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People were expecting great things from David Fincher after Se7en. His next film, The Game (1997), was very nearly as good as that classic film. Yet, people were expecting something different. They were expecting a gritty police-drama, not a gritty mind-f**k movie. The box-office numbers were, therefore, nowhere near as good.  Which is a shame, as The Game is an absolutely phenomenal film! Exciting. Engaging. Action-packed. Etc…

And, with a great twist!

Analyzing the Story-Structures of Famous Screenplays: The Game - directed by David Fincher

Nicholas leaves the party to start a relationship with Christine.

Denouement: BACK FORWARD

Nicholas, a wealthy investment banker, is given a very special gift from his black-sheep younger brother Conrad: participation is some sort of elaborate game.

But, is it a game?

Things just keep spiralling out-of-control for poor Nicholas, every step making him question whether this is really a game - or an extremely-complicated con-job.

As thing get more and more serious, the stakes get higher and higher, and just when you can’t take it anymore...

Inciting Incident: 1st Turning-Point: 2nd Turning Point: False-Victory or False-Defeat:

Nicholas finds out that the game may just be a lot more serious - and criminal - than he had anticipated. The large office that was there just a short while ago is now completely empty. Regular companies and criminals aren’t anywhere near this sophisticated.

He could be in grave physical danger!

He’s gotten himself mixed up in something BAD…

Nicholas and Conrad’s father commits suicide.

Nicholas has lost everything. It was all a long con. They tricked him into giving up the account numbers.

The criminals have now taken everything he worked so hard to earn.

His house is in tatters.

His reputation is destroyed.

He’s been buried and left for dead in Mexico.

All his money and assets are gone. He’s lost everything. And, there’s no conceivable way to get it back.

Now it’s time to take the fight to them!  He kidnaps Christine and forces her to take him to the bad guys (CRS).

Notice the scenery-change? The third act is going to be at CRS. And, the stakes are much, much higher now.


Nicholas believes that CRS has won and managed to take everything from him. He thinks it’s all over and that he lost.

This ends up not being true.

Original movie posters from the film

Screen-Writing Contests:

Plot Recap:

Conrad tells his brother why he did it: so that Nicholas wouldn’t turn out like their father, a work-aholic who never lived life to its fullest.


Nicholas goes from being a tight-ass who doesn’t embrace life or care for his family - like his dead father - to embracing life and all that it brings.

Character Arc: WARNING: May Contain Spoilers!