The Game (1997 film)

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The Game is a 1997 neo-noir psychological thriller in which a rich investment banker is given an elaborate gift experience for his birthday which consumes his life.

Directed by David Fincher. Written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris.
There are no rules in The Game.taglines

Nicholas Van Orton[edit]

  • I'm being toyed with by a bunch of depraved children.
  • And you really believe that just because you publish children's books, people are going to care about my reputation? You can have pictures of me wearing nipple rings, butt-fucking Captain Kangaroo. The only thing they care about is the stock and whether that stock is up or down!

Daniel Schorr[edit]

  • Discovering the object of the game is the object of the game.


Conrad: This is for you.
Nicholas: You shouldn't have.
Conrad: What do you get for the man who has…everything?
Nicholas: [reading the card] "Consumer Recreation Services." Well, I do have golf clubs.
Conrad: Call that number.
Nicholas: Why?
Conrad: Make your life... fun.
Nicholas: Fun.
Conrad: You know what that is... uh, you've seen other people have it.

Nicholas: No, what is this for? What are you... selling?
Jim Feingold: Oh. It's a game.
Nicholas: A game?
Jim Feingold: Specifically tailored for each participant. Think of it as a great vacation. Except you don't go to it, it comes to you.
Nicholas: What... What kind of vacation?
Jim Feingold: It's different every time.
Nicholas: Humor me with specifics.
Jim Feingold: We provide whatever's lacking.
Nicholas: And what if nothing is lacking?
Jim Feingold: May I make two suggestions?
Nicholas: You really think that I'll participate without knowing any...
Jim Feingold: First, admit to yourself that it sounds intriguing. Second, you don't have to decide today. Take the silly test, fill out the stupid forms. One day, your game begins. You either love it or hate it. Decide then. You know we...We are like an experiential book-of-the-month club. You can drop out at any time with no further obligation. That was my sales pitch.

Nicholas: So, you've played recently?
New Member Ted: Oh, about a year ago. I was working in Los Angeles.
Nicholas: Oh, I hear the London office is very good, too. It just sounds like a lot of fantasy, role-playing nonsense.
New Member Ted: [leans in] You wanna know what it is? What it's all about?
[Nicholas leans closer]
New Member Ted: John 9:25.
Nicholas: I... haven't been to Sunday school in a long time.
New Member Ted: 'Whereas once I was blind, now I can see.' [rises] Good night, Nicholas. Best of luck.
Nicholas: Good night.

Nicholas: What is this?
Daniel Schorr: [on TV] This is your game, Nicholas, and welcome to it. I'm here to let you in on a few ground rules. You received the very first key, and others will follow. You'll never know where you'll find them or how you'll need to use them. So keep your eyes open.
Nicholas: How do you... You can see me?
Daniel Schorr: Let us save the questions till afterwards.
Nicholas: How does this work?
Daniel Schorr: There's a tiny camera looking at you right now.
Nicholas: That's impossible.
Daniel Schorr: You're right, impossible. You're having a conversation with your television.

Nicholas: [In the stopped elevator] I'll give you a boost.
Christine: You get up; you go first.
Nicholas: This isn't an attempt to be gallant. If I don't lift you, how are you going to get there?
Christine: I don't know, you'll pull me up.
Nicholas: It's much easier this way. Come on, step up...
Christine: No.
Nicholas: Please...
Christine: I'm not wearing underwear. Okay? There, I said it. Satisfied?
Nicholas: [Looks at her skirt] Oh. Fine.

[Nicholas loses a shoe when climbing a fire-escape ladder.]
Nicholas: There goes a thousand dollars.
Christine: Your shoes cost a thousand dollars?
Nicholas: That one did.

Nicholas: All right. What happened?
Conrad: Shh!
Nicholas: Conrad, where're we going?
Conrad: Just wait!
Nicholas: What are you doing?
Conrad: They're methodical. If I can't trust the room service in the hotel, I sure as hell can't trust a fucking car.
Nicholas: Who?
Conrad: CRS. Who do you think! Jesus! When I think what I almost got you into...
Nicholas: What are you saying?
Conrad: Oh, I'm so fucked. They just fuck you and they fuck you and they fuck you! And just when you think it's all over that's when the real fucking starts!
Nicholas: All right, calm down. Just take a breath.
Conrad: They won't stop, Nick. I paid the bill. I gave them their fucking money. They won't leave me alone!
Nicholas: What're they doing to you?
Conrad: Everything! I'm a goddamned human pinãta.
Nicholas: Calm down! And why do they keep playing if you've already paid?
Conrad: I don't know. I don't know. I paid them more to make it stop!

Conrad: You're with them.
Nicholas: What?
Conrad: You're doing this. You're part of it. [holding up CRS keys he found in the glove compartment] Whose are these?
Nicholas: I don't know about those. Somebody put them in the car.
Conrad: You're behind the whole thing, aren't you?
Nicholas: What are you talking about?
Conrad: You brought them to me. These were in your car! They're right there in your fucking car!
Nicholas: Conrad! Listen to what you're saying.
Conrad: No! You're not gonna control this conversation.
Nicholas: Why would I ever do what you're describing?
Conrad: Because you resent me.
Nicholas: Stop being emotional.
Conrad: It kills you that I'm living my life.
Nicholas: Lower your voice, Conrad!
Conrad: What? You're afraid somebody's gonna witness the scene?
Nicholas: [to nearby people] Get back in your... Get back in your fucking house! [to Conrad] Will you stop it? I'm calling the cops.
Conrad: You're just so afraid that somebody's gonna see what a manipulative fucking control freak you are!
Nicholas: What is wrong with you? What are you on?
Conrad: Oh, I'm sorry, Nick. I'm sorry I didn't live up to your expectations.
Nicholas: Ah, bullshit!
Conrad: I'm not you. I'll never be you. I don't wanna be you.
Nicholas: There you go again! I'm your brother! Always pushing the responsibility out on me. For Christ's sakes, I'm your brother! All I ever tried to do was help you.
Conrad: I don't want your help! Nobody asked you to play Dad!
Nicholas: No! You don't say that. Did I have a choice?
Conrad: Jackass!
Nicholas: Conrad!
Conrad: What? I don't want your help! Nobody asked you to play dad!
Nicholas: Did I have a choice? Did I have a choice?

Nicholas: Get out of the car.
Christine: I could've handed you to them. And they find me now they...
Nicholas: Get out of the goddamn car!
Christine: You don't have a choice! No one else's gonna tell you what's going on! You wanna know? 'Cause if I'm gone you never will. I can't believe they didn't even take the time to get the fucking house right.
Nicholas: Who are they?
Christine: I don't know. Nobody does. I'm an employee.
Nicholas: Then what good are you?
Christine: I know things like who you can trust and that your brother was in it from beginning...
Nicholas: That's a lie.
Christine: Yeah? I was your waitress on your birthday. Connie told you about CRS that day. Ever seen me in there before? Sorry. I mean, it wasn't his fault. I guess he thought it was his only way out. They fleeced him real good.
Nicholas: How did they get to him?
Christine: Same thing to him they did to you.
Nicholas: What are you talking about?
Christine: Have you checked your accounts? That night in your office I got the number to your private line and modem that gave CRS remote access to your computer. You gave them everything else.
Nicholas: What?
Christine: You took their tests, handwriting, voice samples, psych info. They used it all to figure out your passwords. And Feingold, the guy who signed you up, he did 5 years for hacking Citibank. They only had to keep you distracted while they broke into your financial network, transferred your holdings into dummy accounts... Overseas operator, please. Why else were they willing to shoot at us?
[Nicholas picks up the phone]
Bank rep: Alamein Bank, Zurich, Switzerland.
Christine: Because they're finished with you. Live or dead's the same. Long as you disappear.
Nicholas: Yeah.
Bank rep: Can I have your code, please?
Nicholas: Yes. Blue-two-backslash-0-6-0-0. "D" as in David. That's right. The balance? That's impossible.
Christine: They already got it, Nicholas. They got everything.

Samuel: Nick, it's Sam. I got your message. I was disturbed to say the least.
Nicholas: So, what are we gonna do?
Samuel: I've been on the phone for an hour already. Nicholas, your funds are intact. Nothing's been touched.
Nicholas: What are you talking about?
Samuel: I checked on them myself.
Christine: Who is it?
Samuel: I made the calls. Nothing's changed. I'm telling you. Not one cent is unaccounted for.
Christine: Who is it?
Nicholas: My attorney says that nothing is missing.
Christine: He's in on it.
Samuel: I don't know what the hell is happening, but stay where you are until I get there.
Christine: Sutherland's in on it.
Samuel: Nicholas, I have another call. Give me your precise location.
Christine: Nicholas? We've got to get out of here.
Nicholas: How did they get to him? Why did...
Christine: I wouldn't worry about it.
Nicholas: What do you mean?
Christine: It's out of your hands. Cellular calls can be intercepted. Those calls you made to B of A, France. B of A, France, Switzerland, you were talking to us. You were talking to us. Filled in the blanks. Access codes, passwords, stuff even your lawyer didn't have. We have it now so we're done. Bye, Nicholas.

Nicholas: Lionel Fisher, I love your work.
Jim Feingold: Okay, please. Look, I, uh... I got my kids.
Nicholas: Get rid of them.
Jim Feingold: All right, guys, uh, guys. Snack time. More snacks. Here, go, go, go. That's all. Uh... It was just a job. Nothing personal. You know. I mean, I play my part, improvise a little. I mean, it's what I'm good at...
Nicholas: I need to talk to who's in charge.
Jim Feingold: Nobody knows. I mean nobody gets a big picture... Hey, Tammy, Alex cut it out. Damn it, why do they do that?
Nicholas: Your offices are empty. I need to find out where they are.
Jim Feingold: Look, they own the whole building. They just move from floor to floor.
Nicholas: And you work for them, right? You can get me in.
Jim Feingold: No, I can't.
Nicholas: Oh, yes, you can. You can tell them the police called. You got to speak to someone. You tell them I'm gonna blow the whistle on them.
Jim Feingold: What whistle? There's no fucking whistle. This is very dangerous. I don't think that you understand.
Nicholas: Right now I am extremely dangerous.
Jim Feingold: Michael, guys. Come on, we're leaving. [after driving] Well, we're here.
Nicholas: Drive in.
Jim Feingold: What're you gonna do, anyway? You won't get your money back.
Nicholas: I don't care about money. I'm pulling back the curtain. I wanna meet the wizard.

New Member Ted: This was the best one ever!
Jim Feingold: [shakes Nicholas's hand] You know, thank God you jumped, because if you didn't, I was supposed to throw you off!


  • There are no rules in The Game.
  • The Game...You Just Lost
  • Players Wanted.
  • Are you ready to play?
  • The object of the game is to discover the object of.... The Game
  • What do you get for the man who has everything?
  • You don't play it, it plays you
  • John 9:25: "I was blind, but now I see."


External links[edit]

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