The Gladiators (1969)

Genres - Drama, Science Fiction  |   Release Date - Jun 25, 1969 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Sweden  |  
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War becomes a sort of global game show in this darkly witty mock-documentary satire from filmmaker Peter Watkins. In the waning days of the 20th Century, the world's major military powers have come to the conclusion it's no longer economically feasible to maintain standing armies and continue the arms race. Instead, the superpowers agree to settle their differences through the Peace Games, a series of regularly scheduled military exercises in which soldiers from different countries are organized into teams who fight it out on global satellite television, with a pasta company sponsoring the show. High ranking officers from the United States, the Soviet Union, China, France, Spain and Mexico gather at a remote location in Sweden and watch as their fighting men (and women) square off against one another, while a handful of computer technicians labor behind the scenes to keep the war games on track. However, the folks at home aren't told the real reason behind the regularly scheduled violence, a handful of pacifist students hatch a scheme to sabotage the games, and the exercises take an unexpected turn when two soldiers decide they don't feel like fighting anymore.

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Keywords

assassination, computers, gladiator, prison, soldier, television, war-games