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Mazes and Monsters is a 1982 made-for-TV movie directed by Steven Hilliard Stern about a group of college students and their interest in a fictitious role-playing game (RPG) of the same name. The movie starred a 26-year-old Tom Hanks in his first major leading role. The film was adapted from a novel of the same name by Rona Jaffe. Jaffe had based her 1981 novel on inaccurate newspaper stories about the disappearance of James Dallas Egbert III from Michigan State University in 1979. Media accounts differed substantially from Egbert's actual story. William Dear, the private investigator on the case, explained actual events and the reasons behind the media myth in his 1984 book The Dungeon Master. Jaffe wrote her novel at a breakneck pace in a matter of days because of a fear that another author might also be fictionalizing the Egbert investigation. The working title for the film was Dungeons & Dragons, but CBS dropped it in favor of the novel's title, presumably to avoid lawsuits over...
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