March 25, 1943) is an American actor and director. ... For other persons named Stephen King, see Stephen King (disambiguation). ... Steven de Souza is among the handful of screenwriters whose films have earned over two billion dollars at the box office. ... Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (German pronunciation IPA: ) (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-born American bodybuilder, actor, and politician, currently serving as the 38th Governor of the U.S. state of California. ... Maria Conchita Alonso María Conchita Alonso (born June 29, 1957) is a Cuban-born Venezuelan singer and actress. ... Prince Yaphet Frederick Kotto (born November 15, 1937) is an American actor. ... Richard Dawson (born November 20, 1932) is a British-born American actor, comedian, game show panelist and host. ... Jim Brown (born February 17, 1936) is an American former professional football player who has also made his mark as an actor and social activist. ... Jesse Ventura (born James George Janos on July 15, 1951), also known as The Body, The Star, and The Governing Body, is an American politician, retired professional wrestler, Navy UDT veteran, actor, and former radio and television talk show host. ... Erland van Lidth de Jeude (June 3, 1953 Hilversum, Netherlands - September 23, 1987 New York, New York) acted in several Hollywood films, as well as wrestling, singing bass-baritone in opera, and working with computers. ... Marvin J. McIntyre, sometimes billed as Marvin McIntyre is an actor with more than thirty years worth of screen appearaces. ... Mick Fleetwood (born 24 June 1947) is an English musician best known for his role as the drummer with the rock and roll band Fleetwood Mac. ... Harold Faltermeyer (born October 5, 1952 in Munich) is a German musician and moreover composer. ... Thomas Del Ruth is a multiple-award-winning cinematographer. ... John Wright is an ACE-certified film editor. ... The TriStar Pictures logo from 1993 to the present TriStar redirects here. ... is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For other persons named Stephen King, see Stephen King (disambiguation). ... The Running Man (1982) is a science fiction novel by Stephen King, written under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman. ... Year 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar). ... Paul Michael Glaser (born March 25, 1943) is an American actor and director. ... Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (German pronunciation IPA: ) (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-born American bodybuilder, actor, and politician, currently serving as the 38th Governor of the U.S. state of California. ... Jesse Ventura (born James George Janos on July 15, 1951), also known as The Body, The Star, and The Governing Body, is an American politician, retired professional wrestler, Navy UDT veteran, actor, and former radio and television talk show host. ... Sven-Ole Thorsen (born September 24, 1944) is a Danish actor, stuntman, and athlete. ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... Jim Brown (born February 17, 1936) is an American former professional football player who has also made his mark as an actor and social activist. ... Richard Dawson (born November 20, 1932) is a British-born American actor, comedian, game show panelist and host. ... Self-parody is parody of oneself or ones own work. ... This article is about the American game show. ... Harold Faltermeyer (born October 5, 1952 in Munich) is a German musician and moreover composer. ...


The film, set in a dystopic year 2019, is about a TV show called The Running Man, where "runners" must escape death at the hands of professional killers. A dystopia (or alternatively cacotopia) is a fictional society, usually portrayed as existing in a future time, when the conditions of life are extremely bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. ...


The film differed significantly from the novel; it recalls some scenes from a French movie with a similar theme, called Le Prix du Danger, about a TV show where participants must escape killers live on TV. Le Prix du Danger is a 1983 French science fiction movie, directed by Yves Boisset. ...

Contents

Plot Summary

In the year 2017, commodities like oil and food are scarce, poverty is huge due to the world economy's collapse. The great freedoms of the United States are no longer, as the nation has sealed off its borders and become a militarized police state, censoring all film, art, literature, and communications. 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 (a character combining traits of the host and the producer in the novel, Bobby Thompson and Dan Killian). Despite the governments best efforts, a resistance has formed.


Ben Richards (Schwarzenegger) is a piloting a police helicopter gunship. While ordered to do so, he refuses to fire upon unarmed civilians in Bakersfield, California during a food riot. His fellow police officers are ordered to overpower him and kill the civilians. Richards manages to over whelm them at first but throws one of them at the leaver which tilts the chopper. Ben loses his balance and almost falls off but his foot is caught by Lieutenant Saunders. One of the soldiers knocks Ben out with the butt of his gun. Richards is turned into a scapegoat by state propaganda for the resulting civilian massacre that was really the actions of his crew and imprisoned. Edited footage of the event appear on television across the country, and Richards was given the moniker, "The Butcher of Bakersfield" and becomes public enemey number one. Bakersfield redirects here. ...


Flash foward 18 months to the year 2019, Ben is imprisoned in a labor camp. Richards plots his escape with two other prisoners he has befriended, William Laughlin (Yaphet Kotto) and Harold Weiss (Marvin J. McIntyre). Prisoners are kept detained through the use of collars implanted with a ring of C-4 explosive. If the prisoner tries to remove the collar without the legitimate code, or if any prisoner leaves the boundary of the prison's laser-linked worksites, the collar will explode. After finally learning the code to deactivate the collars, Richards and Laughlin stage a fight while Weiss deactivates the zone, and they manage to escape to relative freedom in the underground. Richard's escape is later reported by the media. Prince Yaphet Frederick Kotto (born November 15, 1937) is an American actor. ... Marvin J. McIntyre, sometimes billed as Marvin McIntyre is an actor with more than thirty years worth of screen appearaces. ...


The rebels escape to Los Angeles to a secret hide out in a shanty town on the outskirts. There they plot on hacking the satellite to broadcast the truth to to people about the government. Ben after having his collar removed decides to go out to find his brother's apartment rather than help his fellow felons. Disguised as a construction worker, he visits the apartment only to find out it is now occupied by new composer Amber Mendez (Maria Conchita Alonso), who works for the same network that broadcasts The Running Man. She explains, ominously, that Richards' brother was taken away for 're-education'. Richards kidnaps Amber and plans to fly to Hawaii. While at the airport , she manages to alert airport security, which leads to a pursuit. After a dramatic chase through the airport to the runway Richards is caught captured by one of the officers shooting at him with a net gun. They arrest him and take Ben into custody. Later on, Amber watches a news broadcast falsely stating that Richards killed several police officers and airport security guards before his capture. Maria Conchita Alonso María Conchita Alonso (born June 29, 1957) is a Cuban-born Venezuelan singer and actress. ... Re-education is to educate again or anew so as to rehabilitate or adapt to new situations. ...


Richards is taken to the Running Man studios in downtown Los Angeles where the host Killian requests he competes on the show. He is forced to decide to go onto the game the most popular television show broadcast in the nation when Killian threatens to have his two prison break accomplices, Weiss and Laughlin, put in his place. After suiting him up for the show, Killian's body Guard Sven (whom Killian treats very poorly) escorts Ben to the stage. Despite the agreement he made with Killian, Weiss and Laughlin are launched into the game grid with Richards. Before he gets launched, Ben threatens Killian by telling him "I'll be back." Killian replies "only in a rerun." Soon after, Amber, who is trying to find evidence of the truth behind Richard's case, is caught looking through the raw footage of the Bakersfield massacre and is sent into the game grid herself after being falsely identified as Richard's lover. (In Amber's introduction, the announcer makes the point that she had sexual relationships with multiple men in one year, thereby establishing her credentials as a fallen woman.)


The show is portrayed as a gladiatorial-style competition that takes place in a section of Los Angeles raveged by an Earthquake in the year 1997, in which several "Runners" attempt to survive while being chased by "Stalkers" for cash and prizes. These stalkers resemble professional wrestlers, with ornate weaponry, costumes, nicknames, and, in the case of Subzero, their own "Game Zones", areas where they would have a tactical advantage; Subzero's game zone was an ice rink, as he shared the look of a hockey goaltender, complete with ice skates and razor-sharp stick. (Subzero was, in fact, played by a professional wrestler, Professor Tanaka.) This article is about the Roman professional fighters. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... Hockey is any of a family of sports in which two teams compete by trying to maneuver a ball, or a hard, round disc called a puck, into the opponents net or goal, using a hockey stick. ... This article is about the goaltender in ice hockey. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Richards grows from an ex-con "villain" to a popular player of the game as he confronts and kills each Stalker he faces, but Weiss and Laughlin do not survive the run. With the Department of Justice becoming increasingly frustrated by a convict doing well on the show, Killian, during a commercial break, offers Richards a role as a Stalker, which he declines. Killian ultimately stages the death of Richards and Amber, through computer-generated imagery, at the hands of a virtual Captain Freedom (Ventura), a highly decorated ex-Stalker and now a TV-show host and commentator.


As the film progresses, Richards and Amber encounter and join an underground group fighting the television network that airs The Running Man. They intend to expose the "truth" behind the show: that contestants who had been declared winners in the past had actually been killed by Stalkers. Thanks to the raw Bakersfield footage, which Amber had smuggled out of the studio and into the arena, they also publicize the truth behind the massacre, demonstrating how the government is feeding the public lies in order to control their way of thought.


The movie ends in an upbeat, if violent manner. Richards straps Killian into a rocket-powered sled and sends him hurtling through twisting tunnels, eventually launching into the air and crashing into a billboard featuring his own image and Cadre Cola (an imaginary beverage in the film), exploding on impact. Richards then uses Cadre Cola's slogan, "That hit the spot." Everyone who is watching cheer for Richards as he confronts Miranda and kisses her. The two walk down the hallway as leaders of revolution. As they walk out, the shanty town residents are shown cheering as the screen goes blaank and "Please Stand By" appears on it. The end credits roll as the scene fades out with John Parr's "restless hearts" playing.


Themes of dystopia, such as authoritarianism, and state propaganda, feature heavily in the film. Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      This article applies to political and organizational ideologies. ... For other uses, see Propaganda (disambiguation). ...


In the film, Schwarzenegger again uses the line "I'll be back", establishing it as his catchphrase. Ill be back is phrase used by John Wayne in the movie Fort Apache, circa late 1940s. ... A catch phrase is a phrase or expression that is popularized, usually through repeated use, by a real person or fictional character. ...


Differences from the Novel

  • In the film, Richards is a contestant on The Running Man after becoming a scapegoat for a government-initiated massacre. In the book, Richards willingly becomes a contestant to afford a doctor for his gravely ill infant daughter.
  • The book is set in 2025; the movie is set in 2019.
  • In the print version of The Running Man, Killian is the show's executive producer, not the host (that job is held by a character named Bobby Thompson). Also, Killian's name is Dan (not Damon) and is depicted as an African-American in the book.
  • Evan McCone is depicted as African-American in the film, and travels by jetpack. In the book, McCone is depicted as small, white, and bespectacled. Also in the book, his underlings are called "Hunters", not "Stalkers." The characters Subzero and Captain Freedom are completely absent from the book.
  • The film version of The Running Man sees the game played in a ruined, earthquake-torn section of Los Angeles. In the book, the contestants are allowed to travel anywhere in the world to escape the Hunters (after a twelve-hour head start).
  • The book ends in on a more downbeat note than the film. After learning that his wife and daughter have been murdered, Richards hijacks a jet, mortally wounded in the process. He overrides the craft's autopilot and flies it into the headquarters of the Network in a kamikaze fashion, killing Killian.

The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt, 1854. ... 2025 (MMXXV) will be a common year starting on Tuesday in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2019 (MMXIX) will be a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Languages Predominantly American English Religions Protestantism (chiefly Baptist and Methodist); Roman Catholicism; Islam Related ethnic groups Sub-Saharan Africans and other African groups, some with Native American groups. ... Languages Predominantly American English Religions Protestantism (chiefly Baptist and Methodist); Roman Catholicism; Islam Related ethnic groups Sub-Saharan Africans and other African groups, some with Native American groups. ... For the game, see Jetpack (computer game). ... An autopilot is a mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic system used to guide a vehicle without assistance from a human being. ... USS Bunker Hill was hit by Ogawa (see picture left) and another kamikaze near Kyūshū on May 11, 1945. ...

Video game

A video game based on the movie was released for the ZX Spectrum[1], Commodore 64[2], Amstrad CPC[3], Amiga[4] and Atari ST[5]. The game was developed by Emerald Software Ltd and published by Grandslam Entertainment. Computer and video games redirects here. ... The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit personal home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research Ltd. ... C-64 redirects here. ... The Amstrad CPC was a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad during the 1980s and early 1990s. ... This article is about the family of home computers. ... The Atari ST is a home/personal computer that was commercially popular from 1985 to the early 1990s. ... Emerald Software was a video game publisher founded in 1988 by two UK entertainment executives - David Martin of Martech, and Mike Dixon who previously worked with EMI and worked as the company CEO. The company was headquartered in a three-storey Georgian house (Washington Lodge) in Wilkin Street, Waterford, Ireland. ... Grandslam Entertainment (later Grandslam Video) was a computer and video games software house based in Britain. ...


Although not a direct tie-in, the developers of Midway's Smash TV have said the game was inspired by the events of the film. Killian, along with the game show host from RoboCop, were also used as the basis for the game's MC character. In later years, the video games Manhunt and Ratchet: Deadlocked would also be compared to the movie. Midway may refer to: Midway Atoll, an island in the Pacific Ocean Battle of Midway, a World War II battle fought on and around that island Midway (game), a board game by Avalon Hill based on the Battle of Midway Midway Campaign, a computer game, also by Avalon Hill Midway... Smash TV is a 1990 arcade game created by Eugene Jarvis and Mark Turmell for Williams. ... RoboCop is a 1987 science-fiction, action movie and satire of business-driven capitalism, directed by Paul Verhoeven. ... Manhunter: New York and Manhunter 2: San Francisco Manhunt is a controversial video game released by Rockstar Games in November, 2003. ...


Trivia

  • During one of the last scenes, when the underground fighting group raids the control room, the rebel played by Dweezil Zappa says "Don't touch that dial!" to one of the operators, which is a reference to the song I'm The Slime by Frank Zappa, Dweezil's father.

Dweezil Zappa (born September 5, 1969, in Los Angeles, California) is a heavy metal guitarist. ... Frank Vincent Zappa[1] (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, musician, and film director. ...

External links


 
 

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