Wag the DogJanuary 9, 1998
Before elections, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to "fabricate" a war in order to cover-up a presidential sex scandal.
Release Year: 1997
Rating: 7.1/10 (43,746 voted)
Critic's Score: 73/100
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche
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.
Writers: Larry Beinhart, Hilary Henkin
Robert De Niro
William H. Macy
CIA Agent Charles Young
John Michael Higgins
Sergeant William Schumann
A comedy about truth, justice and other special effects.
New Line Cinema [United States]|
Release Date: 9 January 1998
Filming Locations: Bakersfield, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $92,079
(28 December 1997)
(3 May 1998)
Did You Know?
Both Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman did the film for no upfront salary. Hoffman and Barry Levinson did this movie while on a break from doing
On the blackboard stating the days until the election, the number 8 is written twice.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean:
And it's most certainly NOT about the B-3 bomber.
There is no B-3 bomber.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean:
I just said that! There is no B-3 bomber. I don't know how these rumors get started!
The Best Political Satire Since Dr. Strangelove
Rarely can film satire make you laugh and be worried about the future
at the same time. Levinson's film does just that, with a great cast and
great writing, this film succeeds.
You may have noticed that many of the posts and reviews argue that this
is not plausible. Obviously these posters do not realize that satire is
supposed to be over the top and show what can happen in extremes, and
ironically, this came out just after Clinton's sex scandal, and is
still relevant today with George W. and will continue to be regardless
of the president. Also, some may think it oversimplifies the public as
idiots, but this isn't true, especially if they are being deceived and
information is withheld. There are some implausibilities, as in why no
reporters went to Albania or how other countries didn't get involved
other than denying the charges, but these are small and even addressed
in scenes with the rival candidates, news reporters and even CIA head
William H. Macy.
Really I don't know how anyone can not like this film since it is
smart, funny and scary all at once with fine performances and direction
all around. This is an American political satire classic that is sadly
becoming less satire as time goes on.
OVERALL: 9/10. Buy or at least rent before the satire becomes reality.