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Wag the Dog (1997)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  9 January 1998 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 61,308 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 213 user | 130 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

Shortly before an election, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover up a presidential sex scandal.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Wag the Dog (1997)

Wag the Dog (1997) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
CIA Agent Charles Young
...
John Levy
...
Grace
...
Michael Belson ...
President
...
Amy Cain
...
A.D.
...
Director
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Storyline

After being caught in a scandalous situation days before the election, the president does not seem to have much of a chance of being re-elected. One of his advisers contacts a top Hollywood producer in order to manufacture a war in Albania that the president can heroically end, all through mass media. Written by Christy

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, the tail would wag the dog. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bite the Bullet  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

DEM 709,091 (Germany) (27 March 1998)

Gross:

$43,022,524 (USA) (1 May 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman did the film for no upfront salary. Hoffman and Barry Levinson did this movie while on a break from doing Sphere (1998). See more »

Goofs

A few pieces of technical equipment are seen several times reflected from Motss' glasses. Also, in the songwriting scene, there is a camera stand in one corner of the studio (although this may be part of the decor of the producers' house). See more »

Quotes

Stanley Motss: [Referring to Schumann] It's okay, he's not dead.
Stanley Motss: [after a gunshot is heard] Uh, strike that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dustin Hoffman's main title credit is faded in over a close up of a vacuum cleaner. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Directors: The Films of Barry Levinson (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

COURAGE MOM
Written by Merle Haggard
Performed by Merle Haggard and The Strangers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Best Political Satire Since Dr. Strangelove
25 November 2004 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Rarely can film satire make you laugh and be worried about the future at the same time. Levinson's film does just that, with a great cast and great writing, this film succeeds.

You may have noticed that many of the posts and reviews argue that this is not plausible. Obviously these posters do not realize that satire is supposed to be over the top and show what can happen in extremes, and ironically, this came out just after Clinton's sex scandal, and is still relevant today with George W. and will continue to be regardless of the president. Also, some may think it oversimplifies the public as idiots, but this isn't true, especially if they are being deceived and information is withheld. There are some implausibilities, as in why no reporters went to Albania or how other countries didn't get involved other than denying the charges, but these are small and even addressed in scenes with the rival candidates, news reporters and even CIA head William H. Macy.

Really I don't know how anyone can not like this film since it is smart, funny and scary all at once with fine performances and direction all around. This is an American political satire classic that is sadly becoming less satire as time goes on.

OVERALL: 9/10. Buy or at least rent before the satire becomes reality.


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A really BAD film!! teekay70
Please explain why it wasn't BORING + CHILDISH kag2-1
Patronising godels_sprog
They did this movie already in 1995 dreamerboi23
Was DeNiro the 'real' president? mrbisco
Shuman = Jessica Lynch chris98383
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