7.1/10
73,003
220 user 137 critic

Wag the Dog (1997)

Trailer
0:33 | Trailer

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ON DISC
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:

Is this life imitating art in the film that preceded the biggest news story of 1998. 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

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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$43,022,524, 3 May 1998

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$64,217,092
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

Dustin Hoffman and Barry Levinson did this movie while on a break from making Sphere (1998). 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

[Commissioned to write a propaganda song about war with Albania]
Johnny Dean: Albania's hard to rhyme.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spoofs Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

News And Presidential Campaign Music
Written, Arranged, Produced and Performed by Evan Kopelson and Walter Werzowa
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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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