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WARGAMES The Facts

Matthew Broderick's character hacks into his high school's computer system and changes his grades. He performs this same function in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986).

 
Kevin Costner turned down the lead role for a part in The Big Chill (1983) which was eventually cut.

The studio had a Galaga and a Galaxian machine delivered to Matthew Broderick's home, where he practiced for two months to prepare for the arcade scene.

The computer used to break into NORAD was programmed to make the correct words appear on the screen, no matter which keys were pressed.

The NORAD command center built for the movie was the most expensive set ever constructed up to that time, built at the cost of one million dollars. The producers were not allowed into the actual NORAD command center, so they had to imagine what it was like.

The NORAD mainframe to which Matthew Broderick's character finds a backdoor was called "W.O.P.R." in the movie. In the late '70s, NORAD's central processor was named "B.U.R.G.R."

The exteriors were all filmed in western Washington state. The NORAD HQ set was built in the Cascades, the "Oregon" airport was really Boeing Field, "Goose Island" is really Anderson Island, WA (in the southern part of Puget Sound). The last ferry off the island really is at 6:30, and you really are stuck there if you miss it.

The original director was Martin Brest, and several of the scenes he shot are still in the movie.

When John Badham took over as director he changed the photographic process. It's possible to see changes in the frame lines between old and new footage.

Facts courtesy of Internet Movie Database and MGM/UA.
 

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