WarGames Movie Behind The Scenes

Making WarGames

WarGames Picture
Barry Corbin plays General Jack Berenger


Go behind the scenes on the 1983 Thriller movie starring Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood More Cast

We believe the following info is all legit. If it's bogus or you have additional info, please update us.

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The NORAD command center built for the movie was the most expensive set ever constructed up to that time, built at the cost of one million dollars.

Eric wrote in with an update: According to a 1983 featurette, produced shortly before Wargames was released, the NORAD war room set cost over 4.5 million dollars (not 1 million), and was the most expensive set in history up to that point. The featurette can currently be found on YouTube here.
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The studio had a 'Galaga' and a 'Galaxian' machine delivered to Matthew Broderick's home, where he practiced for two months to prepare for the arcade scene.
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The computer used to break into NORAD was programmed to make the correct words appear on the screen, no matter which keys were pressed.
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When Badham took over as director, he changed the photographic process. It's possible to see changes in the frame lines between old and new footage.
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The first director (who was fired) was Martin Brest, who went on to massive success shorty after with "Beverly Hills Cop".
Thanks to Matthew Smith
Initially, NORAD had granted permission for the producers of WarGames to use their facilities on a limited basis; but after a review of the script, they felt it was an inaccurate portrayal of operations and ultimatly declined.
Thanks to Casey Lyde
Barry Corbin's line, "Hell, I'd p*ss on a sparkplug if I thought that would do any good" was not written in the script but was the actors own invention when asked to provide something for the take! He apparently had the cast and crew in stitches with that one.
Thanks to Andrew Limtiaco
The W.O.P.R. computer was really made with wood in Culver City, CA. If you thought that the blinking lights were very similar to equalizer lights on a stereo - you were right! An early AudioControl C101 equalizer is used for the blinking lights. I wonder what song was being played through it at the time?

Another interesting note: The little display that showed the timer countdown to WW III was actually programmed by a computer consultant who was sitting inside the W.O.P.R. while filming that portion of the movie. All information was found on the website of IMSAI, the company that actually supplied David Lightman's Computer.
Thanks to Bill Davis
The terminal David uses at NORAD ("is this a game or is it real"?) to talk to Joshua is a Memorex Corporation Model 2051 compatible to IBM's System 38. The dozens of NORAD disk drives seen are also Memorex Corp's.

Next Section: Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes

There are often scenes cut from the final version of a movie. Sometimes these will have been seen by preview audiences, or be included in Blu-ray or DVD extras etc.

Shucks.. We don't know of any cut scenes from "WarGames". Can you help? Please add one for others to enjoy. It's quick & easy
Next Section: Alternate Versions

Alternate Versions

Sometimes, there will be several versions of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may release a special cut of the movie on Blu-ray or DVD.

The following versions of WarGames are apparently real. If you disagree or have additional info, please update us.

Thanks to Rob Bendtzen
When WarGames first premiered on TV, (besides cutting out all the bad language and replacing it with alternate words, and besides cutting certain scenes) there is more music during the countdown to impact scene.

When General Barringer says: "Sir at this time we cannot positively confirm the inbounds.," is when the music starts. However, in subsequent TV airings and home video releases, the first part of the music is missing. It instead comes on between the following quotes:

General: This is General Barringer at Norad.
Female Airman: 40 seconds to impact.

Please note that this missing music is only present on the English version of WarGames. Fortunately, it is available on foreign dubbings of the film.

Jump To: Filming Locations
1983 MGM
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