6.3/10
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56 user 37 critic

The Dogs of War (1980)

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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Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac is a true story based on the crash of Air Florida flight 90 on January 13, 1982 in Washington D.C. This movie follows the main players throughout the day,... See full summary »

Director: Robert Michael Lewis
Stars: Jeannetta Arnette, Barry Corbin, Stephen Macht
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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
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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


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:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Berenger has said in interviews that around half of his role was omitted from the final release print. When executive producer Norman Jewison asked him to go on a promotional trip to Japan, the angry actor vociferously refused. According to Berenger, Helen Shaver, who played his wife in the film, was totally eliminated from the release print. See more »

Goofs

When Shannon meets with Endean and Bobi, in subsequent shots his necktie moves from the left to right side of his shirt. See more »

Quotes

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

Edited into Stealth Fighter (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

When It's Springtime in the Rockies
(uncredited)
Music by Robert Sauer
Lyrics by Maryhale Woolsey
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps A Difficult Novel To Adapt For Cinema
25 January 2005 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

The great thing about reading a Fredirick Forsyth novel is that you're educated while being entertained . He gives you facts and details on everything from modern jet fighters to Ukrainian history . The problem with this though is that the info tend to hold up the narrative which makes a Forsyth novel difficult to successfully translate to screen and to be honest the original THE DOGS OF WAR novel isn't really a book that will appeal to a cinema goer who's into no brain action shoot them ups . I can forgive this since I know what to expect from a Forsyth story but would Mr action fan ? I can just imagine a disappointed Arnie/Bruce/Sly fan slagging the movie off for having only two battle scenes , one at the start of the movie and one at the end , so let me point out that if you're expecting to see DIE HARD IN AFRICA it's maybe not you're kind of movie

If there's a problem with the movie it's mainly down to the structure of the novel with much of the running time taken up with planning the coup , getting the equipment , hiring the boat etc . I also noticed the dialogue was a bit iffy " Which one of your men do I kill to make way for mine ? " . Things like structure and dialogue don't matter too much on the written page but tend to leap out at you on the silver screen , but as many of the commentators on this page have pointed out it's an action film/political thriller with a brain . It's perhaps not as enjoyable as say THE DARK OF THE SUN or THE WILD GEESE but there's certainly entertainment to be had trying to spot the actor before they were a well known face


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