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The Movies

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(prices updated 9/18 11:52 PM )

Description official description

Have you ever wanted to try running your own movies studio?

The Movies gives you that opportunity by putting you in the shoes of an aspiring movie mogul starting in 1920s Hollywood. Hire directors and actors for your films, ensuring they get enough acting/directing practice to ensure they'll give their best performances. Be careful not to stress them too much though or next thing you'll know, they'll be drowning their sorrows with alcohol (or food). Don't forget to recruit builders, janitors, film crew, scientists, scriptwriters and personal assistants too, they're also just as important to ensuring the success of your studio.

Once you've hired the actors, directors and ancillary staff you require to make movies, you'll also need to construct places for them to work and relax. A majority of your studio lot will be occupied by sets of one of five genres (Action, Sci-Fi, Horror, Romance and Comedy) which you can research and then build to be used for filming your movies. While your scriptwriters are making the final touches to that 5-star film script, you can get your directors and actors to practice their roles on the set.

Eventually the script is complete and you must then decide which actors and directors would make the best fit for the film as the game takes into account not only how much experience the actors/directors have, but how good-looking they are (important for actors) and how well they get along with the rest of the crew. Filming then starts and it's your job to make sure that the actors and directors don't throw tantrums on the set or this could adversely affect the quality of the movie (not to mention prove expensive due to delays). Usually you would do so by making sure they pay a visit to the bar or restaurant beforehand (but don't make this too often or else they may get addicted and a visit to the Rehab Centre is in order)!

When the last scene is finally shot, your movie is then ready to be released to the world! Keep an eye on movie critic reviews to gauge what can be improved next time you make a film if you want to ensure your studio isn't making B-grade movies indefinitely!


  • The Movies: Фабрика грез - Russian spelling
  • 电影 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

303 People (289 developers, 14 thanks) · View all

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Executive Lead Designer
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[ full credits ]



Average score: 82% (based on 49 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 40 ratings with 2 reviews)

the movies, a unique gem set to be put down by mere-sighted fat cats

The Good
Games of this type are almost always interesting at first and it’s generally longevity which is the major problem however this isn't so the case for this particular game which is why this game is rated so high!

A neat historically based time-line which runs across the top of the screen throughout play. As well as being able to use this to predict when you’ll have completed such-and-such research or when such-and-such a movie will be ready for release, you can see on in historical events occurring in the world which will affect what kind of movies people want to see. For example, the mid-20's depression in America which causes comedies to be more desirable (people need cheering up).

This game is packed with innovation and amazing new concepts, while still combing many genres together in one amazing package.

the graphics: Well, even with the lowest settings (default) it still looks a fine game, but with every little bit of graphic improvement it just shouts WOW! On full settings its as if your really in Hollywood directing movies and caring for your actors, directors and employees!

The power of the sound in this game is good, with a PA giving you advice on certain stuff and reminding you of stuff you may have forgotten. much like the green top hat man from the original Theme Park! However one other feature of the PA woman. is that you can turn her off, lower her advice and even have her so annoyingly concerned you want her to be your nurse!

The Bad
A bad and yet good part of the game involves whizzing around your studios chasing after your actors and directors and pampering them in a sims-esque manner. - I didn't like that as when you have over 15 actors and directors it gets a bit hectic with having to fly around all the time to please them and still manage your studio. However it also adds to the great feeling of managing your studio and still being the man-manager of your stars!

throughout the ages the fashion trends will change, certain types of dress code will become trendy or undesirable. This requires you to give your stars makeovers every 5 years or so. And this can sometimes become stressful while your trying to shoot several movies at the same time and a star is throwing a tantrum.

The Bottom Line
Imagine a game in which you take control of a Hollywood movie studio beginning in the 1920's. You are responsible for the more tedious business tasks of staff recruitment, finance auditing and construction planning; however, you also have control over the fascinating movie making process: the script, the actors, and the themes. Now, what you have envisaged at this point is probably something that’s like Peter Molyneux’s The Movies but not as mechanical, generic and partitioned. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good game; but the game’s premise is so theoretically grand that it’s not something which can be transferred to game format without it becoming a shadow of its own expectations. So, forget the hype. What we have here is a good strategy/simulation game which is much like a cross between The Sims and the Tycoon/Theme Park genre with some bonus movie making features thrown in.

The most interesting feature of this game is that you can write the scripts to your own movies, and then succeed or fail on the merits or flaws of your creations. In practice the game doesn’t actually work like that. You do have the ability to customize many aspects of your movies – how many scenes it has, who acts in it, what actions are performed by who and when, etc. After writing your movie you can watch your actors rehearse and record it; and then you can even export the finished product to a PC movie format. The problem is that success within the business model of this game doesn’t actually depend on you creating something that you consider ‘a good movie. It’s much more mathematical than that. You can pump out movies that make absolutely no sense whatsoever and still be the king of in-game Hollywood. Why? Because movies in-game are rated on how many scenes they have, how long the scenes are, how good your employees are, and what buildings/research your studios have. How coherent and well composed the movie is means very little in terms of in-game success. However this mode is still a great way to learn the game and to unlock everything for the sandbox mode (Sandbox where you can set your cash, the cast options, the options to have instant building time and 100% constant building maintenance, so you can concentrate on making your own movies exactly how you want them!)

Windows · by phil buckley (19) · 2006

Lights, Camera, Action!

The Good
The Movies, is the latest from Lionhead Studios. The Game studio started by Peter Molyneux, the brains behind some of the most original games out there. From Dungeon Keeper to Fable, no one can deny the originality of these titles. The Movies may just be his best game yet.

In The Movies you run a studio, and it is your job to make it a success. Make the stars, build the studio and shoot the movies! It is really two games in one. A building/ management Sim not unlike Sim City. And a movie making game, this is were most of the fun of the games comes out.

In studio mode you keep buildings in good condition, make your stars happy. Manage your money, and improve your lot. You can fire and hire stars at your whim, demote and promote as you see fit, research film making. And even make bad movies look good due to a promotions office. During movie mode you make the movies! From writing the screenplays, to shooting, and editing the films all the elements of film making are at your fingertips.

You can win awards, that give certain benefits to your studio. Bad press of your stars can also hurt your company. Stars can and will develop problems, drinking, eating, and vanity can all effect them.

The films you make are rated on various things, such as star power, and quality of sets. Over using a star can hurt your rating, as can inexperienced cast and crew. Your films also compete with films from other studios, you can be the lead studio not by making the best films but simply the most.

The Graphics are excellent. Partially due to the fairly low requirements. The Game only needs 32 megs of video ram, and with that can run on high settings nice! Crisp and colorful the graphics make your studio come alive. The game also tends to be a system hog with 2.4 Gig needed for installation.

The Game offers a wide variety of music for your films. In addition music plays during the studio part of the game, and a DJ voice says goofy things based on what time period you are in. All the music is good. The actors themselves do not speak English. Instead the speak a sort of Sims gibberish. So your movies either will have subtitles or you can record your own voice and use it in the game.

The Bad
The game can drag at times. During the early days of film. Thankfully there is a sandbox mode that can be played at anytime. In which you can start at what every decade you wish, turn off actors misbehaving and have as much money as you want. This will ensure that the game lives on long after you finish the campaign. Why can’t you make trailers for your films?

The Bottom Line
The movies is quite possibly Peter Molyneux’s best game yet. With expansions on the way there is more movie fun to be had. Sim fans have to play this game!

Windows · by MasterMegid (723) · 2006


1001 Video Games

The Movies appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled ports

A console version was announced, but later cancelled after the disappointing sales of the PC release.


Many of the decade-specific songs that can be heard and used in the game are thinly-disguised imitations of actual songs released throughout history. During the 60s and 70s some music sounds very similar to Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child and in the 80s one may recognize the theme to Terminator.


There are some interesting references in the set decor in The Movies. On the "Shabby Hotel" set, a picture of a girl on the beach can be seen. This is the same picture that haunted Barton Fink in Joel and Ethan Coen's film of the same name. On the "Living Room" set, there is a picture on the wall depicting the wedding scene from Fable.


  • GameSpy
    • 2005 – Best Music of the Year (PC)
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 02/2006 - #2 Strategy Game in 2005
    • Issue 04/2006 - #3 Strategy Game in 2005 (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by MasterMegid and Sciere.

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Fashion Craze
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Related Sites +

  • Develop Your Inner Mogul
    An Apple Games article about the Macintosh version of <em>The Movies</em> (January, 2007).
  • Official Webpage (Mac)
    The official product page for the Mac version of <em>The Movies</em> on the publisher's website, which provides a profile of the game, an overview of the essential gameplay elements, a collection of desktop wallpapers, an explanation of the Mac exclusive features, and ordering information, among other such things.
  • The Movies™
    The official game website and the online community

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Rambutaan.

Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Sciere, Stratege, Zeppin, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added November 23rd, 2005. Last modified September 18th, 2023.