7.1/10
71,243
219 user 136 critic

Wag the Dog (1997)

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.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,176 ( 3,302)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Liz Butsky
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Grace
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Michael Belson ...
President
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Amy Cain
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A.D.
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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:

Is this life imitating art in the film that preceded the biggest news story of 1998. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

9 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bite the Bullet  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's closing credits state: "SPECIAL THANKS TO . . . THE CAST AND CREW for completing principal photography in twenty-nine days!" See more »

Goofs

The correct word in Spanish for senator is "Senador", not "Sénador", as it appears on Spanish-language TV when referring to the opposition leader. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Dean: [after being asked to write an entirely different song] I was just on my way to get drunk.
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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

Referenced in De wereld draait door: Episode #6.156 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I Guard The Canadian Border
Written by Tom Bähler and Willie Nelson
Performed by Willie Nelson
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User Reviews

 
The Best Political Satire Since Dr. Strangelove
25 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

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.


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