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The Wild Geese (1978)

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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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Title: The Wild Geese (1978)

The Wild Geese (1978) on IMDb 6.8/10

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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:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of all the extras and actors that were present on the movie-set there were few that had actual military training and experience of real warfare. One of those was actor Hardy Kruger who played the character of "Pieter Coetze". Kruger was born in 1928, Germany and he was drafted into the German Army in late 1944. In March 1945 he saw action against US forces in the 38th SS Division "Nibelungen". During these late-war engagements he was captured by US troops. See more »

Goofs

During the Medical Orderlys final scene he runs out of ammo for his Uzi. The weapon, however, doesn't click once but three times which is impossible with a real weapon. All of the three clicks were added post production to enhance the fact to the audience that Witty ran out of ammo. See more »

Quotes

Faulkner: I'm dry when I work.
Sir Edward Matherson: Yes, so I've heard.
Faulkner: There's a separate clause in my contract that says my liver is to be buried separately with honors.
Sir Edward Matherson: I'm not a very humorous man.
Faulkner: So I've noticed.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.6 (2011) 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.


7 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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