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?


Roger Moore requested to have fewer lines in his scenes with Richard Burton and Richard Harris. This kind of request was almost unheard of from a major star. His reasoning was - "You don't seriously expect me to act against these guys?" See more »


During Witty's big action scene he cries out: "Come on you beauties, where are you?" Although that is the spoken line, the footage shows him, (partially concealed behind a bush), actually firing his weapon. The weapon sounds were removed from the brief footage and the dialogue inserted, but the gun-smoke and weapon shaking from the firing is visible. See more »


[after womanizer Sean Finn fails at a simulated parachute drop]
RSM Sandy Young: That was LUDICROUS, sir. You're jumping from an aeroplane, not a whorehouse window. Do it again.
See more »


Referenced in Nocturna (1979) See more »


Sammy's Theme
"Dance of Death"
Written and Performed by Jerry Donahue & Marc Donahue (as Jerry and Marc Donahue)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Rip-Roaring Action / Adventure
5 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Imagine a film with three major stars put together with a good script and some fine action and what do you get: The Wild Geese. With the unlikely combination of Richard Burton, Richard Harris & Roger Moore plus a well-written script coupled with spectacular action sequences this is a rip-roaring action / adventure and a top-notch film.

The three main leads are the main attraction of this film. It's hard to believe that actors of the caliber of Burton, Harris and Moore would either have chemistry or even be in the same film together. But put the three of them together as mercenaries and you get a truly explosive combination of three terrific actors. None of them fail in their roles and they actually share quite a bit of chemistry between them especially in the final scene between Burton and Harris.

The rest of the cast is not a let down either. Harvey Kruger does well in his role as the mercenary Pieter Coetze as do Kenneth Griffith, John Kani and Jack Watson among the other members of the Wild Geese. Frank Finlay, Winston Ntshona and Stewart Granger all make welcomed appearances in the film in their supporting roles.

The film's script is a well-written action film with political overtones. While the politics of the film are dated now, the message for the times is still evident in the film. Outside of the political overtones the dialouge of the film is well-written and in some scenes is even touching especially in the final scene.

The action in the film is another highlight. The air drop into Africa, various raids by the Wild Geese and the final battle at the airstrip complement the story and never overwhelm the story and plot. Thanks to some good editing by editor John Glen (who had edited three Bond films and would go on to direct five more Bond films)the action is never dull and keeps the pace constant.

With a top-notch leading cast, a good supporting cast, a good script and spectacular action sequences, The Wild Geese is one of the better action films you can see. Despite being somewhat dated the film still packs quite a punch and could easily go up against any recent action film. A must see for action film fans.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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