Wag the Dog (1997) Poster



Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (1)
During the filming of Wag the Dog (1997) Dustin Hoffman, his co-star Robert De Niro and director Barry Levinson had an impromptu meeting with President 'Bill Clinton' at a Washington hotel. "So what's this movie about?" Clinton asked De Niro. De Niro looked over to Levinson, hoping he would answer the question. Levinson, in turn, looked over to Hoffman. Hoffman, realizing there was no one else to pass the buck to, is quoted as saying, "So I just started to tap dance. I can't even remember what I said."
After this film started production and before its release, US President Bill Clinton became involved in a sex scandal and threatened military action against Iraq.
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.
Dustin Hoffman ad-libbed the line, "He didn't sell it."
Conrad's line, "A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow," is a quote from WWII General George S. Patton.
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).
"Why change horses midstream?" was originally a campaign slogan for Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.
The scene in which shoes laced together are hanging from telephone and electric wires was shot on East Capitol Street a few blocks behind the U.S. Capitol. The production crew left several pairs of shoes behind and they remained hanging on the wires for years.
The character of Winifred Ames was originally written for a man.
The political talk show at the end of the film lists its phone number as 1-(800)-555-0199. This number is also Lester Burnham's office number in the film American Beauty (1999) as well as Lowell Bergman's fax number in the film The Insider (1999)
The name of Schumann's medication, "Prozalium", is a combination of Prozac and Valium.
Actor Craig T. Nelson and director Barry Levinson combined to do a stand-up comedy routine early in their careers.
In the funeral scene, soldiers in the military band are played by members of the Riverside Community College marching band.
Dustin Hoffman based the mannerisms and delivery for his character on his father.
Dustin Hoffman based his character of Stanley Motss on Hollywood producer Robert Evans.

Director Cameo 

Barry Levinson:  with his back to the camera in the opening scene at the movie studio.

Director Trademark 

Barry Levinson:  [Ralph Tabakin]  Ralph (Southern Man) has appeared in every Levinson picture from Diner (1982) to Liberty Heights (1999).

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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