Synopsis: A young computer whiz kid accidentally connects into a top secret super-computer which has complete control over the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It challenges him to a game between America and Russia, and he innocently starts the countdown to World War 3. Can he convince the computer he wanted to play a game and not the real thing ?
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Director(s): John Badham
Production: MGM
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

Replacement team's here, sir.


Come on through.

20 minutes and we were gonna

start looking for you.

Yeah. It's really something out there.

- You look a mess, sir.

- Yeah?

Your turn next, Ginsburg.

OK. I'll see you in 24.

See you tomorrow.

What was that you were you saying?

You used to hear her chant

all night long. Om mahneypod me om.

- Om mahneypod me om.

- Over the plants?

She'd cup her hands over those seeds

and chant by the hour.

She grew the most beautiful

wandoos you ever saw, man.

Primo stuff. Resin city.

Stand clear.

The commander's been worried

about you. The roads must be a bear.

- What roads?

- Visibility.

Visibility? Bullshit. You guys haven't

been on time for the last six months.

- I wrote you guys up in the logbook.

- Yeah. You're a prince, Bevan.

Good night, gentlemen!

So, that was like sinsemilia, right?

Sinsemilla. This grass made

Thai stick taste like oregano.

Lay you out flat, man.

- Got a red light, sir.

- What on?

Number eight. Warhead alarm.

Give it a thump with your finger.

Alarm reset.

Skybird, this is Dropkick with

a Red dash Alpha message in two parts.

Break. Break. Red dash Alpha.

- Stand by to copy message.

- Standing by.

Romeo OscarNovember Charlie

Tango Tango Lima Alpha.

220040 Delta


I have a valid message.

Stand by to authenticate.

I agree with authentication also, sir.

- Enter launch code.

- Entering launch code.

- Launch order confirmed.

- Holy sh*t!

Target selection: complete.

Time on target sequence: complete.

- Yield selection: complete.

- Begin countdown. Tminus 60.

- All right. Let's do it. Insert launch key.

- Stand by.

- Launch key inserted.

- Roger.

On my mark... rotate launch key to Set.

Three... two... one...

- Mark.

- Tminus 50.

Roger. At Set.

- Sir?

- Tminus 40.

- Enable missiles.

- Number one enabled. Two enabled.

- Three enabled.

- Get somebody on the goddamn phone.

Seven... eight...


Ten. All missiles enabled.

- Get me Wing Command Post. Direct line.

- That's not the correct procedure.

- Try SAC Headquarters on the HF.

- That's not the procedure.

I want somebody on the goddamn phone

before I kill 20 million people.

T minus 20.

I got nothin' here! They might

have been knocked out already.


On my mark,

rotate launch keys to Launch.

Roger. Ready to go to Launch.

- Fourteen...

- Thirteen... twelve...


Seven... six...

- Five...

- Sir, we have a launch order.

- Three... two...

- Put your hand on the key, sir.

One... Launch!

- Sir, we are at launch! Turn your key!

- I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

Turn your key, sir!

They're cleared. Go ahead and open it up.

- Hello. I'm Pat Healy.

- I'm Lyle Watson. This is Arthur Cabot.

I'm Pat Healy, Dr McKittrick's assistant.

I've got some passes for you here.

We had scheduled a meeting

pending your arrival.

If you have any questions,

feel free to ask me.

I'd be happy to fill you in

if there's any way I can.

They're here.


Let's go.

Cabot and Watson came alone.

No senators. No congressmen.

I wish they'd brought a few senators.

I'd like to tell 'em what's going on here.

John, please! Don't start that right away.

I had them on the phone

and they're calmed down.

Well, are we positive that these men had

no way of knowing this was only a test?

Lyle, for God's sakes! How many times

are we gonna go through this?

- It doesn't make any difference.

- I've spoken to these men.

They all believed it was the real deal.

Look, we gotta be on a plane

in less than an hour.

I have to explain to the president

why 22% of his missile commanders

failed to launch their missiles. What

am I supposed to say? 22% isn't so bad?

The president knows that I am fully

responsible for the men in my command.

I've ordered a re-evaluation of

our psychological screening procedure.

Wait a minute. Excuse me, General.

We can't ask these men

to go back to the president

with a lot of headshrinker horseshit!

You can't screen out human response!

Those men know what it means to turn

the keys, and some are just not up to it!

Now, it's as simple as that!

I think we oughta take

the men out of the loop.

- Mr McKittrick, you're out of line, sir.

- Why am I out of line?

Excuse me!

I'm sorry. I don't understand.

Take them out of the loop?

Gentlemen! We've had men in these silos

since before any of you

were watching Howdy Doody.

For myself, I sleep pretty well at night

knowing those boys are down there.

General, we know they're fine men,

but in a nuclear war we can't afford

to have missiles

lying dormant in those silos

because those men refuse to turn

the keys when the computers tell 'em to!

You mean when

the president orders them to.

The president will probably follow

the computer war plan. That's a fact!

I imagine the Joint Chiefs

will have some input.

- You're damn tootin'.

- Well, hell...

In a surprise attack, there's no time.

23 minutes from warning to impact.

- Six minutes if it's sub-launched.

- Six minutes.

That's barely enough time

for the president to make a decision.

Once he makes the decision,

the computer should take over.

Now, sir, I know that you've got

a plane waiting for you,

but if you could indulge me,

I'd like to show you something.

These computers give instant access

to the state of the world.

Troop movements, Soviet

missile tests, weather patterns.

Rate this script:3.3 / 3 votes

Lawrence Lasker

Lawrence C. Lasker (born October 7, 1949) is an American screenwriter and producer who entered American film in 1983 as writer of the movie WarGames. Lasker was born in Los Angeles County, California. He is the son of actress Jane Greer and producer Edward Lasker. His paternal grandfather was businessman Albert Lasker and his paternal step-grandmother was actress Doris Kenyon. He graduated from the Phillips Exeter Academy in 1967 and attended Yale University, as did his father. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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