IMDb > The Dogs of War (1980)
The Dogs of War
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The Dogs of War (1980) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.3/10   5,539 votes »
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Down 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Gary DeVore (screenplay) and
George Malko (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Dogs of War on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 February 1981 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Cry 'Havoc!' And Let Slip The Dogs Of War
Plot:
Mercenary James Shannon, on a reconnaissance job to the African nation of Zangaro, is tortured and deported. He returns to lead a coup. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Pretty intelligent and calm film by John Irvin See more (49 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Christopher Walken ... Jamie Shannon

Tom Berenger ... Drew
Colin Blakely ... North
Hugh Millais ... Endean

Paul Freeman ... Derek
Jean-François Stévenin ... Michel (as Jean François Stevenin)

JoBeth Williams ... Jessie
Robert Urquhart ... Capt. Lockhart
Winston Ntshona ... Dr. Okoye

Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... The Captain (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
Harlan Cary Poe ... Richard

Ed O'Neill ... Terry
Isabel Grandin ... Evelyn
Ernest Graves ... Warner
Kelvin Thomas ... The Black Boy

Shane Rimmer ... Dr. Oaks
Joseph Konrad ... Priest (as Father Joseph Konrad)

Bruce McLane ... Shop Manager

George Harris ... Col. Bobi (as George W. Harris)

David Schofield ... Endean's Man
Terence Rigby ... Hackett
Tony Mathews ... Bank Vice President
John Quentin ... Party Guest
Jean-Pierre Kalfon ... Benny Lambert
Christopher Malcolm ... Baker
Jack Lenoir ... Boucher
André Penvern ... Policeman (as Andre Penvern)
Lawrence Davidson ... Policeman

Martin LaSalle ... Customs Officer (as Martin La Salle)
Maggie Scott ... Gabrielle

Hugh Quarshie ... Zangaron Officer
Olu Jacobs ... Customs Officer
Gyearbuor Asante ... Geoffrey (as Christopher Asante)
Thomas Baptiste ... Dexter
Eddie Tagoe ... Jinja
Kenny Ireland ... Film Crew

Jim Broadbent ... Film Crew
André Toffel ... Priest (as Andre Toffel)
Diana Bracho ... Nun
Ilario Bisi-Pedro ... Kimba (as Ilarrio Bisi Pedro)
Joanne Flanagan ... Godmother
Robert Berger ... Poker Player
William Cain ... Poker Player (as William B. Cain)
Russell T. Carr ... Poker Player
José Rabelo ... Hotel Clerk (as Jose Rabelo)

Victoria Tennant ... Dinner Party Guest
Erica Creer ... Dinner Party Guest
Sheila Ruskin ... Dinner Party Guest
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alan Beckwith ... Mercenary (uncredited)

David Mandel ... Long Shoreman (uncredited)

Ángel Ramírez ... Beggar (uncredited)

Directed by
John Irvin 
 
Writing credits
Gary DeVore (screenplay) and
George Malko (screenplay)

Frederick Forsyth (novel)

Produced by
Larry DeWaay .... producer
Norman Jewison .... executive producer
Patrick J. Palmer .... executive producer (as Patrick Palmer)
 
Original Music by
Geoffrey Burgon 
 
Cinematography by
Jack Cardiff (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Antony Gibbs 
 
Production Design by
Peter Mullins 
 
Art Direction by
Bert Davey 
John Siddall 
 
Costume Design by
Emma Porteous 
 
Makeup Department
Ramon Gow .... hairdresser
Richard Mills .... makeup artist
Neville Smallwood .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Lois Kramer Hartwick .... unit production manager: New York (as Lois Hartwick)
Ted Lloyd .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gerry Gavigan .... second assistant director
Lewis Gould .... second assistant director: New York
Terry Madden .... second assistant director
Michelle Marx .... first assistant director: Miami
John Robertson .... second assistant director: Miami
Candace Suerstedt .... first assistant director: New York (as Candace Suerstedt-Rehmet)
Anthony Waye .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Roy Carnon .... illustrator
Fred Carter .... set dresser
Harry Cordwell .... set dresser
Tony Graysmark .... construction manager
Dave Jordan .... property master
Tom Jung .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Don Banks .... sound camera
Graham V. Hartstone .... dubbing mixer
Nicolas Le Messurier .... dubbing mixer
Archie Ludski .... dubbing editor
Gordon K. McCallum .... chief dubbing mixer
Ivan Sharrock .... sound mixer
Lionel Strutt .... adr mixer
Ken Weston .... boom operator
Les Wiggins .... dubbing editor
 
Special Effects by
Lawrence J. Cavanaugh .... special effects (as Larry Cavanaugh)
Michael Collins .... special effects (as Mike Collins)
Rudy Liszczak .... special effects (as Rudi Liszczak)
Joe Lombardi .... special effects coordinator
Steve Lombardi .... special effects
 
Stunts
Jay Amor .... utility stunts
John Ashby .... stunts
Alex Brown .... stunts
Lincoln McSweeney .... stunts
Roy Scammell .... stunts
Eddie Smith .... stunts
Eddie Stacey .... stunt coordinator: Europe
Marvin Walters .... stunt coordinator: Africa
Ray Woodfork .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Blanshard .... still photographer
John Cardiff .... additional photographer
Irving Deutch .... director of photography: New York
John Elton .... director of photography: Miami
Frank Heeney .... gaffer
David James .... still photographer
Colin Manning .... camera grip
Peter Norman .... camera operator: New York (as Peter D. Norman)
Bill Pochetty .... best boy
Danny Shelmerdine .... second assistant camera
Robin Vidgeon .... first assistant camera
Chic Waterson .... camera operator
Ron Zarilla .... first assistant camera: New York
 
Casting Department
Jane Feinberg .... casting: USA
Mike Fenton .... casting: USA
Susie Figgis .... casting: Europe
Julia Pascal .... location casting
Dee Miller .... extras casting: local (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Keith Denny .... wardrobe master
 
Editorial Department
Terry Busby .... assistant editor
Peter Honess .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Barbara Allen .... production coordinator
Pamela Allen .... assistant to producer
Yvonne Axeworthy .... script supervisor (as Yvonne Axworthy)
Peter Bennett .... location manager (as Peter D. Bennett)
Charles Cannon .... production accountant
John Downes .... location manager
Cassian Elwes .... production assistant
Terry Needham .... location manager
Gregory Palmer .... production assistant
Mike Russell .... unit publicist
Alan Beckwith .... stand-in: Christopher Walken (uncredited)
Jeremy Coote .... production runner (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
UK:118 min | USA:102 min | USA:104 min (TCM print) | Finland:114 min (cut) (1988) (video release) | Finland:105 min (cut) (1981) (cinema release)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M | Brazil:16 | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1988) | Finland:K-16 (heavily cut) (1981) | Finland:K-16 (heavily cut) (1980) | France:-12 | Iceland:16 | Norway:16 (1981) | Singapore:PG | South Korea:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | USA:R | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This movie was originally going to be directed by Norman Jewison.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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:
Drew:[Shannon is recruiting men] Count me in; I'll go.
Shannon:Don't you want to know where and what?
Drew:Doesn't matter. My wife's six months pregnant. Wherever we're going, it's gotta be better than sittin' around watchin' her get fat.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into Stealth Fighter (1999)See more »
Soundtrack:
Epitaph on an Army of MercenariesSee more »

FAQ

Is any of this based on real events?
-How does the film differ from the book?
What weapons do the mercenaries use?
See more »
18 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Pretty intelligent and calm film by John Irvin, 8 July 2002
Author: Bogey Man from Finland

John Irvin directed this film, starring Christopher Walken as war veteran mercenary who gets a job by government to travel to Africa and inform the situation that is pretty hot in there. He does it, and sees the violence that takes place there, and when he returns to US and tells about the evil dictator that dominates there, the new job for him is to travel there again and wipe out the incarnation of evil..

This film isn't any action film as many seem to have expected - me included - but this is pretty sophisticated, but still also little slow moving (dir. cut. 15mins longer than the US version) portrait about the state of some countries in the world, and what these dictators can do to people and country. I'm mostly fascinated by the film's atmosphere and calmness as there isn't stupid gunplay or other usual flaws often found in these films. Walken acts greatly in his role of retired war veteran who takes the job only because of money offered to him. At the end, a twist in plot is coming and all the greediness and betrayal in the film gets a new face.

The end is little stupid as it tries to imitate Apocalypse Now a little, by depicting Walken's face and "the horror" as Francis Ford Coppola did, and the gun fights at the end are also little unnecessary, especially when the film managed to be without them for so long. Still the result is satisfying, yet little too long and occasionally may make the viewer feel little tired, but this film isn't meant to be watched when tired. The US distributor cut the original version by over ten minutes, and I saw the original director's cut which includes many important bits of dialogue and things that add to the film. So I recommend the director's cut of the film as it is the directors original version.

Dogs of War is pretty intelligent and interesting depiction of power and dictatorship, and also very nostalgic in its atmosphere and scenery. The gun battle at the end of the film is great looking and also gripping, but as mentioned, also little unnecessary and too traditional finale. 7/10

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