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Still Watching the Skies: Episode 78 “Rollerball (1975)”

Posted on Feb 13, 2021 by | 0 comments


ROLLERBALL (1975) brings Cody, Robert, and Nat back to the 1970s before STAR WARS changed everything. Plus, we continue on to part 3 of the countdown of our 50 favorite films of all time.

The 1975 version of ROLLERBALL finds James Caan as a star gladiator in the corporate bread and circuses of the future. John Houseman is his corporate master who suddenly asks him to retire or else. And Norman Jewison directs this take on the tyranny of comfort over freedom and corporate irresponsibility.


ROLLERBALL was a big hit in 1975, ranking 11th at the domestic box office. James Caan was at the height of his stardom and John Houseman was coming off an Oscar win, so ROLLERBALL was both high concept and a star vehicle. But in service of what?


What is ROLLERBALL trying to say and how does it hold up are the two big questions we grapple with? Does its satire work? It’s clearly making a statement about violence in sports, but how successfully? How successfully does it build its world? We have much to talk about in regards to the film.


As bonus content, we continue our countdown of our favorite 50 movies of all time. This month we cover our favorites from #30 to #21. Certainly some surprises, but hopefully a bunch of films to put on your watch list.

Death by Hainging

You don’t need permission from your corporate overlord to listen to this episode. You can give us a play below or Download the episode. Also, feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below or Email Us at [email protected] as we appreciate feedback.

Time Tracks:
ROLLERBALL (1975): 0:00 to 41:28
TOP 50 LISTS, 30 to 21: 41:28 to 1:55:39
NEXT FILM : 1:55:39 to End

Next month, we revisit David Lynch’s only journey into blockbuster filmmaking with 1984’s DUNE. We hope you’ll join us.

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Robert Reineke
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