The Man Who Saved the Game’

Biopics can be stuffy affairs at times, with the genre often associated with Oscar bait pictures and period films in which “important” stories are told with the goal of inspiring its audience to emotional, teary-eyed excess. There are times, though, when humor is allowed to live and breathe in true-life stories that are larger than life in their subjects and stories. A new such comedic biopic to be released this week is Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game (2023), a 1970s-set film in which a recently divorced and fantastically mustached writer named Roger Sharpe finds an unlikely obsession with the game of pinball.

Writing for a certain burgeoning magazine called GQ, Sharpe is shocked to find that pinball has been illegal in New York City since the 1930s, when it was declared a form of gambling targeting children. As Roger begins a new relationship with a single mother named Ellen, he is approached by the Music and Amusement Association to help overturn the ban on pinball, leading to a standoff with government bureaucrats in City Hall.


Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game stars West Side Story actor Mike Faist as the younger version of Roger Sharpe. Joining him in the role of Ellen is Crystal Reed, who audiences will know from the Teen Wolf series. Playing the older version of Roger Sharpe is character actor Dennis Boutsikaris, who recently had a recurring role in the series Better Call Saul. Playing the role of Ellen’s son, Seth, is Christopher Convery, who was the lead on the horror movie Brahms: The Boy II. Playing the role of Jack Haber is Mike Doyle, who audiences will know from his recurring role in the medical drama New Amsterdam. Bryan Batt, who audiences will remember from his recurring role in Mad Men, is playing the role of Harry Coulianos. And playing the role of Danny Frank is Eric William Morris, who is known for his recurring role in Blue Bloods.

Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game is written and directed by Austin and Meredith Bragg, who will be making their feature film directorial debuts with the movie. Producing the film are Tony Glazer (Daughter of the Bride), Lana Link (Miss Virginia), Summer Crockett Moore (Above All Things), Stacey Parks (The Upgrade), and Rob Pfaltzgraff (Project Home). Music is provided by Rob Barbato (The Escort), with cinematography by Jon Keng (Little Big Women), and editing by Michelle Botticelli (Leaves of Grass).

Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game has received strong early reviews for its fascinating and compelling story, witty screenplay, and strong performances. With the indie comedy biopic releasing this week, here is how you can go about watching Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game.

Image via Vertical

Related: 8 Biopics That Are Also Comedies

Watch the Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game Trailer

The official trailer for Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game was released in February 2023. The trailer begins with an older Roger Sharpe asked by someone off camera about what was “the greatest shot you ever took”. The timeline than transitions to New York, 1975, where a funky soundtrack hits and a younger and recently divorced Roger Sharpe lands a new job and girlfriend, Ellen, to whom he confesses his love for pinball. To his horror, Roger finds out pinball is banned in New York City, leading to a showdown in city hall as Roger and his fantastic mustache seek to prove that pinball is not a game of chance, but of skill. You can see that trailer in the player below:

When Is Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game Coming to Movie Theaters?

Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game is getting a limited theatrical release in the US on March 17, 2023. Vertical is handling the US distribution for the film.

Is Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game Streaming Online?

Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game is currently not available for streaming, but you can find a digital release below.

Is Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game Available on Digital and VOD?

For all you pinball fans out there who can’t make it to the theaters, here’s the good news: Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game is releasing on Digital in the US on March 17, 2023, the same day as the theatrical premiere.

Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game (2023) Showtimes

With the movie only getting a limited release in the US, you may have a little trouble finding a theater to watch it in. Well, fret not! You can find Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game showtimes and tickets at a theater near you by visiting the following links:

Related:Does the ‘Elvis’ Shutout at the Oscars Prove the Academy Has Moved on From Biopics?

More Comedic Biopics That You Can Watch Right Now

Image via Vertical

The Disaster Artist (2017): This award-winning biopic tells the story of how a young actor named Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) befriends the mysterious and fearless Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), a consistently out of work actor who decides to make his own feature film called The Room. James Franco also directs The Disaster Artist, which succeeds as a hilarious, at times uncomfortable, and even heartbreaking spectacle of how one of the worst films of all time was made.

Rent on Amazon

American Splendor (2008): Paul Giamatti delivers one of his best performances as Harvey Pekar, a lonely and depressed file clerk who expresses himself through his comic book series titled “American Splendor”, which unexpectedly turns Harvey into a cult star. Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, American Splendor blends drama, comedy, documentary, and animation to make for a unique biopic experience, headlined by great performances, especially from Hope Davis, who plays Harvey’s ever patient wife, Joyce.

Watch on HBO Max

Bernie (2012): This true story stars Jack Black as Bernie Tiede, an assistant mortician in small town Carthage, Texas. Bernie’s Christian compassion leads him to Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine), a widowed millionaire hated by the townspeople yet befriended by Bernie, with the two becoming inseparable, until Bernie kills her when their relationship turns into a torturous daily grind. Directed by Richard Linklater and featuring a career best performance by Black, Bernie is a true-crime black-comedy that is both brilliantly funny and tragically heartfelt.

Watch on Peacock

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2023): Beloved parody songwriter and accordion player extraordinaire “Weird Al” Yankovic gets the biopic treatment, with Daniel Radcliffe playing the court-jester-of-silliness with stellar comedic chops and forthright earnestness. Directed by Eric Appel and featuring a smattering of celebrity cameos, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story succeeds as a spoof of the music biopic, while also playing tribute to Yankovic’s particular brand of genius.

Watch on Roku

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