7.1/10
72,356
219 user 137 critic

Wag the Dog (1997)

Trailer
0:33 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

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:

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Stanley Motss
... Conrad Brean
... Winifred Ames
... Sgt. William Schumann
... Fad King
... Johnny Dean
... Liz Butsky
Michael Belson ... President
... Amy Cain
... John Levy
... Grace
... Tracy Lime
... A.D.
... Director
... Pet Wrangler
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bite the Bullet  »

Edit

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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

DIRECTOR_CAMEO(Barry Levinson): With his back to the camera in the opening scene at the movie studio. See more »

Goofs

A few pieces of technical equipment are seen several times reflected from Motss' glasses. Also, in the songwriting scene, there is a camera stand in one corner of the studio (although this may be part of the decor of the producers' house). See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
TV Commercial: Why change horses in midstream?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Wag the Dog: On the Set (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Barracuda
Written by Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Michael DeRosier and Roger Fisher
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Doesn't quite hit it's stride...
16 August 1999 | by See all my reviews

As the calibre of the talent involved would suggest Wag The Dog is a very well acted and directed film, however for some strange reason it isn't a particularly satisfying one.

Perhaps that is mainly due to the fact that it is somewhat of a one joke idea, or maybe it's due to the fact that with current events as they are it's all too plausible and the whole thing of late is somewhat comically overexposed. Whatever it may be in the end you can't help but feeling that the film somehow missed a beat somewhere along the line and ultimately wasn't all that it should or could have been.

That is not to say that this isn't an entertaining film, it is. From the fistful of great performances from Robert Deniro, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson and especially Dustin Hoffman who seems to be relishing his role here, to the well played supporting roles filled out by the likes of William H. Macy, Craig T. Nelson, Kirsten Dunst et al 'Wag The Dog' has all the talent performing admirably. It also has a sharp, amusing script (by Hilary Henkin & David Mamet, based on the novel "American Hero" by Larry Beinhart) going for it and Barry Levinson's direction is top notch, but despite being quite entertaining, it also seems too slight by half, and just not focused or funny enough to quite make everything work successfully at the end of the day.

Regardless of it's flaws Wag The Dog is still a fun, well made and entertaining film that deserves to be seen and enjoyed, it just isn't quite able to reach the lofty peak that it aspires to. But just so long as you don't go in expecting an hilarious rib tickler of political satire it's a pretty fair bet that you will be suitably entertained.

One man's opinion. 7.5/10


18 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 219 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial