6.8/10
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122 user 53 critic

The Wild Geese (1978)

A British banker hires a group of British mercenaries to rescue a deposed African President from the hands of a corrupt African dictator.

Director:

Andrew V. McLaglen

Writers:

Reginald Rose (screenplay), Daniel Carney (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Burton ... Colonel Allen Faulkner
Roger Moore ... Lt. Shawn Fynn
Richard Harris ... Capt. Rafer Janders
Hardy Krüger ... Lt. Pieter Coetzee (as Hardy Kruger)
Stewart Granger ... Sir Edward Matherson
Winston Ntshona ... President Julius Limbani
John Kani ... Sgt. Jesse Link
Jack Watson ... R.S.M. Sandy Young
Frank Finlay ... Father Geoghagen
Kenneth Griffith Kenneth Griffith ... Arthur Witty
Barry Foster ... Thomas Balfour
Ronald Fraser ... Jock McTaggart
Ian Yule ... Tosh Donaldson
Patrick Allen ... Rushton
Rosalind Lloyd ... Heather
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Storyline

A British multinational seeks to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. It hires a band of (largely aged) mercenaries in London and sends them in to save the virtuous but imprisoned opposition leader. Written by Richard Young <richy@vnu.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bird | fowl | value | operative | troop | See All (173) »

Taglines:

The Dogs of War... The Best **** Mercenaries in the Business! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Switzerland | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los gansos salvajes See more »

Filming Locations:

Tshipise, Limpopo, South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (London premiere print)| Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stewart Granger was cast on very short notice. He replaced Joseph Cotten. See more »

Goofs

During Witty's big action scene he cries out: "Come on you beauties, where are you?" Although that is the spoken line, the footage shows him, (partially concealed behind a bush), actually firing his weapon. The weapon sounds were removed from the brief footage and the dialogue inserted, but the gun-smoke and weapon shaking from the firing is visible. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Shawn Fynn: [referring to the radio callsigns for his men and for their transport aircraft] Iron Man,Wild Goose! Sounds like a finger up a tin man's backside,doesn't it?
See more »

Alternate Versions

NBC edited 12 minutes from this film for its 1982 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Sammy's Theme
"Dance of Death"
Written and Performed by Jerry Donahue & Marc Donahue (as Jerry and Marc Donahue)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Rip-Roaring Action / Adventure
5 January 2007 | by timdalton007See all my reviews

Imagine a film with three major stars put together with a good script and some fine action and what do you get: The Wild Geese. With the unlikely combination of Richard Burton, Richard Harris & Roger Moore plus a well-written script coupled with spectacular action sequences this is a rip-roaring action / adventure and a top-notch film.

The three main leads are the main attraction of this film. It's hard to believe that actors of the caliber of Burton, Harris and Moore would either have chemistry or even be in the same film together. But put the three of them together as mercenaries and you get a truly explosive combination of three terrific actors. None of them fail in their roles and they actually share quite a bit of chemistry between them especially in the final scene between Burton and Harris.

The rest of the cast is not a let down either. Harvey Kruger does well in his role as the mercenary Pieter Coetze as do Kenneth Griffith, John Kani and Jack Watson among the other members of the Wild Geese. Frank Finlay, Winston Ntshona and Stewart Granger all make welcomed appearances in the film in their supporting roles.

The film's script is a well-written action film with political overtones. While the politics of the film are dated now, the message for the times is still evident in the film. Outside of the political overtones the dialouge of the film is well-written and in some scenes is even touching especially in the final scene.

The action in the film is another highlight. The air drop into Africa, various raids by the Wild Geese and the final battle at the airstrip complement the story and never overwhelm the story and plot. Thanks to some good editing by editor John Glen (who had edited three Bond films and would go on to direct five more Bond films)the action is never dull and keeps the pace constant.

With a top-notch leading cast, a good supporting cast, a good script and spectacular action sequences, The Wild Geese is one of the better action films you can see. Despite being somewhat dated the film still packs quite a punch and could easily go up against any recent action film. A must see for action film fans.


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