How Rollerball Has Been Developed Into A Classic

A movie that has introduced the rollerblades to a broad audience for the first time was released in 1975. The science fiction film Rollerball is a short story made by the author William Harrison, who also wrote the script for it. The director Norman Jewison succeeded in creating a socially critical work that has not lost any of its explosiveness even today.

On the other hand, the basic structure of the film was the model for numerous successful movies in recent years. Among them, there is the saga of the Hunger Games with its leading actress Jennifer Lawrence. Rollerball lead actor James Caan was a big star long before he accepted the role in Dystopia. However, when Hollywood made a remake a few years ago, pretty much everything that could go wrong with a new piece was a disaster. The action veteran John McTiernan completely sunk the remake.

When director Jewison made Rollerball in the mid-1970s, the American society was still under the influence of Vietnam, the Watergate scandal, and the oil crisis. SO far, these crises of the USA were not overcome by coming to terms with the past. They think it is better to focus on the future. So there was no reason to deal with some mistakes in the past. The story of Rollerball is still brand new today. The author traced a society that is ruled by a few large corporations. A hugely popular game called Rollerball represents their power. A lot is going on there. The game is a mix of skating, pinball, and motorcycling. They have performed live in front of an arena where the crowds are raging. The live broadcast shows the spectacle nationwide on television. This modern version of “bread and games” distracts the population from the real problems of this world.

Rebellion Within The System

Women play a subordinate role in this game. They can be exchanged at will and assigned to the stars of the game. The unrestricted king of Rollerball is Jonathan E., played by James Caan. He is the absolute king. As a skater, he grabs a ball and throws it into a goal on the edge of the arena. But to reach the gate, almost all means are right.


The players resort to any foul. The referees only ensure that the game does not degenerate into violence. The situation in this raw game escalates when a new young player appears on the team of Jonathan E. Without giving a reason, he should withdraw from Rollerball. He does not accept this, researches and comes across the unbelievable in the computer-controlled library of world knowledge. Outwardly, the world of Rollerball hardly resembles our reality. The main ideas there are helplessness and disappointment. People despair in an environment characterized by ignorance and powerlessness. The director counters this with the main character, who can only rebel against it by playing the game and winning in the end. Despite the triumph of the individual over the faceless crowd, the finale is oppressive. Rollerball is still a socially important statement and always worth seeing.


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