Are You Ready to Play "The Game" Once Again?


By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

Director David Fincher kept audiences guessing with this paranoid thriller starring Michael Douglas. Test your wits with our quiz on this riveting classic!

In what year was "The Game" released?

"The Game" was released in 1997. Its "you can't trust anyone" tone might have been influenced by turn-of-the-millennium paranoia, which was also reflected in TV shows like "The X-Files."


When director David Fincher made "The Game," he was coming off a big success with which movie?

The writer of "Se7en," Andrew Kevin Walker, also worked on "The Game." Walker and Fincher spent weeks playing with the tone of the film and the character of its lead, Nicholas Van Orton.


In what city is "The Game" set?

Boston probably would have been a good choice, as well. Walker and Fincher wanted a city with a classy old-money vibe, less in-your-face than Manhattan and less freewheeling than Los Angeles.


Who played Nicholas' younger brother, Conrad?

The role of Conrad was initially supposed to be that of a sister. Jodie Foster was cast in the role. After she and Fincher couldn't agree on whether the role should be Nicholas' sister or his daughter (Foster preferred the latter), the role was re-written as a brother.


What childhood event haunts Nicholas Van Orton?

The suicide is particularly relevant because the birthday Nicholas is celebrating is his 48th. His father killed himself at age 48.


When Conrad calls Nicholas' office, what name does he use?

As well as a failure-to-launch type, Conrad is a trickster figure. In that way, it's appropriate that he gives Nichols the gift of The Game.


What is the name of the company that runs The Game?

In days to come, van Orton will be haunted by sightings of the initials "CRS." This fuels his paranoia about the malevolent organization stalking him.


What does Conrad say that calling CRS will do for Nicholas?

Conrad then needles Nicholas about his dull life, saying that "fun" is that thing Nicholas has seen other people having. He also says that The Game is the best thing "that ever happened to me."


Why does Nicholas agree to play The Game?

Nicholas does agree to visit The Game's offices and take their tests. However, he believes his application was rejected -- meaning he doesn't really know he's playing The Game when it begins.


Of which branch of CRS was Conrad a client?

Feingold, the man who runs Nicholas' tests, looks up Conrad's "numbers" and calls them excellent, explaining that CRS does "a kind of informal scoring." He is, of course, setting Nicholas up to be nettled when he's supposedly rejected.


Where does Nicholas overhear men talking about The Game?

The two men are talking about CRS in the locker room. Nicholas finds them in the bar and presses for details, but they are unwilling to spoil the surprise. It's possible that these two men are CRS plants, but we can't be sure -- the encounter is innocent enough to be real.


The day after he takes the tests, Nicholas gets a phone call saying what?

The CRS employee tells him "You shouldn't feel this reflects negatively on you." It's exactly the same thing she was saying to an unknown caller when Nicholas first walked into the CRS office.


Everyone remembers the clown in the driveway. But what was significant about the spot in which it was lying?

Even for a game based on psychology, this seems in poor taste. Nicholas takes it in stride, though, pulling the clown into the house for further examination.


What does Nicholas find in the clown's mouth?

The key is attached to a long red handkerchief, the kind magicians use in their acts. Moments later, the news anchor on the TV tells him that he'll receive more keys from CRS, and he'll have to keep his eyes open for situations that require him to use them.


What happens in the publishing-house office that ruins Nicholas' meeting with its chief?

The leaky-pen mishap does happen, but earlier, at the airport. It's when Nicholas arrives at his meeting with Anson Baer, the head of a publishing house, that he can't get his briefcase to open. This gives the publisher a reprieve from being forced out, as Nicholas can't give him the severance paperwork.


Why does Nicholas pursue Christine, the waitress?

Christine had spilled wine on Nicholas, which leads to her getting fired. Nick says that Christine nearly spilled something on him the previous week as well. That would have been before he signed up for The Game, suggesting that CRS started laying groundwork even before he agreed to play.


What does the CRS key eventually open?

Nicholas tried the key in the briefcase, but it didn't work there. He uses it successfully when he and Christine are trying to get out of the subterranean parking garage -- well, successfully until the elevator stalls.


What does Nicholas lose that he says cost $1,000?

Nicholas loses the shoe as he and Christine are escaping CRS's attack dog. He implies the pair cost $2,000, because when Christine dubiously asks, "Your shoes cost $1,000?" he replies, "That one did."


What color is Christine's bra?

Normally, this would be a trivial detail. However, the bra becomes important when it's the only identifying detail in some salacious, maybe-incriminating photos left behind in a hotel room.


At what hotel did Nicholas (supposedly) leave his American Express card?

There really is a Hotel Nikko in San Francisco, and the phone number Nicholas dials to reach it is almost accurate (they both have the suffix "1111"). When Nicholas arrives in his room, it's a scene of total debauchery, complete with porn playing on the television.


Where does Nicholas get the gun he carries in the latter part of the movie?

Nicholas snatches it off the man who has been following him (who, naturally, turns out to be a CRS actor), but doesn't believe it's really loaded. He finds out otherwise when he shoots out a tire on the man's car.


What does Conrad find in Nicholas' glove box, that causes him to distrust his brother?

Conrad finds them after Nicholas' car has a flat tire and they have to pull over. Conrad is already in a highly-agitated state, claiming that CRS is after him and ruining his life.


How does Nicholas escape the sinking taxicab?

The hand crank was sent to Nicholas' office; we see him open the package while talking to his bemused lawyer. Nicholas thinks to use it after reminding himself, "It's a game. It's a game."


What happens when Nicholas takes police officers to the CRS office?

The detectives tell Nicholas that there is no record that a company called CRS ever rented the space. They do promise to continue investigating the break-in at his house.


In what neighborhood does Christine live?

Nicholas finds Christine through the records of the taxi company he used to send her home. He goes to her place trying to find answers.


What gives Nicholas his first clue that Christine doesn't really live in the Potrero Hill apartment?

Nicholas tries the faucet when he burns his hand on a lightbulb. Shortly after that, he opens the freezer to find it empty, but that's the second hint she doesn't live there, not the first.


Which is NOT one of the aliases of Consumer Recreation Services in the movie?

California Regal Sedans was the taxi that drove Nicholas into the bay. Cable Repair Specialists is the van seen outside Christine's building, from which the CRS shooters emerge.


Where does Nicholas take Christine after they flee her apartment?

While at the cabin, Christine drugs Nicholas' coffee. She tells him that his frantic attempt to check all his bank balances has allowed CRS to capture his passwords electronically -- so his game is finally over.


Where does Nicholas wake up after Christine drugs him?

The scene is said to be a tribute to the film, "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia." Nicholas has even been dressed in the same cream-colored suit the protagonist of that film wore when he woke up in a shallow grave.


How does Nicholas get back to the States?

Nicholas does apparently go to the embassy. It's a low-level functionary there who tells him "a man with a watch like that doesn't necessarily have a passport problem."


What book does Nicholas take from the shelf at his home?

Nicholas carries the book for a while before we realize its significance. It's hollow and holds his own gun (not the one CRS let him acquire).


Where does Nicholas locate Lionel Fisher, who "played" the man who ran his tests?

Nicholas realizes "Feingold" is an actor when he sees him in a TV advertisement. Taking Lionel Fisher hostage, Nicholas intends to get into the CRS headquarters and "meet the wizard" behind it all.


What is the first thing Conrad says to Nicholas when he climbs off the crash pad?

Nicholas' birthday was the 11th of October. A card in the ballroom where the post-Game party is held says guests are invited to celebrate it on the 20th, "sometime between 8:17 and 8:30." The narrow time window is a nod to how specifically CRS is controlling the final events of Nicholas' game.


What does Claire (Christine) ask Nicholas at the end of the film?

It's Nicholas who asks Claire if she'll have dinner with him when she gets back. She is noncommittal at first, then counter-offers with the coffee. Nicholas is still thinking about it when the screen goes dark.


Which of the following was NOT an inspiration for "The Game"?

"A Christmas Carol" might surprise people, but both stories are about of a rich, heartless man's redemption. Much of Nicholas' game was about him facing -- even re-enacting -- his father's suicide. By the end of "The Game," Nicholas has hugged his younger brother and is seen reconciling with his ex-wife.


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