Games (film)

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Games
Games FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Curtis Harrington
Produced by George Edwards
Written by Gene R. Kearney
Starring Katharine Ross
James Caan
Simone Signoret
Don Stroud
Cinematography William A. Fraker
Edited by Douglas Stewart
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • September 17, 1967 (1967-09-17) (U.S.)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1 million[1]

Games is a 1967 American psychological thriller film directed by Curtis Harrington and starring Katharine Ross, James Caan, and Simone Signoret.

Plot[edit]

Paul Montgomery (James Caan) and his wife Jennifer (Katharine Ross) are a pair of wealthy but blasé Upper East Side New York socialites with an attitude sometimes accompanying the overprivileged: a propensity to amuse themselves in a bizarre, chic and upscale fashion, in this case playing socialite "games" for their peers and occasionally revealing what appears to be a playfully sadistic streak.

Lisa Schindler (Simone Signoret), an older woman from Germany, arrives at their door one day selling cosmetics; the couple invite her in and when the conversation reveals that Lisa is believed to have psychic abilities, Paul and Jennifer ask her to arrange some "games" for their amusement. Lisa proceeds to set up several situations of simulated domestic discord that the couple can react to.

Things turn deadly when an acquaintance, Norman, is accidentally killed during a so-called "game". He was killed with a gunshot wound in the right eye. Paul has to go to enormous lengths to conceal any evidence. He fears being blackmailed by Lisa, whose psychic activities continue and intensify during her stay. Ultimately, at the request of Paul, Lisa leaves, for the welfare of an ever more anxious Jennifer.

Ultimately, after a tense confrontation between Jennifer and the supposedly murdered man, Jennifer actually does shoot and kill him, at which point Paul walks in and calmly calls the police to report that his wife has committed murder.

It turns out that Paul and Lisa had orchestrated the entire affair all along in order to trick Jennifer into killing someone so that Paul could get her fortune. The murdered man had been in on the "game", but was double-crossed. Paul and Lisa share a celebratory drink as Paul pays Lisa her ten-percent cut and they prepare to go their separate ways.

Unfortunately for Paul, Lisa has poisoned his drink. After Paul collapses and dies, Lisa takes the briefcase containing all of the money, leaves the house, and walks down the street.

Cast[edit]

Production notes[edit]

Director Curtis Harrington wrote the role of Lisa with Marlene Dietrich in mind to play the part. The producers vetoed the idea, however, so Simone Signoret was cast instead.[2]

Release[edit]

The film was given a belated VHS release by Gaiam, Inc. in 1995 and Universal Home Video in 2000. It was released on DVD in Spain by Universal Pictures. In 2011, it was released as part of Universal's Vault Series on DVD-R. Scream Factory released the film on Blu-ray from the first time on February 13, 2018.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Games' Men Hold Good Hand Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 19 Nov 1966: 22.
  2. ^ "Retrospective in Terror: An Interview with Curtis Harrington - April 2005". The Terror Trap.

External links[edit]