Wag the Dog

January 9, 1998 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Still of Robert De Niro, Anne Heche and Dustin Hoffman in Wag the DogDustin Hoffman, Woody Harrelson and Barry Levinson in Wag the DogStill of Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman in Wag the DogStill of Robert De Niro and Anne Heche in Wag the DogStill of Dustin Hoffman in Wag the DogStill of Robert De Niro in Wag the Dog


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

Barry Levinson

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


Dustin Hoffman

Stanley Motss

Robert De Niro

Conrad Brean

Anne Heche

Winifred Ames

Denis Leary

Fad King

Willie Nelson

Johnny Dean

Andrea Martin

Liz Butsky

Kirsten Dunst

Tracy Lime

William H. Macy

CIA Agent Charles Young

John Michael Higgins

John Levy

Suzie Plakson


Woody Harrelson

Sergeant William Schumann

Michael Belson


Suzanne Cryer

Amy Cain

Jason Cottle


David Koechner


A comedy about truth, justice and other special effects.


Official Website:
New Line Cinema [United States] |

Release Date: 9 January 1998

Filming Locations: Bakersfield, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000


Opening Weekend: $92,079
(28 December 1997)
(3 Screens)

Gross: $43,022,524
(3 May 1998)

Technical Specs


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.

John Levy:
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!

User Review

The Best Political Satire Since Dr. Strangelove

Rating: 9/10

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.