7.1/10
73,121
221 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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Photos

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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 comedy about truth, justice and other special effects. 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
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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

While they are recording the song for the Albanian War, there is a shot of Stanley through the glass of the studio. The reflections of the singers do not match the words or rhythm of the song. See more »

Quotes

Stanley Motss: I bet you're great at chess.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: I would be if I could remember how all the pieces moved.
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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

Features Gigi (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Taps
(uncredited)
Composed by Daniel Butterfield (as Butterfield)
[heard when Schumann's body arrives]
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant satire
9 October 2003 | by perfectbondSee all my reviews

Wag the Dog is a brilliant satire of the American political system with enough realism to make it plausible. It speaks the strongest to people who already have a visceral loathing of the American democratic process (not how it was in 1789 but how it is now). They see a degraded and ignorant public easily duped by politicians who are no more than habitual liars who will say anything to get elected but lack any idealism whatsoever. Intelligent, funny, but also very depressing, 9/10.


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