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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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
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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

John Irvin had previously filmed amidst real life battles when he worked in a television news crew in Vietnam during the 1960s. Irvin once said: "Unlike most young film directors, I've been in battle. Throughout the sixties I went to various war zones and I met numerous mercenaries in Algeria and South East Asia, so I had my own personal strings to draw on. I would say our depiction of mercenaries is pretty accurate. We talked to a lot of mercenaries and were able to get a lot of information from them about how they would have handled the operation." 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 !
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Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries
Sung by Gillian McPherson
Music by Geoffrey Burgon
Poem by A.E. Housman
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not for children
1 April 2004 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

That is, not for those with child like tastes. If you require non-stop action ... move along. The characters are set up nicely and Walken is just too cool, I think it's his best performance. Most of his fans don't know about this movie but it's a gem. There are a few scenes I would have left on the cutting floor but they can be overlooked. There's a scene with his doctor that is worth watching the whole movie over. But there's plenty more. There's good dialog, nice scenery, some action and some characters you actually care about. This is not an assault on your senses; you will have to pay attention to enjoy it. But it will be worth your time. If you are a fan of Christopher Walken, then it will be well worth your time.


39 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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