IMDb > The Wild Geese (1978)
The Wild Geese
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The Wild Geese (1978) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   8,692 votes »
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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Reginald Rose (screenplay)
Daniel Carney (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Wild Geese on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 November 1978 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Dogs of War. The Best D*** Mercenaries in the Business!
Plot:
A British banker hires a group of British mercenaries to rescue a deposed African president from the hands of a corrupt African dictator. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
These two English wannabe-snobs are way off base. See more (113 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Richard Burton ... Colonel Allen Faulkner

Roger Moore ... Lt. Shawn Fynn

Richard Harris ... Capt. Rafer Janders

Hardy Krüger ... Lt. Pieter Coetzee (as Hardy Kruger)

Stewart Granger ... Sir Edward Matherson
Winston Ntshona ... President Julius Limbani

John Kani ... Sgt. Jesse Link
Jack Watson ... R.S.M. Sandy Young

Frank Finlay ... Father Geoghagen
Kenneth Griffith ... Arthur Witty

Barry Foster ... Thomas Balfour

Ronald Fraser ... Jock McTaggart
Ian Yule ... Tosh Donaldson
Patrick Allen ... Rushton
Rosalind Lloyd ... Heather

David Ladd ... Sonny Martinelli
Paul Spurrier ... Emile Janders

Jeff Corey ... Mr. Martin

Brook Williams ... Samuels

Percy Herbert ... Keith
Glyn Baker ... Esposito
Sydney Chama ... Clark
Ken Gampu ... Alexander
Jane Hylton ... Mrs. Marjorie Young
Taks Senekal ... East German Officer
Martin Grace ... East German Officer
Terry Wells ... Cuban Officer
Joe Cole ... Derek
Fats Bookholane ... Tribal Elder
John Alderson ... Randy
Terence Longdon ... Anonymous Man
Patrick Holt ... Skyjacker
Robert Cunningham ... Man on Aircraft
John Dennison ... Matherson's butler
Thomas Baptiste ... Col. Mboya
Jules Walters ... Mboya's ADC (as Jules Walter)
Fred Bryant ... Baronet Club manager
Valerie Leon ... 1st Girl Dealer
Anna Bergman ... Sonny's Girlfriend
Jeannie Collings ... Sonny's Girlfriend (as Joanna Collings)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Colin Abraham ... Carpenter (uncredited)
Rod Campbell ... Mercenary (uncredited)
Chris Chittell ... Philips (uncredited)
Graham Clarke ... Gennaro (uncredited)
George Lane Cooper ... Mercenary (uncredited)
Richard Cox ... Skyjacker 3 (uncredited)
Clive Curtis ... Randolf (uncredited)
Suzanne Danielle ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
Bryan Davis ... Hercules Pilot (uncredited)
Eddie Eddon ... Mercenary (uncredited)
Anthony Fridjhon ... Skyjacker 2 (uncredited)
Ryno Hattingh ... Finchley (uncredited)

Susan Hunt ... Egyptian Girl Flirting with Faulkner (uncredited)
Jazzer Jeyes ... Jones (uncredited)
George Leech ... Stone (uncredited)
Harry Magnus ... Williams (uncredited)
Solly Marx ... Mercenary (uncredited)
Tullio Moneta ... Tall Mercenary (uncredited)
Maia Newley ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
Andre Parnell ... Mercenary (uncredited)

Greg Powell ... Mercenary (uncredited)
Leslie Schofield ... Hitman at Club (uncredited)
Chris Scott ... Mercenary (uncredited)
Bob Simmons ... Pilot (uncredited)
Len Sparrowhawk ... Slate (uncredited)

Gordon Steel ... Cavendish (uncredited)
Rocky Taylor ... Mercenary (uncredited)
Peter Terry ... Mercenary (uncredited)

Directed by
Andrew V. McLaglen 
 
Writing credits
Reginald Rose (screenplay)

Daniel Carney (novel "The Wild Geese")

Produced by
Chris Chrisafis .... associate producer
Erwin C. Dietrich .... producer
Euan Lloyd .... producer
Douglas Netter .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Roy Budd 
 
Cinematography by
Jack Hildyard (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
John Glen 
 
Casting by
Rose Tobias Shaw 
 
Production Design by
Syd Cain 
 
Art Direction by
Bob Bell 
 
Makeup Department
Ron Berkeley .... makeup artist
Paul Engelen .... makeup artist
Richard Mills .... makeup artist
Neville Smallwood .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Harold Buck .... production supervisor
Norman Foster .... production manager
Ray Freeborn .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Derek Cracknell .... assistant director
John Glen .... second unit director
Raymond Becket .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Simon Wakefield .... set director
Maurice Cain .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Terry Wells .... stand-by property master (uncredited)
Barry Wilkinson .... stand-by props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Dino Di Campo .... sound editor
Gordon Everett .... sound recordist
Gerry Humphreys .... dubbing mixer
Colin Miller .... sound editor
Allan Sones .... sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Kit West .... special effects
 
Stunts
B.H. Barry .... stunts (uncredited)
Tim Condren .... stunts (uncredited)
George Lane Cooper .... stunts (uncredited)
Clive Curtis .... stunts (uncredited)
Eddie Eddon .... stunts (uncredited)
Martin Grace .... stunt double: Hardy Krüger (uncredited)
Martin Grace .... stunt double: Richard Burton (uncredited)
Martin Grace .... stunt double: Roger Moore (uncredited)
Martin Grace .... stunts (uncredited)
Richard Graydon .... stunts (uncredited)
Jazzer Jeyes .... stunts (uncredited)
George Leech .... stunts (uncredited)
Solly Marx .... stunts (uncredited)
Greg Powell .... stunts (uncredited)
Terry Richards .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Simmons .... stunt double: Richard Burton (uncredited)
Bob Simmons .... stunts (uncredited)
Rocky Taylor .... stunts (uncredited)
Chris Webb .... stunts (uncredited)
Ian Yule .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Graham Attwood .... stills photographer
James Bawden .... camera operator (as Jimmy Bawden)
Tony Braun .... special photography
John Fenner .... gaffer
Dudley Lovell .... second unit cameraman/operator
Robin Wilter .... associate gaffer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Elsa Fennell .... costume supervisor
 
Editorial Department
John Grover .... assembly editor
 
Other crew
Ronnie Bear .... production liaison
Maurice Binder .... main title designed by
Karl Breyer .... the photograph of Moise Tshombe seen in the main titles of this picture was taken by
Richard Charter .... parachute jump master
Brian Doyle .... publicist
Scott Finch .... production associate (as Scot Finch)
Ray Freeborn .... location manager
Dick Hilland .... flying sequences and aerial adviser
Mike Hoare .... military & technical adviser (as Col. Mike Hoare)
Ron Mull .... caterer
Maureen Newman .... production accountant
June Randall .... continuity
Bob Simmons .... action arranger
Edward Eagle .... location assistant (uncredited)
Doris Spriggs .... assistant: Roger Moore (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
134 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (London premiere print) | Mono
Certification:
Australia:M | Finland:K-15 (uncut) (2005) (DVD) | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1989) (video) | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1978) (theatrical) | Germany:16 (DVD rating) (uncut) | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 (original rating) | Norway:15 | Norway:16 (1978) | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:18 | Spain:16 (DVD rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (tv rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (1986) (1990) (1998) (2004) (2009) | USA:R | West Germany:12 (f) (heavily cut)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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:
Fr. Geoghagen, the Priest:Good luck to you, you Godless murderers.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Cinemania (2002)See more »
Soundtrack:
Sammy's ThemeSee more »

FAQ

How much are the mercenaries paid for rescuing Limbani?
Why does Sir Edward Matherson abandon the mercenaries in Africa?
How does the film differ from the book?
See more »
90 out of 117 people found the following review useful.
These two English wannabe-snobs are way off base., 28 September 1999
Author: SquirePM from Birmingham, Alabama

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (113 total) »

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