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



(screenplay), (novel)

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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 ...
Rosalind Lloyd ...


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


The Dogs of War. The Best D*** Mercenaries in the Business!


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los gansos salvajes  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(London premiere print)|


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Future British minister Peter Hain helped organize protests at the London premiere. See more »


During the training sequence, the sergeant-major calls WItty a "screaming faggot." That is an American insult which would've been unknown to a British NCO in the seventies - and who would, in any case, have a store of home-grown alternatives in his vocabulary. See more »


Faulkner: What do I call you? SIR Edward?
Sir Edward Matherson: You do.
See more »


Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.6 (2011) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Thanks to all who enjoyed my film
17 November 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

It is not often a producer has the chance to thank his critics in this form. I do so now. The blood-sweat and tears that went into the making of THE WILD GEESE is all forgotten. Appreciation of one's endeavors of some 25 years ago, thanks to DVD, is gratefully received. The Zone 1 version is yet to appear, the lateness due to sloppy distribution. To answer questions about the film's very limited theatrical release in the United States and Canada in 1978, this was due solely to the financial collapse of its distributor, Allied Artists. Chapter II was applied and, to my disgust, it failed to reach many theaters. However, the NBC Network and HBO aired the movie with great success. Euan Lloyd.

165 of 192 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Any other good movies about mercenaries/special forces? Vega_Lyra
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