Rollerball (1975) Script

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to Houston, the Energy City, home of the defending Rollerball World Champions.

This key international battle pits divisional champions, visiting Madrid, against powerful Houston.

And here they come for a standing ovation.

On the track comes Houston.

Houston, led by captain Jonathan E., again their leading scorer this year.

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Okay, right there. Let's go.

The controller indicates that he is ready, and our 30 Multivision cameras will be bringing you all the speed, thrills and excitement of this critical game.

Ladies and gentlemen, our corporate anthem.

The controller tests his computerized equipment, readies for the start of game action.

The traditional firing of the test ball will signal we're about set to go.

The controller for tonight's game, D.A. Niehaus.

The officials have given their approval for play. Each team...

Come on, man.

And now the crowd cheers once again as this Houston audience greets its team led by the storied athlete Jonathan E.

Corral's gonna break off.

Okay, boys! Okay.

Houston! Houston!

Now the play-by-play. Here's RD.

The computer counts down, one second, the ball...

First period is underway here in Houston tonight.

The first team to pick up the ball will be on offense as they try for the score.

And it's a pickup by Houston. It's picked up by BJ.


BJ moves it around the track.

He'll try to maneuver for the leading score...

Go on, go on.

Watch it!

Jonathan E. holds the ball aloft.

He must hold it out in plain view at all times.

Pick them up! Pick them up!

I got them! I got it!

On your right! On your right! Now, baby!

Jonathan moves up the track and up on to the side.

Here comes Sanchez for Madrid.

Sanchez grabs Jonathan from behind, but off the rail comes Moonpie and takes out four Madrid men.

The old swooper, Moonpie, with his favorite maneuver, made a move from the top of the rail and took out four Madrid men.

The remaining Madrid skaters set up their defense in front of the goal.

Jonathan still has the ball.

Moving in, he'll try to cover the slot, and surely does!

Jonathan in front, shoots, and it's just wide!


The Houston team will have to regroup.

Injured on the play is Belmonte, and he's helped off the track for Madrid.

First period, no score, as we get set for the firing of the second ball.

Oh, and it hits the biker Carter!

Knocks Carter down...

Give me a hand. Move out!

Come on, look alive!

Jonathan is there, it is handed off, the pass is complete to Jonathan.

He skates by and knocks him down again!

Did you see that penalty?

And the officials look this over...

Keep up. Keep up.

Moon, on your left. On your left.

Right, right, right. I got him!

Break it up! Break it up!

Go, Jonathan, go!

Here comes Houston for the first goal of the game.

He shoots, he scores!


And at the end of the first period, Jonathan's goal gives Houston a one-to-nothing lead over Madrid.

Houston goal scored by Jonathan E.

The time, first period, 12 minutes.

The ball is fired for the start of the second period.

Madrid trailing by one goal, trying to go on offense to tie the score.

Go, Madrid!

Watch your left!

Who did it?

Coming around the track... Come on, Madrid, come on.

Inside of the bike, he skates up in front.

Gonzales still has it for Madrid.

Hands off again, this time to Bodeas.

Bodeas on offense for the Madrid team.

Here's the Houston defense in a four-man defense...

Shot! It is cleared.

And out of the pack goes Bodeas, but he's all right, he's not injured, but his scoring attempt failed.

And the score is still one-to-nothing in favor of Houston.

The ball is fired again. Madrid is pressing now, putting the pressure on...

Keep it moving!

All right, come on, let's move it.

We got it now.

Sanchez is moving to his left and right, has a full head of steam, still going in on offense, trying to tie the score.

Sanchez moves around the bike, takes a long look and shoots and he scores!

Sanchez scores with a play that ties the game at 1-1.

Second period.

The ball is in play again, intercepted this time by Haskell.

Three minutes. Get off.

Madrid penalty.

Three minutes, biking misconduct on number one, Meitzer.

Are you satisfied, Madrid? What kind of game are you guys playing out there?

Take it easy, take it easy.

You'll be okay.

This crowd's going wild, loving the wide-open action in this quarterfinal game.

Skate! Skate!

Come on, God damn it, skate!

Houston! Houston!

All go down, pileup on the track, the ball rolls free and into the gutter. It's a dead ball.

Come here, come here!

Come on, block that side.

Come on, move out.

How is it, Jonathan?

Give me a tie, will you, Bo? Sure.

Come on, dude!

Three minute penalty. Hey!

Don't give me any of that. Off the track. Off the track.

Group up.

Hold the line! Hold the line!

Up and over the Madrid defense, gets up in front of the goal and he jams it in for the score!

Jonathan jams it in and scores to get Houston a 2-1 lead over Madrid.

Houston with the ball again here in the third period.

Stop it!

He has it.

Jonathan behind the bike, coming in low with a great maneuver, he shoots, he scores!

That's the way! You got it!

I love this game, Moonpie. I love it.


So, we've got two games left.

Guess who we play first? Tokyo.

Now who would have thought they'd make it to the playoffs?

They're good.

They've got the old samurai spirit.

Yeah, but they're only about this tall.

Yeah, well, two or three little things make one big thing.

They're liable to climb all over you and eat your lunch.

I can't get on a man-to-man basis with a pigmy or an oriental.

I don't know what it is.

You were fine tonight, all of you.

Mean. Sharp.

Thank you.

Your fellas did well again.

Thank you, Mr. Bartholomew, sir. Thank you.

You? You rode. You really rode.


You play like our champion here. You take lessons from him?

No. We just give lessons to the other team.


How are you, Jonathan?

I'm feeling mean, Mr. Bartholomew. It's good to see you.

Jonathan E. That's the name.

Houston players come and go, but the champion plays on.


The corporation has a hard time, Moonpie, figuring out ways to pay the champion properly.

We can't think up any more rewards for him.

You'd like us to have that problem with you, wouldn't you?

Yes, sir.

Like Jonathan, you play with abandon, but this is Jonathan's season.

Every season seems to be Jonathan's season, but this year, we've got you on Multivision.

A special show all about you.

No player ever had that before.

The whole world will be watching, because this is your year.

You got it, babe.

So, two games left.

That's right, Mr. Bartholomew.

New York in the final!

Team seems healthy, champion says he feels mean, no problems here.

What is this, fruit juice?

Very healthy, Mr. Bartholomew, very healthy.

Sweet dreams, Moonpie.

It's a bad habit you got there.

You know what that habit will make you dream, Moonpie?

You'll dream you're an executive.

And you'll have your hands on all the controls, and you'll wear a gray suit, and you'll make decisions.

But you know what, Moonpie?

You know what those executives dream about out there, behind their desks?

They dream they're great rollerballers.

They dream they're Jonathan.

They have muscles, they bash in faces.

Let's go. Can't keep these boys here all night.

Jonathan, come and see me tomorrow.

Quiet, boys, quiet.

This is a great team.

A great city. Great stuff out there tonight.

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Good morning. How are you, sir?

Brutal game last night.

Oh, thank you.

Continue to hold my calls, all right? Thank you.

Come in, Jonathan.

Keep silence with me for a minute, won't you?

It's important to have a place to think things out.

You have your ranch. I know you take a lot of pleasure in it.

I, uh, cut my finger.

I'm sorry. Here.

You've had an amazing career, Jonathan.

You know how proud we are of the Houston team, and what we think of you, the energy?

But now, there are executives who want you out.


You've had 10 years in this game, Jonathan.

Longer than anyone, ever.

Retire? How can I do that?

On your special program.

There are some who feel that this program should now be used to announce your retirement.

Who wants that?

When this special was first planned by RCI Energy, we saw it as a good thing.

Now the executive directorate wants a change.

The program is scheduled, the whole world is waiting for it, so this does seem the perfect time.

You know, the team, they, uh, they depend on me.

Jonathan, let's think this through together.

You know how a game serves us?

It has a definite social purpose.

Nations are bankrupt, gone, none of that tribal warfare anymore.

Even the corporate wars are a thing of the past.

I know that. It's just...

So now, we have the majors and their executives.

Transport, food, communication, housing, luxury, energy.

A few of us making decisions on a global basis for the common good.

The team, is a unit.

It plays with certain rhythms.

So does an executive team, Jonathan.

Now, everyone has all the comforts, you know that.

No poverty, no sickness, no needs and many luxuries, which you enjoy just as if you were in the executive class.

Corporate society takes care of everything, and all it asks of anyone, or has ever asked of anyone, ever, is not to interfere with management decisions.

I know. I don't mean to resist.

I'm just trying to understand.

This is for your own benefit.

You must know that, Jonathan.

All decisions concerning you are.

Well, I, uh, lost Ella.

The corporation took my wife away because an executive wanted her.

I'm not gonna review all that again.

It was before I took over here, and I had nothing to do with it.

And from what I hear, your wife wanted to leave herself.

So, now you're going to retire.

That shouldn't be too hard for you.

It's a stupid game, after all. Awful game.

You ought to be glad to be out of it.

I don't...

I don't know, Mr. Bartholomew. I just don't know.

I realize you had nothing to do with Ella leaving...

Jonathan, I... But, um...

You're right.

I mean, I ought to do it.

I ought to be perfectly happy to do what you say...

Take your time. Take a few days.

You've just come through a game. You're tired.

Go to your ranch, but think about it, and understand it.

Do understand it.

Because I don't understand your resistance, and I don't think anyone else will, either.

Was your flight okay?

Yeah. Is Clete here?

He's in the training room.

I'm gonna go say hello.

Jonathan. Hmm?

Look what I got for breakfast.


It's a notice from the corporation.

What's it say?

Oh, that I should get out of here.

You know, go away, vanish. That kind of thing.

You know anything about that?

Yeah, I kind of heard something about it.

You knew it was coming.

We've been together six months.

Didn't you even want to say goodbye?

We'll talk about it later, okay?

You didn't, did you?


You didn't even want me here when you got back.

I gotta go see Cletus.

What do you want me to do in the meantime?

I want you to take it easy.


I want you to go in and fix us something to eat.

Clete's come a long way and I'm hungry.

All right?



I'm glad you're all right.

Come on. All right, come on.


I'm tired enough.

Yeah. Uh-huh. Well...

I caught you, didn't I, baby? Huh?

Two games running. What?

You did that in the last two games.

Show the forward left.

You're standing on your left skate.

Do that in Tokyo, they'll take your arm home for lunch.

You with me?


You practice that a little for me, huh?

All right.

Hell, I forget which corporation is which.

Any ass knows that fire's energy.

What about the music? Where's the music come from, huh?

Okay if I have one of these?

Go on, have all of it.

I forget what corporation's running what city.

Chicago's still a food city, but what about Indianapolis?

Whatever happened to that town?

Whatever happened to Mackie?

Yeah, things were much simpler when I was a kid.

We still had three nations.

That was before the corporate wars, even before rollerball.

Before everything.

You believe in kids?

I remember someone telling me about the National Football League and the World Cup.

Where you going?


What do you know about that stuff, Clete?

I mean...

Know how the corporations got started, about the corporate wars?

They were nasty! Whoo!

But nobody talks about that.

Well, except among friends.


I remember your rookie year.

You were mean and tight.

Best player I ever coached.

Nobody could lay a hand on you that year.

Remember? Yeah.

Look, I... I gotta ask you something.

It figures. Go ahead. I'm listening.


Something going on with the game.

I don't know what it is. I don't think I'm supposed to know.

What's that?

They want me to quit.

And why would they want you to do that?

I don't know.

That's what I'd like you to find out.

I can try.

Hear just about everything going on in the game one way or another.

That's what I mean.

I can't think of another executive who'd tell me a thing.

Well, like I say, I'll...

I'll try.

But I don't think there's much I...


No troubles for either of us, Clete.

Just find out what you can.

Well, trust me, Jonathan, you know you can.


Sit down.


Nice, boys.

Yo, Johnny.

That's the Houston stride.

You boys want to make this team, play for Houston, you're gonna have to learn it.

We pride ourselves on being a power team.

That's right.

We're power. We're mean.

Now, that doesn't mean to say we'd like to have you hanging back there on a rail, in a fistfight, just standing there fighting somebody in section A when you're supposed to be in section B.

I'm coming up to score, and you ain't in the section you're supposed to be in, don't do us no good.


Who's the two new catchers here?


Give me that ball.

Don't, uh.

Stick your hand in that gutter too quick.

Wait till this ball comes down on the track.

Don't get too anxious. That thing will take your arm right off.

Now, the bikers.

A biker might sacrifice a little three-minute penalty and run over the top of a skater...


If he feels that he's skating a little too good that day.

So we have a few methods here in Houston.

There's hundreds.

One, of course, is to use this shield here.

Use your pads. Use what you got.

Drive that arm in there.

Keep your feet forward. Hit and move.

You get away from the wreck.

Always keep your feet here. Don't come across in here.

You get all twisted. That's sad.

Or if a biker's sitting up nice and high...

A lot of guys like to ride high.

Drag one off them in there.

I hurt you, Blue?

I wouldn't hurt him for the world.

Now, third method, kind of one that was perfected by a little friend of mine, the swoop.

Swooper, that's me.

Hang up on the rail, use all the speed of the track, come down and drop-kick a biker.

Say, excuse me.

You're not paying a whole lot of attention, are you?

Hey, what's this dude's name?

That's our new speedball from Manila.

Yeah, you know. You know, that's Toughie.

Come on up, Tough.

Always a big honker.

Say, why don't you do me and the boys a favor, I mean, since you know everything there is to know...

We'd sure appreciate it, I want you to give us a little demonstration.

Show us how you made that big rep down there.

Just skate around and just take me out, huh?

Go get him, Toughie.

Now, eyes, use them.

Don't lock your eyes on any one spot.

This game isn't all in the muscle.

Use your head.

Lock your eyes on the target, keep...

Ears, now, they're real important, too.

If there's anything I love, it's luxury centers.

When I get my privilege card, I know what I'm gonna get me, too.


Why do you want a secretary? Are you planning on becoming an executive?

I just need one.

About this tall.


Why don't you give it a rest?


Can I help you, please?

Yeah, I tried to order some books, and they sent me this notice said I had to appear at the center personally.

That's right. This is our circulation unit.

You can make your choice here or by catalog.

There must be some mistake.

The books you've ordered are classified and have been transcribed and summarized.

Well, who summarizes them?

I suppose the computers summarize them.

What'd you need books for?

Just want to study up on some things.

You could go to the computer center where the real librarians transcribe the books, but we have all the edited versions in our catalog.

Anything I think you'd want.

Well, let's see then.

This is not a library, and you are really not a librarian.

I'm only a clerk. That's right.

I'm sorry about it really.

And the books are really in computer banks being summarized.

Where is that?

Well, there's a computer bank in Washington.

The biggest is in Geneva. It's a nice place to visit.

Yeah. I guess that's where all the books are now.

Yeah. Well, thank you.

It's not that exactly.

Yeah, but books, Jonathan?

I mean, anything you want to know, you could hire yourself a corporate teacher, see?

I mean, you can call somebody up. Use your privilege card.

I can't. That's just it.

I feel there's something going on. Somebody's pushing me.

Who? Bartholomew?

But you're Jonathan E.

Everybody knows you. You've got everything.

You know you'll be treated right. You always have been.

Yeah. I don't know.

But I do know! We're living good.

You know we are.

I found this to wear.

Is it all right?

That's the uniform of the house.

I'm Daphne.

Yeah. That figures.

Well, that's all right.

Here. Wear these, too.

That's right, no penalties!

Limited substitutions. You can handle it!

Beat Tokyo!

All we gotta do is change our tactics.

That's it. Three times...

There's always been rule changes. Now, look, you know that!

It gets more people to watch the game. That's all there is to it.

Look, you all signed contracts to finish out the season, no matter what the alterations in the game.

Now every last one of you signed.

See? Now we all signed a contract.

That doesn't matter! There's no way we're gonna lose, no matter how they change the game.

That's right. That's right.

All it means is a change of strategy.

Now, we knock out the bikers early, we take care of their skaters.

Don't try to score yourselves. And the game's yours.

Now, you watch yourselves out there.

They're playing the same rules we are.

It's gonna be rough, but it's still basically the same game.

And the team with the power wins.

Come on.

Hey, Rusty.

Hey, wait. Wait a minute.

Hey, Rusty, come on.


You were talking about them contracts.

How come everyone else is being asked to play with the no-penalty rule, and they're pressuring me to quit?

I don't know.

But can't you do what you're told?

For your own good, get out.


I don't want to leave the guys to play Tokyo with the rules breaking down. I mean...

Jonathan, it doesn't matter what you want!

Think about that.

These we did in slow motion to show the impact of your blows on opposing players.

Yeah, fine.

We want you to approve the sequences.

It's, uh...

It's all fine with me.


I really don't see why I'm needed here.

Well, the Energy people want you to be satisfied.


There, now, isn't that a marvelous shot?


I'm a stat freak myself. Isn't that perverse?

You got anything I can take?

Just... Just take one.

Statistics, huh?

Yes, the greatest number of points scored in a single game, 18.

The highest velocity of a ball when actually fielded by a skater, 120 miles per hour.

Most deaths...

Please, don't do that.


Most deaths, nine. Rome versus Pittsburgh. December, last year.

The greatest number of players and substitutes put out of action by a single player in a single game, 13.

A world's record, courtesy of your dear self.

There have been studies, you know, of stat freaks in rollerball.

Well, some go to the track, but they never take their eyes off the big board.

What's this?

As for myself, I've always wondered if a rollerball player sees himself as a class apart.

"Hello. Pause.

"I'm Jonathan E. Smile.

"I would like..." Is this for me?

Very astute, yes.

It's your retirement announcement.

Your special is already scheduled and announced all over the world.

You're supposed to read this as part of the program.

What sort of pill did you give me?

Pure aphrodisiac, Daph. Enjoy yourself, dear.

Can we finish up there and go home?

You are being recorded.

Feeling a little woozy, are you? Try to read the announcement.

I'm all right.

Why don't you read... the...

Oh, you... You want that, do you?

You are making things very difficult...

How many... How many assignments you been on, Daph?

I know you're good at what you're good at, so, you must have been around some.

A lot of girls have stayed with me but you know that.

Never seem to mind.

But odd thoughts I've had about you, Daph, odd thoughts.

I wondered if you'd been briefed on me.

I'm going to have to ask you to read...

Yeah, a lot of things occurred to me, Daph, a lot of things.

A lot of things occur to you?

You look terrible.

You do look terrible.

Come on.

See, you shouldn't take anything offered to you just like that.

What was in it?

Nothing to hurt you.

Maybe you're just a little too trusting. You ever think of that?

And hook 'em deep now!

I'll do that.

Thank you.

As you know, the Tokyo game is coming up.

And you'll remember that the Tokyo team uses various karate and hapkido techniques.

We will review these techniques with special attention to the use of death blows.

Same lecture every year.

There are certain body areas that the skilled opponent will endeavor to strike...

What we got for our skilled opponents is the old Houston fist-in-the-face technique.


Especially in a game with no penalties...

You got to get mad, all right? Play hard!

It don't matter that they're all tiny little men on that team.

Especially in a game with no penalties and limited substitution.

Get mad and fly!


Now, there's certain body areas that I know about, too.

Now, what we gotta do is hit those guys in the ganglion.


In the ganglion.

It's a mess of nerves right here under the ear.

Now, what you gotta do is drive the jawbone up in that mess of nerves and it rings a bell.

You must understand.

The Tokyo team has a very eccentric playing style.

And no penalties, all right?

If I go down, I know my team is with me!

Right? Please...

Brute speed!

Familiarize yourself with the basic fighting art techniques.

And nobody is gonna take us, rules or no rules!

Go on. Go on.

This is the Houston team!

Rules or no rules!

We fight for each other!

Houston! Houston!

They're really quite beautiful in a wild kind of way.

I can almost smell the lions.

Don't be silly. They're made in Detroit.

Yes, they're androids. They're all programmed.

That's right. The whole game is played by robots.

They look like men, and they...

Not so loud. They'll hear you.

It'll ensure stability, expansion and high profits for the planetary enterprise.

What do you think about it?

Exciting. You make it sound absolutely romantic.

He's gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.

I know and he's so intelligent.

We're practically living on krypens.

Hey, there he is.

Hey, Johnny boy. Hey, kid!

Come on, well, let's hear it! Come on.

Give me a hand here. Give me a hand, will you?

Behave yourself.

Hello, Mackie.

Well, how you been?

You know, it's your night tonight, Jonathan.

You having a good time?


Well, I'm glad you're here.

I'm here with an executive.

He asked all about you.

He wanted to know if I enjoyed you.

Hey, Rocky.

Hey, come here and give me a hand.

Get on over here. There's too many of them.

Well, what about the new game?

Actually, I haven't heard much about it.

The rule changes were announced a week ago.

That so? Who changed them?

That's what I've been trying to find out.

Look, rules or no rules, it's still the same game.

What I'm really looking forward to is the program.

When you see that screen replay afterwards...

Excuse me.

Did you hear about Evans?


He's out. Gone.

No kidding.

The old man?

Who got him?

What? I said who got him?

The Crocodile.

Hey. do you like poetry?


Let's go upstairs? I got a poem for you.


Welcome, sports enthusiasts everywhere.

Tonight, Multivision trains its cameras on the amazing career of Jonathan E.

In those years that Houston began to mold itself into a world championship team with the attacking style of their lead scorer...

Jonathan, come on. Come on, come on.

Jonathan E., has always been the team's strongest asset.

Yes, the game seems invented for him.

Defense! Defense!

Defense! Defense! Defense! Defense!

Right on!

Look, I talked to everybody I could.

And there is something going on.

Yeah, you... You're right about that.

Nobody will talk about it. I mean nobody!

It's hard finding anything out, Jonathan. You know that.

Hell, nobody even knows the names of the men on the directorate anymore.

Look, I'm sorry, I...

They want you out. You know that.


Well, do you know who they are?

Bartholomew, I guess.


Above Bartholomew.

It's the Executive Directorate.

Why are they worried about me?

It's what they do.

They're even after the old man because he didn't get your retirement announced tonight.

How come they put the program on without it?

I think they had to. They didn't want to. It's very tricky.

Jonathan, look... There's one thing you ought to know.

Look, nobody said it, but I'm sure of it.


They're afraid of you, Jonathan.

All the way to the top, they are.

What are they afraid of me for?

Oh, no. Don't go yet. We're showing some replays.

Well, let's see 'em then. Let's see 'em.

Mr. Bartholomew would like to see you now. He's in the study.

Come on hurry up. Over there.

You know I've always considered your situation, Jonathan.

And your needs.

Now, you have to consider mine.

And ours.

I'm considering it, Mr. Bartholomew.

No player is greater than the game itself.

It's a significant game in a number of ways.

The velocities of the ball, the awful physics of the track.

In the middle of it all, men, playing by an odd set of rules.

It's not a game men are supposed to grow strong in, Jonathan.

You appreciate that, don't you?

More and more, Mr. Bartholomew.

Shoot that statue. That's the one. Shoot that!


The tree! Yeah! Come on!

You must take good advice.

You're not to play against Tokyo, you're not to play again.

I want some concessions.


Believe me, I'd be happy to talk a deal, Jonathan.

I love deals.

But this situation is much, much simpler.

This Multivision event tonight was very embarrassing.

For me and for others.

Well... it might be I won't ever find out why I've been asked to leave the game.

But I do know I can get some concessions and I want them.

Oh, you missed!

I want to see Ella. My wife.

Arrange it so I can see her again.

That's not easy, Jonathan.

I want other concessions, too, Mr. Bartholomew.

Oh! Oh-ho! Look at that!


By my life, that's incredible!

Oh! That's terrific.

Look at all those flames!

Specifically, you're bargaining for the right to stay in a horrible social spectacle.

It has its purposes, and you've served those purposes brilliantly.

Why argue when you can quit?

And you say you want to know why decisions are made.

Your future comfort is assured.

You don't need to know.

Why argue about decisions you're not powerful enough to make for yourself?

Energy will treat you well. You know that.

If the rule changes stay the same, Mr. Bartholomew, I'm playing with my team.

Too late. The rule change is scheduled and announced.

There's no going back. You've seen to that.

Then I'll see you in Tokyo.

You can be made to quit. You can be forced.

You can't make me quit.

Hey, watch out!

Don't tell me I can't. Don't ever say that!

I can!

You can be stopped!

Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan!

Look, it's all going too fast.

I'm not packed yet. Can't you...

Forget it. You're not going, Daph.

Those bags are ready. Here. Hold on.

Take this extra hat, will you? Sir? I've had a call.

I've been asked to go over to Energy.

You're not going to Tokyo then? What do you mean I'm not going?

I suppose I will later. I hope this isn't an inconvenience.

No. No. It's... No problem.

I'm supposed to go with you.

Well, what's that mean?

Who... Who told you you're supposed to go with me? Hmm?

Nobody told me.

Listen, Jonathan, I really want to go with you.

I do, really.

You'll need me.

Just get yourself another assignment, will you, Daph?

Everybody is an assignment. Life's an assignment.

Here you go.

You'd better do as you're told, Jonathan. That's all I have to say.

You threatening me?

Don't be here when I come back.

You won't be back, Johnny boy...

Don't try to frighten me, Daphne. You don't know how.


You go tell them people that I'm going to Tokyo and you're not, huh?

You tell 'em. No!



Make sure my gear gets to the track in Tokyo.

I'm gonna travel with the team this trip. You call transportation and tell them.

Yes, sir.

Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan!

What chance does Houston have of defeating Tokyo tonight?

Well, both teams have fine players and different styles.

What do you say, Moonpie?

Well, yeah, yeah, but...

But it's not an even match, see.

'Cause the Tokyo team has all these little short guys.

Tokyo! Tokyo!

Tokyo! Tokyo!

What about the rule changes?


At Houston, we kind of play a wide-open system.

Will you comment, though, about playing in a game where the rules are always changing? Game's always had rule changes.

They don't affect the good teams. You're a great new player.

What's the secret of your success on the track?

Oh, it's no secret. I just imitate him.

And plastic surgery keeps me beautiful.

There are rumors that the last game of the season will be played without time limit.

Any comments?

Well, I don't think it'll come to that. It's still a game.

There also are rumors, some say you're retiring from the game.

Here I am.

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan!

Corporate society was an inevitable destiny.

A material dream world.

Everything man touched became attainable.

Yeah. I've been touched all my life.

One way or the other.

Either caressed or hit.

It don't like seem to matter which anymore.

I guess that's why I wanna see Ella again.

See if I still feel things now.

You know what I mean?


Here are some other things, too.

I mean, they took Ella away from me.

Now, they're trying to push me out.

And I'd sure like to find out why.

I think I'll go to one of them computer centers.

See what I can find out.


Finding out things, it's...

That's the thing, Moonpie.

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tokyo.

And tonight's dramatic semifinal match for the World's Rollerball Championship between host Tokyo and the high-flying defending champions from Houston.

Late rule changes tonight will be no penalties called, and there is limited substitution.

Ladies and gentlemen, will you stand, please, for the playing of our corporate hymn.

Tokyo! Tokyo!

Game controller for tonight's game, C. C. Nakamura.

You all right?

Yeah, I'm all right.

Just wanna get out there and hit them little fellas.

Listen, stay close now, all right?


Okay, Johnny, let's go! Let's go!

Attention. Your attention, please.

Rule changes for tonight's game.

Limited substitution and no penalties.

Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan!

Tokyo! Victory!

Tokyo! Victory! Tokyo! Victory!

Tokyo! Victory! Tokyo! Victory!

The controller checks the computer.

Ready to fire the first ball, and the first ball is fired. The game is underway!

Remember again, there'll be no penalties called tonight and limited substitutions.

This promises to be a punishing game for both teams tonight.

Here they come! Let's wrap around.

Spread! Spread around!

All right, boys. Go ahead.

Watch out!

Stick him! Stick him!

Tokyo! Victory!

Stay close, now, stay close.

Stick with him!

Take it! Take it in!

Go! Go! Go!

It's a scramble in front of the goal.

They all go down. Kogo won it, and he scores!

Kogo scores, shooting from his kneeling position in front of the goal.

And Tokyo takes a one-to-nothing lead over Houston.

Tokyo! Victory! Tokyo! Victory!

With Tokyo leading one to nothing.

Houston being pressured by the fastest opening game.

The second ball is fired.


Look out!

Spread out!

Tight defense!

Move ahead, Pete!

Move it.

No doubt the faster tactics of the Tokyo team.

And now, Houston, their bikers and skaters form a wall.

Tokyo! Victory!

Hold 'em. Fast now. Pull out their hair.

Move it!

Watch the ball!

Jam them out of there!

Hold 'em!

Get 'em!

Watch him!

Bike him! Bike him!

Bike him! Bike him!

You got it, baby! You got it!

The ball is fired, and the second period is underway, with Tokyo leading one-to-nothing.

Houston forced to come from behind tonight.

Are you all set up?

Watch the men behind me. Watch the men behind me.

The ball is in play.

And it's grabbed by Carter for Houston.

Houston on the offensive attack.



What more have you got? Come on!

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Go! Let's go!

Right at the slot. Free man, and he scores!

Houston goal scored by Jonathan E.

The time, 12:05, second period.

I love this game!

Yeah! Yeah! Whoo!

Grab on there! Grab on there! Yeah!

Some injuries here as three players are helped off the track.


Yeah! Right!

Come on, Moonpie! Moonpie!

Over here! Over here!

What the hell are those guys doing? I don't know. Come on. Stay close.

I told you stay close.

All right. Turn 'em loose next time around, all right?

All right. Go on. Yeah.

Go on. Go on. Go on! Come on!


I got him. I got him. Let me have him.

Tokyo! Victory! Tokyo! Victory!


Everything'll be all right.

Come on. Just sit down over here.

Sit right here.

Everything'll be all right.

Medic! Hey, medic! Come over here!

Come on.


Come on, Moonpie.

Come on, get some help!

Set him down. Set him down.

Where's oxygen?

Come on, Tokyo! Go and get them!

Go! Go! Go, Tokyo!

Okay, now come on, now!

Jonathan, watch yourself out there.

Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan!

Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan!

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Take me high, Blue.

Tokyo! Victory!

Look out!

Jonathan! Jonathan!

Jonathan E.

Time in the third period...

Spread! Spread! Go kill 'em!

Tokyo! Victory! Tokyo! Victory!

Fall out! Fall out!


This way, please.

May I say first, please, that you played a superb game in our city.

Thank you.

A simple problem, yet I know it is difficult for you.

Your teammate has no family we can contact, and permission is required now before consummating matters.

So he's technically dead?

Yes, unfortunately.

His heart and lungs will function, but his brain is...

It has expired.

From the first minutes we had him, it was hopeless.

I believe this was explained to you.

He's warm.


But if you will, please. You must sign a release form. It is required.

Does he...

Does he dream?

No. There is no brain wave at all.

No sort of consciousness. Just a deep coma.

A vegetable.

No dreams. Nothing.

Well, even...

A plant feels something.

Who can say? Please.


Senses life. I mean, it turns towards the sun.

It's alive, isn't it?

You must sign.


You just leave him the way he is.

Just leave him as he is.

Someone will have to sign. There's no other way.

Arrangements will be made.

Please. There are hospital rules that have to be...

No, there aren't.

There aren't any rules at all.

Let me know if you have any problems.

You won't find any answers in Geneva.

Take care of your arm.

In my opinion, we are confronted here with something of a situation.

Otherwise, I would not have presumed to take up your time.

Once again, it concerns the case of Jonathan E.

We know we don't want anything extraordinary to happen to Jonathan.

We already agreed on that.

No accidents, nothing unnatural.

The game was created to demonstrate the futility of individual effort.

Let the game do its work.

If the Energy Corporation has done all it can and if a champion defeats the meaning for which the game was designed, then he must lose.

I hope you agree with my reasoning.

Thank you, all.

Will you follow me, please?

Hello, hello!

Yes, it is the famous Jonathan E.

Oh, hard to believe.

Sorry we've never met.

The Rollerball Champion.


Not many people come to see us, you know.

We're not easy to talk to, Zero and I.

We're a little confused again in here today.

This is embarrassing.

It's embarrassing to misplace things.

Misplacing data?

Mmm. The whole of the 13th century.

Misplaced the computers, several conventional computers.

We can't find them.

We're always moving things around, getting organized.

My assistants and I. But this, this is Zero's fault.

Zero. He's the world's file cabinet.

Eh, pity. Poor old 13th century.

Well, come along now.

You want to get started, don't you?

Yes, sir. Mmm-hmm.

Oh. Hmm?

This way.


But we've lost those computers with all of the 13th century in them.

Not much in the century, just Dante and a few corrupt Popes, but it's so distracting and annoying.

You've unlimited restrictions here, of course.

You have to come so, so many times.

It all takes such... Such effort.

Do the executives still come here?

Oh, they used to, some of them.

What about the books?

Books? Books? Oh, no, they're all changed, all transcribed, all information's here.

I mean, Zero, of course. He's the central brain, the world's brain.

Fluid mechanics, fluidics.

He's liquid, you see. He's water to touch.

All knowledge.

Everything we ask has become so, ah, so complicated now.

Each thing we ask...

This morning, we wanted to know something about the 13th century.

He flows out into all our storage systems.

He considers everything.

He's become so ambiguous now.

As if he knows nothing at all.

Could you tell me something about the corporate wars?

Wars? Wars?

Oh, yes, of course, we have them all here.

Punic War, Prussian War, Peloponnesian War.

Crimean War, Wars of the Roses.

One doesn't perhaps recall them in sequence, but corporate wars.

Well, Zero will or can, I'm sure, tell you anything.

A memory pool, you see.

He's supposed to tell us where things are and what they might possibly mean.

Look, Zero, a visitor.

Jonathan E., the Rollerball Champion.

You've filed away a lot of data on him.

Do you remember?

Does it answer you?

Oh, yes. He speaks.

He finds things.

And loses them, and confuses itself.

Ask anything. He'll find it for you.

A section on Bach...

Won't you, Zero?

All right. I'd like...

I'd like some information about corporate decisions.

How they're made and who makes them.


You heard the question.

Answer him.


You don't have to give him a full political briefing.



This is Jonathan E.

He has to know.

Make it simple.


Corporate decisions are made by corporate executives.

Corporate executives make...

I know we have the answers. We do have. They're the waters of history.

Energy equals genius...

I don't want to bully you.

Genius is energy.

Corporate entities control...

I shall have to answer!

Of economic life, technology, capital, labor, and markets.

Corporate decisions are made...

You have to, Zero.

Let's show him policy.

Negative. Negative. Negative. Negative.

Negative. Negative. Negative. Negative.

Hello, Johnny.

Morning, Ella.


How are you?

I'm... I'm all right, I guess.

What are you doing?

Looking at you.

Counting your scars.


Seeing how you've changed.

Oh, I mean, that's...

That's all I've changed, huh?

Just a little more beat up.

Oh, no.

You're just not...

Yeah, well...

Come on.

You want a drink or something?

No, thank you.

You have a lovely place.

Well, thank you.

Well, I've seen your house.

You have?

Yeah. When we, uh, played in Rome, I stood a block away and watched your front gate for a couple hours.

I was just, uh,

standing there wondering what your furniture looked like.

What you said to each other in the morning.


What's he like? What's he do?

Oh, he's a city engineer.


We have a jet copter.

A son.

Two cats, and a place in the Alps.

Well, you don't really want hear all of this.

Son, huh?


We have a lot of friends.

And he has a lover.

We have furniture a lot like yours.

Same taste in furniture, how about that?


You know, Johnny.

All they want is a kind of incidental control over just a part of our lives.

I mean, they have control economically and politically, but they also provide.

You know they do.

Provide, huh?

You know, they were responsible for taking you away.

And I started to hate 'em.

They weren't.

It was the game, Johnny.

I mean, it was important to you.

It was as if I wasn't even there.

You played. There was nothing else.

I'm sorry.

You know I wanted you here.

I mean...

This might sound all wrong, but,

I mean, I was just trying to remember myself then.


Maybe it was love I wanted to try to remember.

There's, uh,

a lot of things I want to talk to you about.


I've been thinking, Ella.

Been thinking a lot.

And watching.

It's like people who had a choice long time ago between having all them nice things or their freedom.

Of course, they, uh, chose comfort.

But comfort is freedom.

It always has been.

The whole history of civilization is a struggle against poverty and need.

No. No, that... That's not it.

That's never been it.

I mean, them privileges just buy us off.


They want me to quit, Ella.

Then quit.

Just like that, huh?

But you've got to do it now.

You've got to before it's too late.

Whether you want to or not.

Look, Johnny, the next game there won't be any substitutions allowed.

And no time limit.

You'll die, Johnny. Everybody will die.

No time limit. They tell you that?


They tell you to come here and convince me to quit?

Yes, but that isn't why I came here.

You have to get out for your own sake.

Oh, please, Johnny, please.

They tell you to stay if I did quit?

You my big reward?

You still don't understand why I came here.

You're the only person I ever wanted.

I wanted you on my side, that's all.

It's like you're a God now.

Maybe you know what I don't.


I've been so stupid for so long.

I've been so stubborn.

I don't even know why.

It scares me.

You know, I'm probably gonna... Probably gonna die.

And you'll be in here pumping away long after I'm gone.

Hey, you...

You got it made, old buddy.

Bluebonnets and everything.

Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan!

Houston! Houston! Houston! Houston!

Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan!

Jonathan's dead! Jonathan's dead!

Jonathan's dead! Jonathan's dead!

Houston! Houston! Houston! Houston!

Attention! Your attention, please.

Rule changes for tonight's World Championship game.

No substitutions, no penalties, and no time limit.

All right, watch it now. He's got the ball, next time around we defend.

Jonathan's dead! Jonathan's dead!

Houston! Houston! Houston! Houston!

Jonathan's dead! Jonathan's dead!

Come on! Come on, get out of there!

Get him up!

He did it!

All right. That's right, get him in the elevator.

Get off the rail!

Jonathan's dead! Jonathan's dead! Jonathan's dead!

Come on! We gotta get him off the track.

I don't want another man on that track!

Houston, what the hell are you trying to do?

Nobody's gonna win this game!

Game? This wasn't meant to be a game!


Jonathan! Jonathan! Houston! Houston!

Watch his leg. Watch that leg. Easy, easy.

Let me have him. Let me have him! Let me have him!

Move out. Move out.



Jonathan. Jonathan.

Jonathan! Jonathan!



Jonathan! Jonathan!

Jonathan! Jonathan!