7.1/10
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Wag the Dog (1997)

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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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4,357 ( 555)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

$92,079 (USA) (26 December 1997)

Gross:

$43,022,524 (USA) (1 May 1998)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The talk show phone number, (800) 555-0199, is common to many films and television shows because this is the only number that has been reserved by the phone company as an allowable "fake" 800 number for media usage. See more »

Goofs

In one scene Dustin Hoffman comments that "there is no Academy Award for producing." While there is no Academy Award titled "Best Producer", the Best Picture Oscar is the Oscar awarded to Producers. See more »

Quotes

Conrad 'Connie' Brean: We're not gonna have a war, we're gonna have the appearance of a war.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Special Thanks to The Cast and Crew for Completing Principal Photography in 29 Days!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Insider (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

I Like The Nightlife
Written by Alicia Bridges & Susan Hutcheson
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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
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