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The Dogs of War (1980)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 5,376 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 13 critic

Mercenary James Shannon, on a reconnaissance job to the African nation of Zangaro, is tortured and deported. He returns to lead a coup.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Colin Blakely ...
Hugh Millais ...
Endean
...
Derek
Jean-François Stévenin ...
Michel (as Jean François Stevenin)
...
Jessie
Robert Urquhart ...
Capt. Lockhart
Winston Ntshona ...
Dr. Okoye
...
The Captain (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
Harlan Cary Poe ...
Richard
...
Terry
Isabel Grandin ...
Evelyn
Ernest Graves ...
Warner
Kelvin Thomas ...
The Black Boy
Edit

Storyline

Jamie Shannon is a soldier of fortune -- a mercenary who will stage a coup or a revolution for the right price. He is hired by British mining interests to scout out Zangaro, a small African nation with rich mineral deposits but a brutal and xenophobic dictatorship. Arrested soon after his arrival, Shannon is imprisoned as a spy, badly beaten, and tortured. While in prison he meets one of the country's leading intellectuals, Dr. Okoye, also imprisoned by the regime. Eventually released, he returns to London and is subsequently offered to opportunity to secretly invade Zangaro's capital and lead a military coup. Shannon accepts, but quietly has his own agenda to pursue. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Cry 'Havoc!' And Let Slip The Dogs Of War

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 February 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cães de Guerra  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print) | (cut) (1988) (video release) | (cut) (1981) (cinema release)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "dogs of war" phrase takes its literary origins from William Shakespeare. It appears in Act 3, Scene 1, line 273 of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. It reads: "Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war". This Shakespearian phrase was actually used as a tagline for this movie. See more »

Goofs

The scene at the railway station is set at London's Liverpool Street, made obvious by the Great Eastern Hotel prominently in the background. However, the station announcement says the train is for Rugby, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Sheffield. Trains do not go from Liverpool Street station to these destinations and did not at the time the film was set. A likelier station for such departure would have been St Pancras. See more »

Quotes

Michel: [raising his glass in a toast] Vive la mort ! Vive la guerre ! Vive le sacré mercenaire !
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beauty (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

When It's Springtime in the Rockies
(uncredited)
Music by Robert Sauer
Lyrics by Maryhale Woolsey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Quite interesting…

Shannon (Christopher Walken) is a mercenary war who accepted for the sum of 15,000 dollars to fly to a fictional country in West Africa on a survey mission to procure military information concerning the stability of a dictator's regime, his position strength, and if there is any chance for a coup?

Posing as an American naturalist—especially in native birds—Shannon landed in Zangaro and gathered all the facts he needed but after suffering a brutal beating from the guards for taking pictures of one of the mistresses of the dictator's in front of his compound…

When he's offered a large amount of money to gather a well-equipped mercenary force and go back to Zangaro and lead a military takeover, he reluctantly assents…

The assault has authority, power and unexpected... consequences. So don't miss it!


26 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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