7.1/10
68,886
218 user 133 critic

Wag the Dog (1997)

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.

Director:

Writers:

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

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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
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Grace
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Michael Belson ...
President
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Amy Cain
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A.D.
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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:

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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)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both of the movie's two top-billed lead stars, Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro, have won two Academy Awards for acting. Hoffman is a Best Actor Oscar Winner for both Rain Man (1988) and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) whilst De Niro is a Best Actor Oscar Winner for Raging Bull (1980) and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner for The Godfather: Part II (1974). Both de Niro and Hoffmann have been nominated for Oscars each on seven occasions including the above-mentioned wins for each. See more »

Goofs

When the CIA pulls over Conrad's and Winifred's limousine, Winifred says "Uh, Connie..." and "What's happening?" In that brief moment between lines, her arm changes position and her cell phone disappears. See more »

Quotes

Fad King: We're locked into Albania - Why?
Johnny Dean: Albania's hard to rhyme.
Stanley Motss: What are you looking at me for? It's the name of the country.
Johnny Dean: [sighs resignedly, then sings] "Albania, Albania..."
Stanley Motss: That rhymes.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Comedy Central Roast of Denis Leary (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Old Shoe
Written by Edgar Winter
Performed by Willie Nelson & Roebuck 'Pops' Staples (as Pops Staples)
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant satire
9 October 2003 | by See all my reviews

Wag the Dog is a brilliant satire of the American political system with enough realism to make it plausible. It speaks the strongest to people who already have a visceral loathing of the American democratic process (not how it was in 1789 but how it is now). They see a degraded and ignorant public easily duped by politicians who are no more than habitual liars who will say anything to get elected but lack any idealism whatsoever. Intelligent, funny, but also very depressing, 9/10.


49 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Wouldn't the Albanian government have been able to refute the "war"? highlandpercussion
A really BAD film!! teekay70
Please explain why it wasn't BORING + CHILDISH kag2-1
The word, the concept, the randomness of Albania renoCamino
Patronising godels_sprog
Was DeNiro the 'real' president? mrbisco
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