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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
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?