6.8/10
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The Wild Geese (1978)

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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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
...
R.S.M. Sandy Young
...
Kenneth Griffith ...
Arthur Witty
...
Thomas Balfour
...
Jock McTaggart
Ian Yule ...
Tosh Donaldson
...
Rushton
Rosalind Lloyd ...
Heather
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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 **** mercenaries in the business. See more »


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)
 »

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

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

Goofs

The hammer on R.S.M. Sandy Young's Colt .45 is still down after he fires a round into the dirt to get the exhausted soldier moving again during the training sequence. See more »

Quotes

Faulkner: Is your wife at home?
RSM Sandy Young: Yes sir, she'll be delighted to see you.
Faulkner: I don't think so. I think we'd better talk out here!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inside the Tower (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Rafer's theme
by Aleksandr Borodin (as A. Borodin)
Arr. Roy Budd (as Budd)
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.


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