6.3/10
6,536
56 user 39 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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Hugh Millais ...
Endean
...
Derek
Jean-François Stévenin ...
Michel (as Jean François Stevenin)
...
Jessie
...
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:

 »

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

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

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

Shannon: [to Endean and Bobi, who have arrived after the fighting is over] You're late!
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Connections

Referenced in Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010) 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

 
A gritty and hard-boiled adventure.
12 July 2001 | by (Sauk City, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

Sent to checkout the political situation in the Africian nation of Zangaro, Shannon (Christopher Walken in a solid performance), a tireless and money-hungry American mercenary, get caught spying by the president's secret police and nearly beaten to death before sent back to the States. Determined to strike back, Walken urges a few of his friends (Tom Berenger and Ed O'Neill being a few of them) to join in the mission and get the necessary weapons. Director John Irvin ("Hamburger Hill", "When Trumpets Fade") plays his cards right in saving the best stuff, which is the raid and how the scenery is displayed by veteran cinematographer Jack Cardiff is also great. The film was based on a novel by Frederick Forstyh ("The Day of the Jackal").


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