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Wag the Dog ()


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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:
Awards:
  • Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 20 nominations.
  • See more »
Reviews:

Photos and Videos

Cast verified as complete

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Stanley Motss
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Conrad Brean
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Winifred Ames
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Sgt. William Schumann
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Fad King
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Johnny Dean
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Liz Butsky
Michael Belson ...
President
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Amy Cain
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John Levy
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Grace
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Tracy Lime
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A.D.
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Director
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Pet Wrangler
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Bob Richardson
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Mr. Young
Bernard Hocke ...
Technician
Jenna Byrne ...
Sharon
Maurice Woods ...
Kid with Shoes (as Maurkice Woods)
Roebuck 'Pops' Staples ...
Pops Staples (as Pops Staples)
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Co-Pilot
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Officer
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Store Owner (as Edwin T. Morgan)
J. Patrick McCormack ...
Pilot
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Teenage Girl
Edrie Warner ...
Judge
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Young Man / CIA
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Gate Stewardess
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Combine Driver
Stephanie Kemp ...
Aide #1
Jack Esformes ...
Aide #2
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Aide #3
Michael Reid Davis ...
Aide #4
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Sharon's Boyfriend
Kenneth Kern ...
Nashville Engineer
Michelle Levinson ...
Faye
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Limo Driver
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CIA Agent (as Derrick Morgan)
Garry R. Roleder ...
USAF Chaplain
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Merle Haggard
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Jim Belushi
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Senator Nole
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White House Reporter
Cliff B. Howard ...
Ranger
Furley Lumpkin ...
Raking Dad #1
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Raking Dad #2
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Mom
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Jockey #1
Kevin Furlong ...
Jockey #2
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Southern Woman
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Male Commentator
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Crossfire Moderator
Warren Wilson ...
Crossfire Interviewer
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Factory Reporter
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Santa Fe Reporter
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Female Press Person
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Chicago Newscaster
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Chicago Newscaster #2
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Media Guy #1 (as Geffrey Blake)
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Media Guy #2
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Sklansky
Emmett Miller ...
News Break Reporter
Bill Handel ...
Andrews AFB Reporter
Anais Afshan ...
Albanian Girl (as Arlene Afshangol)
Hope Garber ...
Albanian Grandmother
Gina Menza ...
Press Room Reporter
Maggie Mellin ...
Mrs. Rose
Tom Murray ...
Aircraft Carrier Reporter
Ralph Tabakin ...
Southern Man
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Teenage Girl in Audience
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Jay Leno
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American Dream Singer
Wendy Lou Halvorsen ...
American Dream Singer
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American Dream Singer (as Tom Bahler)
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American Dream Singer
Allen Carter ...
American Dream Singer
Brad Kalas ...
American Dream Singer
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American Dream Singer
Billy Trudel ...
American Dream Singer
Lance Eaton ...
American Dream Singer
Mark Vieha ...
American Dream Singer
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American Dream Singer
Julia Waters ...
American Dream Singer
James Gilstrap ...
American Dream Singer
Oren Waters ...
American Dream Singer
Jennifer Gross ...
American Dream Singer
Maxine Waters Willard ...
American Dream Singer (as Maxine Waters)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Merle Haggard and the Strangers ...
Performers
Laura Bennecke ...
White House Secretary (uncredited)
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Chauffer (uncredited)
Phillip V. Caruso ...
War Commercial Photographer (uncredited)
Sean Ireland ...
Military Officer (uncredited)
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Man at a movie studio (uncredited)
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Senator John Neal (uncredited)
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Grieving Politician (uncredited)
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Man in TV Studio (uncredited)
Robert Sedona ...
Politician (uncredited)
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Airline Passenger (uncredited)
Chelsea Talbott ...
Crying Girl at Funeral Parade (uncredited)
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Limo Driver (uncredited)

Directed by

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Barry Levinson

Written by

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Larry Beinhart ... (book "American Hero")
 
Hilary Henkin ... (screenplay) and
David Mamet ... (screenplay)

Produced by

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Michael De Luca ... executive producer
Robert De Niro ... producer
Barry Levinson ... producer
Eric McLeod ... co-producer
Claire Rudnick Polstein ... executive producer
Jane Rosenthal ... producer
Ezra Swerdlow ... executive producer

Music by

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Mark Knopfler

Cinematography by

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Robert Richardson ... director of photography

Film Editing by

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Stu Linder

Editorial Department

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Gilbert Carreras ... color timer (as Gil Carreras)
Blair Daily ... additional editor
Mark Daily ... first assistant editor
Jason Joseph ... editorial production assistant
Ric Keeley ... post-production executive
Bob Shugrue Jr. ... assistant editor (as Robert F. Shugrue Jr.)
Mark W. Smith ... assistant editor
Jay Vinitsky ... post-production coordinator
Thomas M. Harrigan ... editorial apprentice (uncredited)
John F. Lyons ... assistant editor (uncredited)
Mike Sowa ... digital color timer (uncredited)

Casting By

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Ellen Chenoweth
Debra Zane

Production Design by

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Wynn Thomas

Art Direction by

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Mark Worthington

Set Decoration by

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Robert Greenfield

Costume Design by

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Rita Ryack

Makeup Department

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Hazel Catmull ... key hair stylist
Kathrine Gordon ... hair stylist
Ilona Herman ... hair stylist: Mr. De Niro / makeup artist: Mr. De Niro
Mark Landon ... makeup artist
Peter Montagna ... key makeup artist
Elaine L. Offers ... makeup artist (as Elaine Offers)
Daniel C. Striepeke ... makeup artist: Mr. Hoffman
Michael White ... hair stylist: Mr. Hoffman
Melissa Yonkey ... hair stylist: Mr. Harrelson

Production Management

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Blair Daily ... post-production supervisor
Joe Fineman ... executive in charge of post-production
Carla Fry ... executive in charge of production
Eric McLeod ... unit production manager
Bonnie Weis ... production supervisor: second unit
Laurie Kaye ... production manager: special war/news segments (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Ken Arlidge ... second unit director
Amy Sayres ... first assistant director
Amy Schmidt ... second second assistant director
Christopher Swartout ... second assistant director

Art Department

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Jose M. Arreguin ... propmaker foreman
Peter Bankins ... property master
Tim Donelan ... lead man
Kirk Essiambre ... property assistant
John French ... paint foreman
Joe Louis Garcia ... construction grip
Ildefonso Goris ... greensman
Tammy High ... construction estimator
Bill 'Kauhane' Hoyt ... stand-by painter (as Bill 'Kahuane' Hoyt)
Steve Joyal ... art department coordinator
Diane Kramer ... art production assistant (as Diana Kramer)
Scott W. Leslie ... set dresser
Alberto Christiano Lombardo ... assistant property master (as Alberto Lombardo)
Jeff Markwith ... set designer
Jim McDermott ... set dresser
Robert McKelvey ... propmaker foreman
Kathy Meherin ... labor foreperson
Mark Pallatt ... set dresser
Stephen J. Readmond ... on-set dresser
Shana Sigmond ... assistant set decorator
Frank Simplico ... tool foreman
John Slatsky ... set dresser
Billy Spire ... general foreman
Christopher Tandon ... assistant art director
Duke Tomasick ... construction coordinator
Doug Wuitschick ... paint foreman
Carl Catanese ... on-set dresser: Washington DC (uncredited)
Mary Locatell ... illustrator (uncredited)
Byron K. Lovelace ... props: New York (uncredited)
James R. Shumaker ... set dresser (uncredited)
Brent Smith ... set dresser (uncredited)

Sound Department

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Mike Boudry ... adr recordist
Lindakay Brown ... dialogue editor
Steve Cantamessa ... sound mixer
Tony Eckert ... foley mixer
Ben Gold ... supervising assistant sound editor
J.R. Grubbs ... sound effects editor
Lora Hirschberg ... re-recording mixer
Tim Holland ... supervising sound editor
Tom Johnson ... re-recording mixer
Doc Kane ... adr mixer
Scott La Rue ... cable puller (as Scott LaRue)
Mary Helen Leasman ... foley editor
Diane Linn ... adr recordist
David Lucarelli ... adr recordist
Marilyn McCoppen ... adr editor
Frank 'Pepe' Merel ... Foley Re-recordist
Al Nelson ... Re-recordist
Susan Popovic ... assistant sound editor
Charleen Richards ... adr mixer
Claire Sanfilippo ... dialogue editor
Michael Silvers ... dialogue supervisor
Greg Steele ... adr mixer
Gary Thomas ... boom operator
Dennie Thorpe ... foley artist
Tami Treadwell ... adr recordist
Jana Vance ... foley artist
Mary Works ... assistant sound editor
David Abrahamsen ... sound (uncredited)
Mark Burton ... production sound mixer: video unit (uncredited)
Lawrence L. Commans ... boom operator (uncredited)
Sean England ... foley recordist (uncredited)
Steve Romanko ... technical staff: Skywalker Sound (uncredited)
Kent Sparling ... mix technician (uncredited)
David E. Turner ... machine room operator (uncredited) / sound transferer (uncredited)

Special Effects by

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Greg Dennison ... special effects assistant
Jim Hanson ... special effects foreman
Dennis King ... special effects coordinator
Edward T. Reiff Jr. ... special effects assistant (as Ed Reife Jr.)
Dale Riggs ... special effects assistant
Ray L. Wilkerson ... special effects assistant
Ronald W. Mathews ... special effects (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

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Mike Sabga ... digital effects artist: video playback operator
Krystyna Demkowicz ... executive in charge of production: Matte World Digital (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

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Stephen B. Abrams ... dolly grip: "b" camera
Halo Amrani ... lamp operator (as Halo Amrani-Gor)
Ken Arlidge ... director of photography: second unit
Nick Arnds ... grip (as Nick Arnds IV)
Roger Awad ... lamp operator
Michael Brennan ... dolly grip: "b" camera
Phillip V. Caruso ... still photographer (as Phil Caruso)
Barry Clint ... grip
Rick Colosimo ... grip
John T. Connor ... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as John Connor)
Amy DeMarte ... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Joseph Dianda ... key grip
Shawn Ensign ... grip (as R. Shawn Ensign)
Jamie Franta ... grip
David Gamerman ... assistant chief lighting technician
Chris Leidholdt ... rigging key grip
Jim Leidholdt ... rigging grip
William Leslie ... dolly grip: "b" camera
Fredrick W. Marx III ... lamp operator
Roger Meilink ... rigging gaffer
Sean Mennie ... camera production assistant
Dan Moore ... video assist operator
Robert W. Morgenroth ... video supervisor (as Bob Morgenroth)
Scot A. Nederman-Paul ... additional loader (as Scott Nederman)
Scott Patten ... best boy grip
Reinhart 'Rayteam' Peschke ... chief lighting technician
Mark Polischeck ... video assist operator (as Mark A. Polischeck)
Martin Schaer ... camera operator
Robert J. Studenny ... grip (as Robert Studenny)
Gregor Tavenner ... first assistant camera: "a" camera
David Terry ... dolly grip (as David 'D.T.' Terry)
Kelly Uchimura ... camera loader
Jeanne Vienne ... second assistant camera: "a" camera (as Jeanne Lipsey)
Kevin Barnes ... electrician (uncredited)
Renan Galindo ... lighting technician (uncredited)
Todd Higgins ... key grip: video unit (uncredited)
Jay Holben ... best boy electric: video unit (uncredited)
Laela Kilbourn ... additional second assistant camera (uncredited)
Ilya Lyudmirsky ... first assistant camera: video unit (uncredited)
Alexandre Naufel ... set lighting (uncredited)
Rob Nelson ... video operator (uncredited)
David Norris ... camera operator: Wescam camera (uncredited)
Peter Shultz ... electrician: video unit (uncredited)
Russell Steen ... gaffer: video unit (uncredited)
Daryl Studebaker ... director of photography: video unit (uncredited)

Casting Department

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David Anthony ... extras casting
Brennan Dufresne ... casting assistant (as Brennan du Fresne)
Leigh French ... voice casting
Kimberly Rodgers ... extras casting
Terri Taylor ... casting assistant

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Nancy McArdle ... costume supervisor
Marjorie McCown ... assistant costume designer
Mary Jo McGrath ... assistant to costume designer
Jose Morales ... tailor
Maggie Morgan ... assistant costume designer
Marcie Olivi ... set costumer
Hugo Peña ... key costumer
Romeo Pompa ... set costumer
Kelly Porter ... costumer: Mr. Hoffman
Ellen Ryba ... assistant costume designer

Location Management

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Rhonda Baer ... location manager
Lee J. Bognar ... location assistant (as Lee Bognar)
Mauni P. Caves ... location assistant: second unit (as Mauni Caves)
Geoff Harding ... location assistant (as Geoffrey Harding)
Tim Hillman ... location manager: second unit
Kimberly Lynn ... location assistant
Barron Miller ... location assistant
Kathleen Beall ... assistant location manager (uncredited)

Music Department

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Chuck Ainlay ... music engineer / music producer
Richard Bennett ... musician: guitar
Roger Blanc ... music arranger: band
Bob Bowen ... music coordinator
Paul Broucek ... music executive
Jim Cox ... musician: keyboard
Chad Cromwell ... musician: drums
Guy Fletcher ... musician: keyboard
Mark Kaufman ... music business affairs
Mark Knopfler ... music producer / musician: guitar
Mark Ralston ... assistant music engineer
Dana Sano ... music executive
Lori Silfen ... music business affairs
Joel Sill ... music consultant: Tribeca
Mark Jan Wlodarkiewicz ... music editor
Glenn Worf ... musician: bass guitar

Transportation Department

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Steve Boyd ... transportation coordinator
Jerry F. Johnson ... transportation captain (as Jerry Johnson)
Greg Bronner ... driver (uncredited)
Kenneth A. Owen ... mechanic (uncredited)
Burton L. Warner ... driver: Barry Levinson (uncredited)

Other crew

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Shelley Barbour ... assistant: Mr. Hoffman
Alison Benson ... assistant: Ms. Rosenthal
Robin Chambers ... assistant: Mr. De Niro
Brett Cody ... video coordinator
Eric Damore ... caterer
Dennis Davidson ... International public relations
Brad Davis ... assistant production accountant
Ted Eccles ... producer: special war/news segments
Hedi El Kholti ... post-production accountant
Avy Eschenasy ... production attorney
J.J. Geary ... craft service
Emily Glatter ... production coordinator: in-house
Madeleine R. Gubbins ... production secretary
Gabriela Gutentag ... unit publicist
Holly Hagy ... production coordinator
Lana Hale ... rights clearances
Terry Ham ... set production assistant
Erik Holmberg ... production executive
Patrick Jager ... rights clearances
Scott Keil ... medic
Carlos Kotkin ... assistant: Mr. Levinson
Gary Kurashige ... medic
Nancy Lefkowitz ... assistant: Ms. Rosenthal
Adam Leichtman ... assistant: Mr. De Niro
Dirk Q. Long ... caterer (as Dirk Long)
Cathy Marshall ... payroll accountant
Ginny Martino ... business affairs liaison
Scott Maziroff ... accounting clerk
Wild Bill McCrillis ... caterer
Mindy Miller ... stand-in: Ms. Heche
Kevin Milligan ... set production assistant
Jaime Oria ... video conversions
Jeffrey Craig Owens ... office production assistant (as Craig Owens)
Romano Paoletti ... set production assistant
Tony Patterson ... assistant video coordinator
Steve Peterson ... caterer
Kait Pickering ... assistant production coordinator
Julie Pitkanen ... script supervisor
John Polce ... stand-in: Mr. De Niro (as John J. Polce)
Steven Pollock ... producer: special war/news segments
Paul Prokop ... production controller
Joshua Ravetch ... production resources
Robert E. Roddy ... medic
John Sanchez ... office production assistant
Kas Self ... stand-in: Mr. Hoffman
Maria Spaeth ... assistant: Mr. Swerdlow
Bryan Thomas ... caterer (as Brian Thomas)
Louise Tolan ... office production assistant
William Turchyn III ... craft service
Raymond Vigil ... office production assistant
Harriet Voyt ... assistant: Mr. Mamet
Steve Watson ... caterer
Bonnie Weis ... production accountant
Ryan Williams ... video shop engineer
Susan Ahulii ... craft service (uncredited)
Peter Albert ... 24 frame cable/utility: Washington D.C. (uncredited)
Chris Beal ... assistant coordinator: second unit (uncredited)
Ronald C. Briggs Jr. ... inventory services (uncredited)
Dale Dye ... technical advisor (uncredited)
Freddie Joe Farnsworth ... technical advisor (uncredited)
Dave Freed ... assistant to cast (uncredited)
Georgette Hayden ... production coordinator (uncredited)
Steven Kunes ... creative consultant (uncredited)
Keith McNulty ... teleprompter operator (uncredited)
Chris Miller ... technical services (uncredited)
Tom Sellitti ... assistant: Mr. Leary (uncredited)
Harland Williams ... animal wrangler (uncredited)

Thanks

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Johnny Rockets ... special thanks
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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 Keywords
Taglines Is this life imitating art in the film that preceded the biggest news story of 1998. See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Bite the Bullet (United States)
  • Des hommes d'influence (France)
  • Wag the Dog - Wenn der Schwanz mit dem Hund wedelt (Germany)
  • La cortina de humo (Spain)
  • Wag the Dog: Når halen logrer med hunden (Norway)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 97 min
Official Sites
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $15,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend United States $7,778,122, 11 Jan 1998
Cumulative Worldwide Gross $64,217,092

Did You Know?

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Trivia After this film was released, U.S. President Bill Clinton became involved in a sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky. Real life events seemed to mirror the film's plot in August 1998 when Clinton ordered bombing attacks of Al-Qaeda targets in the Middle East after he testified and just as Lewinsky was set to testify on the scandal, and later in December 1998 when his administration led a bombing raid in Iraq right before the U.S. House of Representatives was set to vote on his impeachment due to the Lewinsky scandal. Many political commentators and critics referenced the film even using the term 'wag the dog' to describe these events. Interest in the movie spiked quickly during this time. See more »
Goofs In one scene Dustin Hoffman comments that "there is no Academy Award for producing." While there is no Academy Award titled "Best Producer", the Best Picture Oscar is the Oscar awarded to Producers. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Wag the Dog/Home Alone 3/For Richer or Poorer/Deconstructing Harry/Scream 2 (1997). See more »
Soundtracks Thank Heaven for Little Girls See more »
Crazy Credits "Special Thanks to The Cast and Crew for Completing Principal Photography in 29 Days!" See more »
Quotes [Repeated line]
Stanley Motss: This is NOTHING.
See more »

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