The Running Man (1987 film)

1987 film directed by Paul Michael Glaser

The Running Man is a 1987 action film about a police officer wrongfully accused by the government of a massacre, who now must survive in a violent game show, The Running Man.

Directed by Paul Michael Glaser. Written by Steven E. de Souza, loosely based on the novel by Stephen King.
The year is 2019. The finest men in America don't run for President. They run for their lives.taglines

Ben Richards edit

  • [rips camera off the wall and speaks into it to Killian, who just offered him a job as a Stalker] You cold-blooded bastard! I'll tell you what I think of it. I'll live to see you eat that contract! But I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I'm going to ram it into your stomach and BREAK YOUR GODDAMN SPINE!!! [smashes camera]

Damon Killian edit

  • [On the phone getting chewed out by government officials for the death of Subzero] Yes, I know a Stalker died. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Well, it IS a contact sport. Now look, you people at the Justice Department cannot have it both ways! You hired me to entertain. If you want keep the people away from tax revolts, food riots, and bread lines and parked in front of their TVs you sure as hell are not going to do that with reruns of Gilligan's Island!...Gilligan's Island?...You know!...[Hums a few bars from "The Ballad of Gilligan's Island"]...Yes, the one with the boat!

Dialogue edit

[Killian has just unveiled Laughlin and Weiss to a disbelieving Richards and explains the game mechanics to the audience]
Damon Killian: You know how this works. The game zone is divided into four hundred square blocks, left over from the big quake of '97, and I don't think any of us will ever forget that. [audience laughs] Once inside the zone, the Runners have three hours, they've got to go through all four game quads, three hours or less, and they're gonna need every second, 'cause you know who's on their tail?
Studio Audience: The Stalkers!
Killian: Who?!
Studio Audience: THE STALKERS!!!
Killian: And you know what happens then!!
Studio Audience: Anything goes!
Killian: What?!
Studio Audience: ANYTHING GOES!!!
Killian: [goes back up the stage] Right! Without further ado, it's time to start... [faces audience with arms up high] RUNNING!!
[The audience cheers as Richards' rocket sled prepares to be launched into the game zone]
Killian: [to Richards] On your marks! Get set!...
Ben Richards: Killian! I'll be back.
Killian: [pauses; softly] Only in a rerun. [loudly] GO!! [Richards' sled launches] GO!! [Laughlin's sled launches]
Laughlin: You son of a bitch!
Killian: GO!! [Weiss's sled launches] YES!!

[Buzzsaw and Richards struggle over the chainsaw]
Buzzsaw: Richards, I love this saw. The saw is a part of me and I am going to make it part of you!!
Ben Richards: [moves chainsaw away from face and positions it between Buzzsaw's legs] That's all right, keep it! [shoves chainsaw up through Buzzsaw, who shrieks in pain before he dies]
Amber Mendez: [rejoins Richards as they walk away] What happened to Buzzsaw?
Richards: He had to split.

Damon Killian: OK Agnes. Who do you think is going to make the next kill? Fireball or Dynamo?
Agnes McArdle: Boy, that is a toughie. [thinks] Umm...I am going to go with...Ben Richards. [Audience boos]
Killian: Agnes, Ben Richards is a Runner. You have to elect a Stalker.
Agnes: I can vote for anyone I want and I endorse...Ben Richards. That boy is one mean motherfucker!
[Out on streets, where show is broadcast on a Jumbotron]
Bettor: [at street bookie] Two hundred dollars for Richards!!!! [other bettors join the bidding; bookie shrugs shoulders and sets up the board at RICHARDS: 100-1]

[while hiding from Fireball in a locker room, Amber sees three corpses that look eerily familiar]
Amber Mendez: [checks dogtags] Whitman... Price.
Fireball: [appears just as Amber looks at Haddad's corpse] Haddad. [enters room]
Mendez: They're Running Men. Last season's winners.
Fireball: No. Last season's losers.

[Frustrated that he's to face Richards with high-tech gear instead of bare hands, Captain Freedom barges into the control booth]
Captain Freedom: Forget it, Killian, I won't do it!
Killian: It's not a request, moron, it's an order.
Captain Freedom: I don't need this crap! [strips off gear] This stuff is garbage! I was killing guys like this ten years ago with my bare hands! I'm not going for any of these tricks! This is a sport of death and honor, Code of the Gladiators!
Killian: Cap, will you spare me the combat Zen speech? What the hell's the matter with you? Can't you see what's going on out there? This isn't a game! They're betting on Richards up there!
Captain Freedom: Bullshit!
Killian: Get out of here! [to his bodyguard Sven] Get him out of here! [Sven stays still] What's the matter? Steroids make you deaf? Get him out of here NOW!!
[Sven shrugs his shoulders at Captain Freedom, who simply leaves the control booth after almost running onto Killian's assistant]

[The resistance hacks into the ICS broadcast and puts in their own video of spliced clips]
Damon Killian: [on video] And who loves you, and who do you LOVE?!
Studio Audience: KILLIAN!!!
Killian: YES!!! [zoom in] YES!!! [zoom in further] YES!!!["KILLIAN IS LYING TO YOU" appears on the screen]
[The audience and Killian watch the video in confusion]
Audience member: Hey, what's going on?!
Killian: [on video] We don't lie - lie - lie... like our previous winners Whitman, Price, and Haddad. You remember them! [stills appear of the corpses that Amber found in the locker room] There they are at this very moment, basking under the Maui sun, their debt to society paid in full. Watch that screen.
[Raw footage of the Bakersfield massacre begins to play]
Dispatcher: [to Richards] Yankee Nine-Niner, what's the status of the crowd?
Ben Richards: Food riot in progress. Approximately 1,500 civilians. No weapons are evident.
Dispatcher: Proceed with Plan Alpha, eliminate anything moving.
Richards: I said the crowd is unarmed! There are lots of women and children down there. All they want is some food, for God's sake!
[The audience and Killian continue to watch in bewilderment]
Dispatcher: As you were, Richards. Proceed with Plan Alpha. All rioters must be eliminated.
Richards: The hell with you! I will not fire at helpless human beings!
Dispatcher: You have your orders, Yankee Nine-Niner, proceed with Plan Alpha.
[at the ICS control room]
Tony: Where's it coming from?
Brenda: The network satellite.
[Just as Tony is about to turn the dial to override the satellite, Stevie and several resistance fighters burst into the control room, guns pointed]
Stevie: [menacingly] Don't touch that dial!
[Cut back to the video]
Richards: Abort mission. We return to base...
Dispatcher: Saunders, do you copy? Take command. Detain Richards and proceed as ordered.
[Fight breaks out]
Soldier: Richards, what the fuck are you doing?!
[The soldiers overpower Richards and knock him out; Cut to the studio, where the audience gasp at the footage in disbelief]
Killian: Ladies and gentlemen! Ladies and gentlemen, if you'll please bear with us, we're experiencing technical difficulties!
Agnes McArdle: Bullshit!!
[Richards and the other resistance fighters burst into the studio with guns]
Richards: It's showtime!

Taglines edit

  • The year is 2019. The finest men in America don't run for President. They run for their lives.
  • A game nobody survives. But Schwarzenegger has yet to play.
  • It is the year 2017. "The Running Man" is a deadly game no one has ever survived. But..... Schwarzenegger has yet to play.
  • 2019. A game nobody survives. This year might be the exception.

Cast edit

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about:
Adaptations of works by Stephen King
  Films     The Shining (1980) · Cujo (1983) · The Dead Zone (1983) · Christine (1983) · Cat's Eye (1985) · Silver Bullet (1985) · Stand by Me (1986) · The Running Man (1987) · Tales from the
  Darkside: The Movie
(1990) · Graveyard Shift (1990) · Misery (1990) · The Lawnmower Man (1992) · Sleepwalkers (1992) · The Dark Half (1993) · Needful Things (1993) · The
  Shawshank Redemption
(1994) · Dolores Claiborne (1995) · Thinner (1996) · The Night Flier (1997) · Apt Pupil (1998) · The Green Mile (1999) · Hearts in Atlantis (2001) · Dreamcatcher 
  (2003) · Secret Window (2004) · Riding the Bullet (2004) · 1408 (2007) · The Mist (2007) · Dolan's Cadillac (2009) · A Good Marriage (2014) · Cell (2016) · It (2017) · It Chapter Two (2019)  
  Carrie     Carrie (1976) · The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999) · Carrie (2002) · Carrie (2013)  
  Creepshow     Creepshow (1982) · Creepshow 2 (1987) · Creepshow 3 (2006)  
  Children of the Corn     Children of the Corn (1984) · The Final Sacrifice (1993) · Urban Harvest (1995) · The Gathering (1996) · Fields of Terror (1998) · Isaac's Return (1999) ·
  Revelation (2001) · Children of the Corn (2009) · Genesis (2011)  
  Firestarter     Firestarter (1984) · Rekindled (2002)  
  Trucks     Maximum Overdrive (1986) · Trucks (1997)  
  Pet Sematary     Pet Sematary (1989) · Pet Sematary Two (1992) · Pet Sematary (2019)  
  The Mangler     The Mangler (1995) · The Mangler 2 (2001) · *The Mangler Reborn (2005)  
  Television     Episodes     "Gramma" (1986) · "Sorry, Right Number" (1987) · "The Revelations of Becka Paulson" (1997)  
  Series     Golden Years (1991) · The Dead Zone (2002–07) · Kingdom Hospital (2004) · Haven (2010–present) · Under the Dome (2013–15) · 11.22.63 (2016)  
  Films or miniseries     It (1990) · The Tommyknockers (1993) · The Stand (1994) · The Langoliers (1995) · The Shining (1997) · Quicksilver Highway (1997) · Storm of the Century
  (1999) · Stephen King's Desperation (2006) · Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (2006) · Bag of Bones (2011) · Big Driver (2014)  
  Salem's Lot     Salem's Lot (1979) · A Return to Salem's Lot (1987) · Salem's Lot (2004)  
  Sometimes They Come Back     Sometimes They Come Back (1991) · Sometimes They Come Back... Again (1996) · Sometimes They Come Back... for More
  Rose Red     Rose Red (2002) · The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer (2003)  
  See also     {{Stephen King}}