Rollerball (1975)

In the near future, the world has no war, no problems generally and everything seems perfect.  Trouble is, this new world order is ruled by big corporations cleverly telling us what to do and think.  The national sport is Rollerball, a violent cross between a roller derby, american football and motocross.  This keeps the masses happy as they can cheer on their heroes and don’t think about thinking for themselves.

Jonathan E. (James Caan) is the most famous player on the planet but when he is told he has to retire, he begins to ask questions on how things ‘really are’.  Of course upsetting the stauis quo isn’t really recommended and the powers at be gradually turn the screws on him.

Although now forty years old, Rollerball was a film way ahead of it’s time with the central story involving big corporations and their various practices.  The Rollerball sequences are some of the best ever committed to celluloid with real stunts performed by real stuntmen including one of the blokes who has played Michael Myers.  It’s got a cracking cast including Sir Ralph Richardson, John Beck, Octopussy herself Maud Adams and the awesomely gorgeous Pamela ‘Princess Ardala from Buck Rogers’ Hensley.  It’s all wrapped up with superb direction from Norman Jewison who gives us an action film with a brain, something not seen very often.

Highly recommended with lots of great extras including a brand new interview with Caan, a making-of doc and other goodies, but don’t get me started on that appalling remake with Chris Klein.

  • Starring james Caan  John Houseman  Moses Gunn  Shane Rimmer
  • Director Norman Jewison
  • Distributor Arrow Video