50 Years of SIFF: WarGames


USA | 1983 | 114 min. | John Badham

November 10 - 27, 2023

50 Years of SIFF

In this techno-thriller shot in Seattle, WarGames follows a young man (Matthew Broderick) who finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

High school student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) unwittingly hacks into a military supercomputer while searching for new video games. After starting a game of Global Thermonuclear War, Lightman leads the supercomputer to activate the nation's nuclear arsenal in response to his simulated threat as the Soviet Union. Once the clueless hacker comes to his senses, Lightman, with help from his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy), must find a way to alert the authorities to stop the onset of World War III. Nominated for three Academy Awards, WarGames has been cited as the first mass-consumed, visual media with the central theme of remote computing as well as hacking.

  • Director: John Badham
  • Principal Cast: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy John Wood
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1983
  • Running Time: 114 min.
  • Producer: Leonard Goldberg, Richard Hashimoto, Harold Schneider
  • Screenplay: Lawrence Lasker, Walter F. Parkes
  • Cinematographers: William A. Fraker
  • Editors: Tom Rolf
  • Music: Arthur B. Rubinstein
  • Filmography: Incognito (1997), Nick of Time (1995), Drop Zone (1994), Another Stakeout (1993), Point of No Return (1993), The Hard Way (1991), Bird on a Wire (1990), Short Circuit (1986), American Flyers (1985), WarGames (1983), Whose Life is it Anyway? (1981), Dracula (1979), Saturday Night Fever (1977), The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)
  • US Distributor: Park Circus