Every Movie Referenced in Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline for those of you who haven't read it, is the ultimate book of geek. It references movies throughout, mostly from the 80s and I've tried to record all of them as I read through it but I'm pretty certain I've missed some. Feel free to make the list complete from your own memory.

He also mentions Fincher, Cameron, Tarantino, Del Toro and Kevin Smith by name but not specific movies that I recall.

  • Ladyhawke
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
  • The Ewok Adventure
  • Sixteen Candles
  • Blade Runner
  • Ghostbusters
  • Better Off Dead...
  • Back to the Future
  • Sneakers
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Pretty in Pink
  • Weird Science
  • Krull
  • WarGames
  • Superman
  • The Dark Crystal
  • Brazil
  • Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
  • Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
  • Highlander
  • Highlander II: The Quickening
  • Airplane!
  • Big Trouble in Little China
  • Fantastic Voyage
  • Heathers
  • The Goonies
  • Legend
  • Short Circuit
  • Some Kind of Wonderful
  • TRON
  • The Beastmaster
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Revenge of the Nerds
  • Risky Business
  • Real Genius
  • National Lampoon’s European Vacation
  • Hawk the Slayer
  • Excalibur
  • Mad Max
  • Howard the Duck
  • Rain Man
  • Footloose
  • Conan the Barbarian
  • 2010
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • The Matrix
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • Godzilla
  • Phantasm
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • The Evil Dead
  • Evil Dead II
  • Fight Club
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
  • Saturday Night Fever
  • Max Headroom - 20 Minutes into the Future
  • Vision Quest
  • Say Anything...
  • Serenity
  • Hard Boiled
  • The Killer
  • Heavy Metal
  • Explorers
  • THX 1138
  • Red Dawn
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
  • Phantasm II
  • Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead
  • Phantasm IV: Oblivion

16 Comments

  • Loved every minute of Ready Player One, easily in my top 5 books of all time

  • Yeah it was pretty good, good ideas, structurally exciting, lot of geek references but it's no Snow Crash.

  • Great list! I absolutely loved Ready Player One, definitely a must read. The only movie I see missing from your list that was mentioned in the book is The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

  • Nice one Knightquester!

  • Great list - I just finished reading it and was going to do the same!

    I think you have missed Indy 4, Mad Max 2 & 3, The Iron Giant, and the rest of the Phantasm films

    He also mentions watching lots of Mechagodzilla films so that could be Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), and Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002).

    Gamera also gets mentioned but hard to know which film(s) exactly. Gamera: Super Monster (1980) would make the most sense.

  • Cheers mook, it took a while but I think it's worth it.

    I'll trust you on the Indy, Mad Max and Phantasm, but the rest of them I'm not sure really fits my original criteria of a movie being specifically mentioned by name.

  • Yeah it got tricky when he mentioned Japanese stuff, rarely clearly stated a film.

    He mentions Indy4 by saying most people pretend it doesn't exist. The Mad Max trilogy and the Phantasm series are mentioned in the same way as the Star Wars trilogies (original and prequel) are mentioned which you have included.

  • i am in the same boat as most people, I wish Indy 4 didn't exist!

  • So i just finished the book last week and yes he makes many obscure japanese references. I did manage to find the Ultraman series and Japanese spider-man shows and they are pretty interesting. I noticed your list is missing The Last Starfighter which he mentions. Also at the end when he becomes an Indentured employee he renames himself Tuttle to escape. Does anybody know if that is a MASH reference,the 17th episode was called Tuttle. Trapper and Hawkeye make up Officer Tuttle to get more supplies for an orphanage.

  • You forgot (possibly) "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension" from which the Oscillation Overthruster reference is taken.

  • Nevermind, I'm blind, even after looking through the list 3 times.

  • Cheers Jim, I was about to respond to that first comment with "would never have known that" and "only films referenced by name" but then who could ever resist name dropping Buckaroo Banzai? If you know about that movie you tell people about that movie. :D

  • To be honest, I only know about the movie because I use to play BZFlag many moons ago, and there's a weapon called "Oscillation Overthruster" and I wanted to know what it meant, which meant I HAD to watch the movie (don't regret it a bit)

  • The employee number of Mr. Sorrento is the same as the prisoner number of Alex in A Clockwork Orange. (Chapter 0014)

  • I love the level of knowledge on display here Dieter. I can't add it to the list because of the arbitrary nature of the rules I set up at the beginning though - not explicitly stated in the text.

  • Haha that's ok. Every tiny reference would result in a very exhaustive list anyhow. Still I love catching one of these :)

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