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The Wild Geese (1978)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  11 November 1978 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 8,694 users  
Reviews: 113 user | 49 critic

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

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Wild Geese (1978)

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Cast

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

Los gansos salvajes  »

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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The school rugby scenes with Emile (Paul Spurrier), were shot over a period of two days at Marble Hill Park in Twickenham. The schoolboy extras were from Teddington Boys School, a comprehensive school. The badge on the Paul's blazer is that of the school. During the scene several boys were picked to pass ball with Paul. They were picked because they were the shortest and best matched his height. See more »

Goofs

During Witty's big action scene he cries out: "Come on you beauties, where are you?" Although that is the spoken line, the footage shows him, (partially concealed behind a bush), actually firing his weapon. The weapon sounds were removed from the brief footage and the dialogue inserted, but the gun-smoke and weapon shaking from the firing is visible. See more »

Quotes

RSM Sandy Young: Some of you know me already! Those of you who don't are in for a great, big fuckin' surprise! For those of you who do can expect an infinitely more horrible time than they can remember! Any man here who steps out of line and I will kill stone dead, it will not worry me in the slightest! There are no Queen's regulations here! When I say jump, you ask how high,Do I make myself clear? I want to hear it! Do I make myself clear? RIGHT! On the command Right and Left turn, A and B squads turn to the ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Mercenary (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Flight of the Wild Geese
Written and Performed by Joan Armatrading
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Awesome Mercinary Adventure Film
19 June 2006 | by (Olympia, WA) – See all my reviews

I discovered this film when I was like 14 because I was obsessed with the Bond movies, after watching "The Wild Geese" I developed another obsession. No film is for everyone, but this one has a lot to love, especially for fans of the genre and the cast.

Richard Burton plays Allen Faulkner, an aged British mercenary hired by a multinational company to lead a team into Africa and rescue the president of a war-torn nation to serve their purposes. It sounds like simple action fluff. It isn't. All the men Faulkner brings along, many of whom are members of his old crew, have families they might not see again. The biggest focus of these is Richard Harris (in a great performance) as Capt. Janders who is the single parent to his son Amiel. There's also the complications that ensue when their mission changes purposes midway through. Most importantly is that this film is scripted by Reginald Rose, who gave us "Twelve Angry Men".

Also featured are Roger Moore and Hardy Kruger. Moore is the one I watched the film for, and gives a typical Moore performance. Krugar, however, is given the more interesting character. Like the rest, he's an aging mercenary, unlike the rest he's South African and prejudiced against black people. The man they rescue, Julius Limbani (Winston Ntshona) is black and Kruger's character must either save a man he sees as less than human or come to grips with his racism.

Andrew V. McLaglen is not what I'd call a great director, but he does fine here. He keeps a good pace that balances the action and drama. A few of his decisions are a might distracting, but I think this is more a reflection of mainstream cinema at the time than one filmmaker's failings. This movie is still a gift to adventure fans and it asks the right questions.

The sequel, made after Burton's death, is a different thing altogether. If ever you see "The Wild Geese 2", don't expect what you got here.


9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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