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'83 'WarGames' back for a replay

July 21, 2008|Susan King

Movie audiences have the opportunity to check out one of the biggest summer box office hits of 1983, "WarGames," when the computer thriller returns to theaters across the country for a one-night presentation Thursday as a prelude to the release of the 25th anniversary DVD on July 29. The event will also feature interviews with stars Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy.

"It's exciting to have something that hangs in there that people just want to see, as opposed to something that just sort of sinks in the swamp," says "WarGames" director John Badham. He says he was drawn to Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes' clever script (nominated for an Oscar) about a teenage computer hacker who accidentally breaks into the Defense Department and nearly starts World War III.

"What I read was a really exciting story about a young boy in way over his head and not understanding at all what he was into," says Badham.

Just as Badham had directed John Travolta to movie stardom in 1977's "Saturday Night Fever," he put Broderick on the cinema map with "WarGames."

"Neil Simon had put his finger on him for [the play] 'Brighton Beach Memoirs' and he had done one picture with Jason Robards, 'Max Dugan Returns,' which was another Neil Simon piece. I think from that little bit of heat, he was somebody we wanted to look at. He was really the experienced one. Ally was still very green. She was kind of shaky on her feet, but the raw talent was there. She just needed to get some confidence, and as the movie shooting went on, she got better and better."

-- Susan King

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