7.2/10
75,693
226 user 142 critic

Wag the Dog (1997)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
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:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

Larry Beinhart (book), Hilary Henkin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dustin Hoffman ... Stanley Motss
Robert De Niro ... Conrad Brean
Anne Heche ... Winifred Ames
Woody Harrelson ... Sgt. William Schumann
Denis Leary ... Fad King
Willie Nelson ... Johnny Dean
Andrea Martin ... Liz Butsky
Michael Belson Michael Belson ... President
Suzanne Cryer ... Amy Cain
John Michael Higgins ... John Levy
Suzie Plakson ... Grace
Kirsten Dunst ... Tracy Lime
Jason Cottle ... A.D.
David Koechner ... Director
Harland Williams ... Pet Wrangler
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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:

A Hollywood producer. A Washington spin-doctor. When they get together, they can make you believe anything. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Barry Levinson | Production Notes 1 | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Albanian

Release Date:

9 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bite the Bullet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$92,079, 28 December 1997

Gross USA:

$43,061,945

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$64,256,513
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Why change horses midstream?" was originally a campaign slogan for Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. See more »

Goofs

When the coffin is unloaded from the aircraft, the flag is positioned properly, with the blue field over deceased's left shoulder. At the memorial service, the blue is over the deceased's right shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Who killed Kennedy? I read the first draft of the Warren report. It said he was killed by a drunk driver.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

I Like The Nightlife
Written by Alicia Bridges & Susan Hutcheson
See more »

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User Reviews

The greatest political satire ever
11 October 2004 | by msapirSee all my reviews

I do not understand the people who did not like the movie. For me this is the greatest political satire since Chaplin's "The great dictator". Both de Niro and Hoffman are great as well. This movie is not about Clinton although they did predict correctly the Kosovo war, and Albanian terrorists. It is about American political system which is made by and for TV. Several lines from that movie ("Why Albania?" - "Why not?", "Albania does not rhyme", "What do you remember about the Gulf war? One smart bomb... I was in that building when we shot that shot", and many more) are impossible to forget because everyday political life does not let us forget them.


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