[[caption-width-right:300:[[SchmuckBait Yeah, this seems safe.]]]]

Rollerball is a 1975 Dystopia movie set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, when everything is controlled by {{Mega Corp}}s that keep the unwashed masses happy [[BreadAndCircuses the best way they know how]]: full contact BloodSport!

The sport, [[TitleDrop Rollerball]], is like UsefulNotes/RollerDerby [[ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs on speed]]. Players come and go (usually violently), as the sport is meant to suppress individuality. That changes when our hero, Jonathan E, becomes a Rollerball star and refuses to retire. The executives don't like that and start making changes to the game in an effort to kill Jonathan.

There's also a 2002 remake, with twice the blood and half the plot. The announcer is Wrestling/PaulHeyman.

''For the video pinball game from HAL Laboratory, [[VideoGame/RollerBall click here.]]''
!!This film provides examples of:

* BattleChant: When star player Jonathan E scores the winning goal in the final game, despite rules changes meant to destroy him, the crowd begins chanting his name in a building crescendo. This portends a social revolution in which the corporate masters lose control of their formerly docile populace.
** Subverted earlier -- as they walk out into the ring, Jonathan's team give their standard chant, while the opposing team chant, "JONATHAN'S DEAD!"
* BerserkButton: Through most of the movie, Bartholomew is amazingly calm and reasonable when dealing with Jonathan, until he pointedly suggests that Jonathan can be made to quit the game. When Jonathan answers that Bartholomew can't make him do anything, the executive shouts, "Don't say that! DON'T EVER SAY THAT!"
* TheBigBoard
* BittersweetEnding: Jonathan has survived and become a hero, and it is implied that this victory is a portent of a successful insurrection, but he wins at a horrible cost. He's the sole survivor, all his teammates - and the opposing team - dead or badly injured, winning a game in an arena littered with corpses. Truly, the price of freedom is high.
* BloodSport: Rollerball, of course. (Quickly turning into a DeadlyGame as the story progresses.)
** Much more pronounced in the original short story, where the primary goal of the game was murder. In the movie, murder was added into the later games to show how desperate the higher ups had become in their efforts to prevent Jonathan's victory.
* BreadAndCircuses: The purpose of the sport is to provide the masses with a controlled outlet for their bloodlust, while also suppressing any desires for individuality.
* CataclysmBackstory: We learn very little about the Corporate Wars that toppled the world's governments. About all we do hear is Cletus' comment that they were "naaasty".
* ChekhovsGun / TemptingFate: Moonpie is contemptuous of the Japanese players' short stature, though he's warned that even small opponents can cream a big guy three-on-one. Three guesses how Moonpie gets clobbered in the Houston/Tokyo game.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: The librarian (played by Ralph Richardson) who programs Zero, and, it appears, Zero, itself.
* CorporateWarfare: The Corporate Wars are mentioned as a GreatOffscreenWar, but when Jonathan tries to find out more details he gets stymied.
* DeadlyGame: We hear that the record number of deaths during a match is nine, and that was before the rule changes introduced during the film.
* {{Dystopia}}: It's noted that, some time in the past, the "Corporate Wars" resulted in the overthrow of national governments. The resulting corporate-controlled society has given people all manner of comforts, but at the cost of the people's freedom.
* FictionalSport
* [[FilmOfTheBook Film of the Short Story]]: The film is an adaptation of "Roller Ball Murder" by William Harrison.
* FinishHim: In the Houston-New York game at the end, [[spoiler: Jonathan tackles the last New York player and is about to smash his head in with the ball. After a moment, he instead gets up, goes over to the goal, and jams the ball in for the winning score.]]
* FreezeFrameBonus: During the matches, we get brief glimpses of what is probably the Houston program: an orange field, with a white circle with a black logo in the centre. Compare with the flag of Nazi Germany: a red field, with a white circle with a black logo in the centre.
* {{Gorn}}: In the remake.
* JumpCut: Several of them in the remake. Hell, there are ''two'' jump cuts at the same time in one scene near the end of the movie!
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: Jonathan is afraid of this at one point, refusing to go on a helicopter. It's later revealed that the corporation has rejected the idea as it's important that Jonathan die ''during the game'', in order to demonstrate the futility of individual effort.
* MasterComputer: "Zero", which now stores all of human history after the corporations digitized the books. (They've lost the files for the 13th century somewhere...) It goes into a meltdown when Jonathan asks it a question that the corporations don't want it to answer.
* MementoMacGuffin: A home movie Jonathan keeps of better times with his wife and his coach. [[spoiler:He pointedly erases it in her face when she returns to try to persuade him to quit.]]
* OminousPipeOrgan: The corporate anthems. Also, the [[Music/ToccataAndFugueInDMinor intro music]].
* OneNationUnderCopyright: "Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for our corporate anthem."
* ParallelPornTitles: Don't ask.
* {{Revenge}}: Jonathan is partly motivated by resentment over his wife being taken from him by an executive. Ironically, [[spoiler:by the time his wife is returned to him, he's not interested in giving up the game; he actually rejects her for cooperating with the corporation's efforts.]]
* ScrewThisImOutOfHere: During the last game, the New York team's exec orders one of his players back out onto the track. The player responds by taking off his helmet and throwing it to the floor.
* SocietyMarchesOn: The anti-individualist bent of the bad guys makes sense within the context of the mid-20th century American business world (or the Japanese business world then and now, but that's neither here nor there), which was associated with stifling conformity, but missed the mark as to what the actual hypercapitalist, neoliberal Reagan era and beyond turned out to be like. Modern capitalist culture encourages "individualism" (so long as it involves buying stuff to make you "[[TheManIsStickingItToTheMan stand out]]"), while discarding the petty concerns of one's own self in favor of helping others is a socialist ideal. Today, the concept of ''corporations'' trying to stamp out individualism in favor of conformity would baffle mainstream audiences, who associate this kind of dystopia with an [[Creator/GeorgeOrwell Orwellian]], all-powerful government instead.
* TreacherousAdvisor: Bartholomew, who initially gives Jonathan almost fatherly advice to quit the game, is soon plotting to have him killed when that advice is rejected.
** Averted in the case of Cletus, Jonathan's friend who's a former player and current executive. He's powerless to interfere with the corporations' actions against Jonathan, but gives him some helpful information about dealing with them.
* TrophyWife: Jonathan had a trophy wife bestowed on him for his success, but he really did care for her. Then she was taken away from him and given to an executive. This seems to be completely normal behavior in that verse.
* WinOneForTheGipper: Subverted. Before the final game against New York, Jonathan skates into the locker room where the rest of the Huston team is waiting. Nothing is said. They just stare at each other, since they all know the odds are none of them will survive the game.
* WhatHaveIDone: At first, Mackie doesn't mind shooting up the trees. But, after the other party-goers have gleefully shot the rest of them, she's clearly upset over the act.
* AWorldHalfFull: Corporate society may have eliminated freedom and individuality, but it has also eliminated hunger and poverty.
* {{Zeerust}}: Liquid-state computing and pistol-sized plasma blasters, yet their skaters never progressed from quads to blades? (The movie was made in 1975. In-line skates had been invented by then, but were practically unknown to the public until they were openly distributed in 1981, six years after this film's debut.)
** UsefulNotes/RollerDerby is skated nearly exclusively on quads (which are, in fact, specified in every code of the sport). So what would have been Zeerust in the 80s and 90s is not so much anymore (never mind that the rules of roller derby have evolved away from a Main/ProWrestling style spectacle and toward genuine athletic competition).
** Zero itself also qualifies. A room-sized computer with giant rotary tape drives, the history of the 13th Century misplaced because a tape roll got lost?