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The Wild Geese (1978)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 7,885 users  
Reviews: 106 user | 48 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Lt. Pieter Coetzee (as Hardy Kruger)
...
Matherson / Sir Edward Matherson
Winston Ntshona ...
President Limbani
...
Sgt. Jesse
Jack Watson ...
R.S.M. Sandy Young
...
Kenneth Griffith ...
Witty
...
Balfour
...
Jock
Ian Yule ...
Tosh
Patrick Allen ...
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 who is also critically ill and due for execution. Just when the team has performed a perfect rescue, the multinational does a deal with the vicious dictator leaving the mercenary band to escape under their own steam and exact revenge. Written by Richard Young <richy@vnu.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agries hines  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 4,765,658 (Sweden)
 »

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

Stephen Boyd was considered for the role of Sandy but died before shooting began. See more »

Goofs

During Fynn and Coetzee's first meeting in the pub, the volume of beer in their glasses increases and decreases between shots. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Shawn Fynn: That's one of the most moving benedictions I ever heard.
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

 
The White Man's Burden!,
4 February 2007 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

They don't make em like this anymore, it's certainly not 'Cannes'or 'Sun dance' film festival material. There is an all star cast with an assortment of fine British character actors in support, plenty of action and a laundry list of politically incorrect overtones. This certainly puts Wildgeese well up their as a relic of the past, I tell you it doesn't get any better than this! It's just another day at the office when they massacre a garrison of 250 Zimbas with cyanide gas and then finish the rest off with what could best be described as a "mass case of lead poisoning" while making good their escape. In addition there is the racist South African who has no problem calling blacks "Kaffers" and the medical orderly Witty who hilariously epitomizes the image of how gays were portrayed back in 1970's "ooh ducky"! Also, 'the white mans burden' attitude, Africans can't run their own show even after decolonisation i.e tribal rivalry, and when any of the Zimbas were shot they shook violently for a second while accompanied by a high pitch scream; you see --- white guys die quietly! Also, local native superstition about Limbani coming back from the dead! It's still a great action flick but today many people would have a fit if this type of movie was released today even if it was meant to be from a 1960's perspective. I noted that the infamous and well known mercenary "Mad Mike" Hore was technical adviser to the film which would consequently make this type of film even more loathed today.

Some have commented on the fact that the cast were all too long in the tooth to be taken seriously as mercenaries, but ironically the film does not hide the fact that this was a last hurrah for some of the aging former soldiers. In addition back in the 1960's and 70's many mercenaries were recruited from the ranks of the unemployed or were former soldiers who after being de-mobbed found life in civy-street difficult. Many were former cooks and mechanics who often lacked the training the equipment as well as finding that their pay was often slow in coming.

***Spoilers*** Wildgeese starts off with the romantic notion of being a Soldier of fortune as they complete their mission easily. However things start to unravel when they are double crossed by that scoundrel Matheson , then they really had to work hard for their $7000, subsequently very few of them make it back. The film keeps faith with the good guys always win in the end as "Sir Edward" learns the hard way that he double crossed the wrong man because the ever resourceful Faulkner eventually turns the tables on him; Matheson comes off second best in the confrontation in the study


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