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Rollerball (1975).

July 24, 2007

The Scoop:
In the future, everyone will still be stuck in the ’70s.

That’s the real lesson learned from watching this horribly dated movie, which purports to make a serious statement about the growing commercialization and corporatization of sports and world culture. While the film has some important points to make — which are even more valid today than when it was made — they are all lost in the torrent of garish production design (check out the font on those uniforms!) and bad acting.

In the far distant year 2018, multinational corporations have replaced countries and all world conflict has been channeled into the ultraviolent sport of rollerball. James Caan is a superstar rollerball player who rebels when he is forced to retire by his corporation. Director Norman Jewison tries to class up the proceedings with appearances by John Houseman and Sir Ralph Richardson, and even achieves a few good moments. But mostly it’s short on character, long on roller skating and polyester.

Best Line:
“They have muscles! They bash in faces!”

Side Note:
John Box won a British Academy Award for his horrible, dated art direction.

Companion Viewing:
Complete your marathon of cheesy, dated ’70s “futuristic” sci-fi with viewings of “Logan’s Run” (1976) and “Zardoz” (1973).

Scoopy’s Movie House.

Take a Look:
A trailer:

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