6.8/10
9,742
118 user 52 critic

The Wild Geese (1978)

A British banker hires a group of British mercenaries to rescue a deposed African president from the hands of a corrupt African dictator.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A true WW2 story: the British must attack a German ship but it's safe in neutral Goa. So they send civilians, ex-soldiers about 60 years old.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, David Niven
ffolkes (1980)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When terrorists take over two oil rigs and threaten to explode them if their demands are not met, an eccentric anti-terrorism expert volunteers his unique commando unit to stop them.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Roger Moore, James Mason, Anthony Perkins
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A World War Two adventure involving a group of Allied POWs, Nazis, black market priceless art treasures, Greek resistance, a Greek monastery and a secret German rocket base.

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Roger Moore, Telly Savalas, David Niven
Gold (1974)
Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Rod Slater is the newly appointed general manager of the Sonderditch gold mine, but he stumbles across an ingenious plot to flood the mine, by drilling into an underground lake, so the ... See full summary »

Director: Peter R. Hunt
Stars: Roger Moore, Susannah York, Ray Milland
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

During World War One a British aristocrat, an American entrepreneur and the latter's attractive young daughter, set out to destroy a German battle-cruiser which is awaiting repairs in an inlet just off Zanzibar.

Director: Peter R. Hunt
Stars: Lee Marvin, Roger Moore, Barbara Parkins
Wild Geese II (1985)
Adventure | Thriller | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A group of mercenaries is hired to spring Rudolf Hess from Spandau Prison in Berlin.

Director: Peter R. Hunt
Stars: Scott Glenn, Barbara Carrera, Edward Fox
Certificate: GP Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Harold Pelham encounters a duplicate of himself in the aftermath of a car crash. After that moment his life is upset.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Roger Moore, Hildegard Neil, Alastair Mackenzie
Street People (1976)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A Mafia boss is enraged when he is suspected of smuggling a heroin shipment into San Francisco. He dispatches his nephew, a hotshot Anglo-Sicilian lawyer, to identify the real culprit. The ... See full summary »

Directors: Maurizio Lucidi, Guglielmo Garroni
Stars: Roger Moore, Stacy Keach, Ivo Garrani
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A European arms dealer (Roger Moore) meets a liberated woman journalist (Susannah York), who is writing a story about the ridiculous things men do with the armaments during a NATO war games... See full summary »

Director: Christopher Miles
Stars: Roger Moore, Susannah York, Shelley Winters
Action | Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.

Director: Hal Needham
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett
Action | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Chicago psychiatrist Judd Stevens is suspected of murdering one of his patients when the man turns up stabbed to death in the middle of the city. After repeated attempts to convince two ... See full summary »

Director: Bryan Forbes
Stars: Roger Moore, Rod Steiger, Elliott Gould
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Lt. Pieter Coetzee (as Hardy Kruger)
...
Sir Edward Matherson
Winston Ntshona ...
President Julius Limbani
...
Sgt. Jesse Link
...
R.S.M. Sandy Young
...
Kenneth Griffith ...
Arthur Witty
...
Thomas Balfour
...
Jock McTaggart
...
Tosh Donaldson
...
Rushton
Rosalind Lloyd ...
Heather
Edit

Storyline

A British multinational seeks to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. It hires a band of (largely aged) mercenaries in London and sends them in to save the virtuous but imprisoned opposition leader. Written by Richard Young <richy@vnu.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Dogs of War. The Best D*** Mercenaries in the Business! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los gansos salvajes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(London premiere print)|

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite being part of the racist Apartheid regime, the South African Film Board was keen to have genuine black South African actors playing key roles in the film rather than Afro-American or British Afro-Carribean actors taking the parts. Both John Kani who played Sgt Jesse and Winston Ntshona who played President Limbani were initially reluctant to star in a film which featured white mercenaries interfering in African affairs and portrayed a country with black majority rule so negatively. However, they were both impressed by the subplot of understanding and forgiveness developing between Kruger and Ntshona's characters and decided to participate in the film after all. See more »

Goofs

When the Geese take over the prison command post; the Cuban officer removes the cigar from his mouth when the camera changes angle he removes it again. See more »

Quotes

RSM Sandy Young: "Get on your feet, you fuckin' abortion!"
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Last of the Gentleman Producers (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Sammy's Theme
"Dance of Death"
Written and Performed by Jerry Donahue & Marc Donahue (as Jerry and Marc Donahue)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Those Old Cavalry Flicks
6 June 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Watching The Wild Geese puts me so in mind of those old John Ford cavalry flicks. Not surprising since the Director Andrew McLaglen learned his trade while on the set of those films with his father Victor McLaglen.

A fine cast was assembled here for this film. Richard Burton, Roger Moore, and Richard Harris certainly have all done better stuff, but their skill makes The Wild Geese enjoyable. Of the three, I think Harris comes off the best, his scenes with his young son are very poignant.

Richard Burton is a mercenary who is being offered a contract by gazillionaire industrialist Stewart Granger. Train and equip a group of mercenaries to rescue a Nelson Mandela type African leader who has been deposed in a military coup. Burton does the job, but when the job is finished he and his mercenaries find getting out a whole lot more than the bargained for.

Starting with Where Eagles Dare, Burton was trying the action/adventure genre on for size and he did well with that. He came up way short with Raid on Rommel, but recouped quite a bit with The Wild Geese. It was his only joint film venture with Richard Harris, pairing both the stage and screen King Arthurs from Camelot.

Of course action adventure is old hat for Roger Moore. He was in his prime as James Bond when The Wild Geese was done. But Moore shows he can be quite serious here. None of the tongue in cheek deadpan that characterizes a Bond film.

The scenes dealing with the recruiting a training of the mercenaries come straight out of John Ford. So are the various types among the soldiers.

I liked Kenneth Griffith's portrayal of the openly gay medic with the group. Yes he's certainly stereotypical, but the point is he's accepted by the men who really don't care about his sexual orientation when in a fight. Secondly he turns out to be quite the John Wayne type hero in the end.

The Wild Geese turned out to be very popular, Burton was going to do a sequel Wild Geese II when he died in 1983. Might have been interesting had he done it since it would have paired with Laurence Olivier in that one.

The Wild Geese is an action/adventure film to be sure, but it's also about loyalty, tradition, and camaraderie. These men may fight for a good paycheck, but they are fanatically loyal to the unit created and to each other.

If that ain't John Ford.............................


20 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?