MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 9,542 this week

The Wild Geese (1978)

6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 8,176 users  
Reviews: 108 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 12 Jun 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 21 Sep 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 05 Jan 2013
 
a list of 27 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Wild Geese" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Wild Geese (1978)

The Wild Geese (1978) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Wild Geese.

User Polls

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 (1979)
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, a unique commando unit is sent in to stop them.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Roger Moore, James Mason, Anthony Perkins
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Richard Burton plays a Scottish Army officer put in charge of a disparate band of ANZAC troops on the perimeter of Tobruk with the German Army doing their best to dislodge them.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Richard Burton, James Mason, Robert Newton
Breakthrough (1979)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

German sergeant gets involved in anti-Hitler conspiracy, and saves the life of an American colonel.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Richard Burton, Rod Steiger, Helmut Griem
Certificate: M Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding an American General prisoner... but that's not all that's really going on.

Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure
Street People (1976)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 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
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An American colonel who has never been in combat is assigned to create a special forces unit from Canadian Army troops and a ragtag group of U.S. Army misfits.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: William Holden, Cliff Robertson, Vince Edwards
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

During World War II, the prisoners of a German camp on a Greek island are trying to escape. They don't want only their freedom, but they also seek for an ineffable treasure hidden in a ... See full summary »

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Roger Moore, Telly Savalas, David Niven
Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An American POW leads a group of mainly British prisoners to escape from the Germans in WWII.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Raffaella Carrà
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn
Action | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Commander Robin Wesley, leader of a group of mercenaries, go to the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia to overthrow the dictator, who is a major manufacturer and dealer of the world's opium.

Director: Antonio Margheriti
Stars: Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

A new international terrorist group attack the castle of an Austrian prince during his party, but one of the guests, a CIA contractor, deals with them. CIA hires him to find the men behind the attack and take them out.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Ben Cross, Annabel Schofield
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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

In the casino scene where Allen Faulkner flirts with a woman dressed as an Egyptian, the woman is actually Richard Burton's wife, Susan Hunt. See more »

Goofs

When Richard Harris is lying dead on the runway after being shot multiple times, his body continues to move as if he is breathing normally. See more »

Quotes

Medical Orderly Arthur Witty: [defending a retreat against impossible odds] Get yer lovely arses out of here! I'm just holdin' the fort!
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

 
These two English wannabe-snobs are way off base.
28 September 1999 | by (Birmingham, Alabama) – See all my reviews

The Wild Geese surprised me in the theater back in the late 1970's. As a former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger and Vietnam vet, I had mixed feelings about it. But I keep watching it every couple of years and it has become one of my favorite films.

Yes, it's a fanciful story, romanticizing the boring, grubby, dangerous lives of the very few mercenary soldiers in the world. But its daring small-unit tactics are actually pretty good, and they do illustrate the chaos and devastation a well trained special ops force can cause in an enemy's rear area. It also illustrates the ease with which such a small unit can be wiped out if the enemy can locate it and bring real forces to bear against it.

And, interestingly, it shows very clearly the effectiveness of even a single small, armed airplane against an infantry unit unequipped with anti-aircraft capability. So whoever wrote and advised on this film had some genuine experience. There are many examples of true combat reality in various parts of the film.

However, there are also some of the usual war-movie-making gaffes and there were some really silly, amateurish attempts at special effects in the theatrical release, most of which have been edited out in the cable movie versions. So it's still a mixed bag but overall very effective.

The other aspects of this film are universally wonderful. It has a plausible enough story line once you've decided to accept the premise, and from there it progresses nicely indeed. Several of the subplots are intense and very moving, some are a little comical and some are downright funny. Burton's last line to Emile, "Let's talk about your father." is as fine a line as can be written.

The depth of the cast is remarkable: dozens of very good actors, some speaking only one or two lines, but so well delivered! (There are also some awkward lines that just don't work at all. As I said, this film is a mixed bag.) Even in the small rolls, Jock, Tosh, Esposito, the village priest, Jesse and others, the quality just shines.

The movie doesn't shy away from the unglamorous, gut-wrenching realities of the consequences of mercenary operations, either. There are some very troubling scenes about the responsibilities of leadership in such a unit.

There is not another movie like The Wild Geese.

I couldn't end without saying this one last thing. The theme song "The Wild Geese," sung by Joan Armatrading is simply marvelous. It is worth the price of admission, and is played in its entirety during the closing credits. I recommend that you close your eyes and just listen.


89 of 115 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
great movie but that song sanookdee
How does the Expendables stack up against Wild geese pythontounge
The first time you saw The Wild Geese... crawfrordboon
'Political inocrrectness' in The Wild Geese crawfrordboon
Ideal cast for remake Cobin78
The good thing about the remake...? markallanp
Discuss The Wild Geese (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?