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Entry updated 19 January 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1968; vt The Peace Game; vt The Gladiators). Sandrews/New Line. Directed by Peter Watkins. Written by Nicholas Gosling, Watkins. Cast includes Frederick Danner, Björn Franzen, Kenneth Lo and Arthur Pentelow. 105 minutes, cut to 91 minutes. Colour.

Watkins uses his customary cinema-verité approach in this Swedish film about a Near Future in which, as a surrogate for full-scale war, small teams of soldiers fight it out under the guidance of a Computer. He generates considerable righteous indignation over this, rather pointlessly in that such a system does not exist in reality and is unlikely ever to do so. The battle games are not well staged and the film lacks the impact of Watkins's other sf films, which include The War Game (1965), Privilege (1966) and Punishment Park (1971). A very similar theme was much later used in Robot Jox (1990). [JB/PN]


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