Rollerball (1975) 1975 R

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(160) IMDb 6.6/10
Available in HD

James Caan stars as a rollerball champ in this fast-hitting, action-packed glimpse of a future where a brutal, no-holds-barred sport takes the place of war, and murder is just part of the game.

James Caan, John Houseman
2 hours 6 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Rollerball (1975)

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Product Details

Genres Sports, Science Fiction, Action
Director Norman Jewison
Starring James Caan, John Houseman
Supporting actors Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn, Pamela Hensley, Barbara Trentham, John Normington, Shane Rimmer, Burt Kwouk, Nancy Bleier, Richard LeParmentier, Robert Ito, Ralph Richardson, Craig R. Baxley, Steve Boyum, Miquel Brown, Tony Brubaker, Loftus Burton, Anthony Chinn
Studio MGM
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Considering the time it was made, great use of special effects and a good story line with real acting.
To be fair, Rollerball was originally an R movie, but to appeal to the teenage market, it was pared down to a PG-13.
Redbeard of the North
Rollerball forsees a day in the future where this control of all knowledge will be managed by corporations.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Sideburns on October 30, 2002
Format: DVD
"Rollerball" (judged one of the best sports movies of all time by Sports Illustrated) is more than a sports movie (although in 1975 Norman Jewison was only guessing at the thrall in which superstar athletes such as James Caan's Jonathan E could hold the public; fans carry pictures of him to matches as though he were Chairman Mao or Yasser Arafat), more than an action movie (though the stunt sequences during the games rival those of "Mad Max"), and much more than Orwellian science fiction.
The strengths of the movie lie in the way a society that is run from cradle to grave by corporations (rather than governments) is effectively portrayed as being both class-driven (director Norman Jewison uses the time-honored Hollywood trick of using actors with English accents to play the ruling corporate class, while the Rollerball players have working-class Southern U.S. drawls when they speak at all) as well as completely desensitized from all of humanity's pains through the creature comforts (including those of the recreational pharmaceutical variety) provided by the corporations.
The public channels what remaining passion for violence that exists in their world through the game of Rollerball, allowing themselves to be deluded into thinking that the carnage going on in their arenas and on their Multivision sets is perfectly excusable becasue it is not perpetrated by men but by machines ("Don't be silly, they're made in Detroit"). There is some question to the validity of the game itself; after the first match shown on film (the quarterfinal game of the season, it seems), the coach of Jonathan's team remarks that they will play New York in the Final.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Conno on June 21, 2000
Format: DVD
A friend came over the other night and poped the "Rollerball" DVD into the player - for a moment or two I grimaced, imagining some sort of .. poor 1970s version of "The Running Man" - little did I know it would be MUCH BETTER!
Was I surprised when the movie that unfolded was more like a cross between the stories of "1984", the computer game "Syndicate", and the court case against Bill Gates.
The story is about the fact that the world has evolved into a place where six major companies run everything, with very basic names: "Energy Corporation", "Leisure Corporation", "Food Corporation" etc., where each company has its own anthem and logo/colour scheme.
The corporations control EVERYTHING, including the main pastime for the people of Earth, "The Game", Rollerball.
Are you still with me? While it sounds very totalitarian, it is very realistic, with much of what goes on today reflected into this film...
Anyway, the plot revolves around a champion of "The Game", Jonothan E., who is so great, so popular that the Corporations Committee becomes scared and decides to force him to quit. But Jonothan has other ideas - the Committee has already taken his wife away, now his career... It is all too much for him, and the film develops into a battle (both violent and covert) against the Committee of Corporations.
A brilliant film which is about to be remade - directed by John McTiernan, the guy who did Die Hard, Predator, Hunt for Red October, 13th Warrior etc... But watch the original and be able to see what maes it a great film.
The story is truly imaginative and clever, James Caan is brilliant, the art direction is great (winning a BAFTA). Watch this film, BUY IT!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This film is exactly what the world of sci-fi needed. It is a painstakingly detailed, highly tear-inducing, look into a future wherein everything is run by huge corporations. The world is a thriving marketplace. But this apparent happiness by many is shadowed by the game on which the entire world places their money. The game is rollerball; a strange mix of basketball, roller derby, rugby and ice hockey. The wounds some players endure are enough to take a life. There is a time when the games has no time limit, and the last player left standing wins for the team. It is at this game that we realize the brutality of the world in which we might live. The acting is marvelous; James Caan's fine performance is just as potent and unwaveable as was his Sonny Corleone performance in "The Godfather". The action is harrowingly realistic and the overall edge-of-your-seat suspense is easily provided. The camera work is often incredible as we can see the expressions on the players' faces. A widescreen version would very much help in exhibiting the grandeurof this movie. I thought the slow-motion sequences, though a vey old trick, were used most effectively, particularly during the game scenes. This picture is often called one of Norman Jewison's best films. If it's not the best, it is certainly the most underappreciated.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Raegan Butcher on December 18, 2005
Format: DVD
A a kid growing up in rural Snohomish, Washington in the 70's i was a big fan of this movie; I was thrilled, involved & excited by the furiously nasty snap of the game, which is not at all what the director Norman Jewsion intended; ( sorry, i was only 8 or 9!) Then a few years ago i read the short story by William Harrison and was struck by its sense of poetry, nostalgia and loss and also its sense of danger and foreboding--it really makes the game seem scary-- its quite a nice piece of writing. Then i watched the film again and was struck by how much of that melancholy tone from the story Jewison was able to capture in the film, without sacrificing any of the punch of the Rollerball games themselves. Ah, the 1970's! The last decade before sci fi got blanded-out and watered down for mass-consumption. While watching this film you get a sense of intelligence at work; a sense of something being communicated besides crass marketing of toys and tie-ins. This is one sci fi film that looks remarkably contemporary-- no one wears anything made of silver spandex-- and the themes--of depersonalization in the face of consumerism, of corportate-ruled societies filled with a drugged-out leisure class, of the slick and cynical packaging of violence as entertainment in modern sporting spectacles--are as timely as ever. I hate to say this but if you want to see just what an intelligent, thoughtful and well-made film ROLLERBALL is all you have to do is watch the incredibly stupid, insulting and uncalled for re-make; Its garbage, totally worthless. This one is a gem.Read more ›
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