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The Wild Geese

Released on 31 May 2004

Featuring: Richard Burton, Roger Moore & Richard Harris

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

5.0 out of 5 (5 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Comment: "Brand new official United Kingdom DVD edition of this film. This is a PAL/Region 2 DVD. AUDIO: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), Widescreen (1.78:1) SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary, Documentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, "

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Their home is their battlefield. Their calling is war. Their only loyalty is to each other. They are the Wild Geese. While they fight their mission in Africa, sinister forces in the corridors of power are working to seal their fate.
  • Audio commentary from actor Roger Moore, producer Euan Lloyd and editor John Glen
  • 'Last Of The Gentlemen Producers': a documentary profiling producer Euan Lloyd
  • Footage of the original charity premiere
  • Interactive menu
  • Scene access

customer Reviews

 Average rating (5 reviews)

 A longer version of this essay exists.

| | See all farnzy's reviews (164)

Top 10  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer

As soon as the opening bars of Joan Armatradings title song manifest themselves the film immediately gains a pathos that touches and haunts the next 133mins and lifts this genre piece to somewhere near tragedy. Coupled with Maurice Binders titles we are in anti-Bond territory, the visuals depicting civil strife caused by 007s colonial masters and the nefarious dictators left by them to fill the void.
The themes of self determination, decolonisation and apartheid, although handled somewhat unevenly, give Wild Geese an added political dimension, an attempt to explain and highlight the complicated relationship between the African nations and the waning power of the European states to completely dominate that continent as they see fit. This is a trait that all but disappeared in the mainstream action genre in the 1980s, aside that is, from the simplistic anti-communist messages aimed at overthrowing the evil empire of the USSR.
Detractors would point to the lack of political correctness and their arguments are tempting and persuasive. Yes it is interesting to analyse a film from 30 years ago and subject it to modern moral judgements; but ultimately it is a redundant exercise. The social, historical, and political context of The Wild Geese are forever fixed in celluloid-just as much as every camera move, dialogue delivery and acting nuance.
Onto this political canvas are drawn an ensemble of memorable characrets led by an aging all-star cast who attack their lines with precision, ferocity, and humour. Their entwining relationships based upon comradeship, financial necessity, and idealism give the film a heart that at times will be broken for the audience. These men have an inherent sadness, something missing, and something that can only be replaced by battle and the company of other men in their situation.
As Stransky points out in Cross of Iron this is indeed a 'world of men', a world without women, a world we seldom see in the action of today. Heather has barely two scenes and in one of these she is beaten for protecting Fynn. Sandys wife makes her displeasure at Faulkners sudden appearance cleanly felt because she cannot compete and hope to win over her husbands first true love.
The stongest female influences come from beyond the screen. Faulkners wife has died from cancer, probably after suffering a shortened lifetime of fear, dread, and isolation. With his wife dead his only connection to his precarious hold on morality is Janders. On the surface Janders has a more together moral centre than his old friend in the shape of his young son Emile. This is misleading. An idealist he may be but this idealism cost him his wife and as a result he has sent Emile to boarding school. His wifes departure undoubtedly put pay to his African adventures prematurely and despite his protests is all to happy to off load his son to the schools Headmaster.
For Faulkner to secure Janders services he has to make, in his eyes, a faustian pact with the devil. If Janders dies in Africa he must take care of his son. This shows the absolute distrust of Emiles mother if an alcoholic mercenary he hasnt seen in 10 years is favoured instead of her. Although this may not be as far fetched as it first appears. The 10 years aside, Janders probably spent more time with Faulkner than with anyone else, including his own son. Moreover, he can trust Faulkner with his life; he probably couldnt say the same about Emiles mother.
These bonds underpin any subsequent action scenes. This 'world of men' may be ruthless, hard and dangerous but it is also humorous, intospective and courageous. Only The Wild Bunch or The Magnificent 7 death scenes rival the pain of Sandy shouting 'Alan' for the first and final time.

 The Last Great British Action Movie

| | See all Chungking's reviews (19)

This film is the swansong to an era when we had proper British movie actors. I'm talking about hard drinking meat eating stars like Richard Burton and Richard Harris (not too sure about Roger Moore). If they were to remake this movie (and there are already rumours that this will happen) which British stars can play the parts of Faulkner and Flynn? Jason Statham? Jude Law?? Certainly Daniel Craig will have to be involved because there's no one else and I'm sure Michael Caine will get a part (even though Harris and Burton would be spinning in their graves if that were to happen). To be honest I'd rather they just Americanize the film and have George Clooney and Brad Pitt take over these roles.

So is the film good? In my opinion yes but that's simply because when I first watched the movie I was a little kid and simply loved watching soldiers dressed up like my Action Man running around shooting guns and blowing things up. Now when I watch it I just get all nostalgic and still enjoy the movie even though I know I really shouldn't.

Inferior sequels to this movie simply highlight how the calibre of the actors in the original movie elevated it to something rather special.

 70's classic actioner

| | See all BritishLion's reviews (15)

"Sad are the eyes,yet no tears,the flight of the Wild geese....
A veritable whos who of British acting talent, oh and Hardy Kruger a dab hand with a crossbow.
written at the time when Callans mercenaries were popular this is a great action film! action packed man ACTION PACKED!!
From the assault on the Simba camp to bust out Mr Limbani to the Air attack on the convoy on the bridge.Pieter Coetzees conversion from white South African Nazi to peaceful optimist,where he shoots down 20 simbas to save Limbani.And the final bloody battle with the Simbas.
I'll never forget that line from Richard Harris
"Alan.. Alan for godsake kill me!! "
An adrenalin fuelled adventure
Look out for Ian Yule...a real life vet of "Mad Mike" Hoares 5 Commando from the Belgian Congo.
My one quibble.All the men in Burtons outfit wear British DPM and 37 patt webbing equipment and berets with all British Army capbadges.
Hardy Kruger weras a Parahcute regiment beret,yet we are told he is a South African policeman.Richard Burton wears a RWF capbadge on a para beret,as does Harris with an RGJ badge.A big no no gentlemen!!
The simbas seemed better equipped with their folding stock SLR's!
Great film,not very politically correct,but good for a Friday night in with a few cans.

 ONE OF THE BEST ACTIONERS THERE IS SINCE 1978

| | See all Blackadder3333's reviews (54)

Why give a movie that you think is top notch only 4 stars?

It's got everything, even bad acting at the begining by Harris and his sprog, yahooooooo, I would not have said father and son, I would have said chalk and cheese. How irritating was that sprog? Apart from Harris's ineptitude for acting and bad singing in his earlier days, this was much better by far.

I was not keen on the made-up African names, they sounded oh so phoney. Burton and Granger were a hoot at the begining and believable to boot. Roger Moore was better at this than as Bond, Hardy Kruger was not the one that got away in this, his realization that black & white can live in harmony in Africa was realized to late, but the sentiment was there for all to see. For some unknown reason Medic Griffith was missed out on Play.com's credits, he was, as always, underappreciated as an actor and is a fine comedic actor, he played his part to perfection.

I rate this up there with some of the best, not far behinds such classics as The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Guns of Navarone, The Great Escape, The Manificent Seven, Black Hawk Down and a few more. Worth watching time and time again.

A Brilliant castt, Brilliant storyline, a classic without a doubt!!!

This movie is one to keep in anyone's DVD library.

The opening music sung by Joan Armatrading was to die for, how apt and how true were those lyrics, even today they would not be out of place anywhere. As fresh today as it was moving all those years ago.

 a true gem

| | See all yardman's reviews (202)

A proper english war movie.. Burton/harris and moore are on top form.they come together in this movie to make it one of the best of all time.theres plenty of action and good humor in places.this is old school at the highest level when men where men.trust me on this buy it for good old english action

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ActorsRichard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris, Hardy Krüger, Stewart Granger, Winston Ntshona, John Kani, Jack Watson, Frank Finlay, Kenneth Griffith, Barry Foster, Ronald Fraser, Ian Yule, Patrick Allen & Rosalind Lloyd
DirectorAndrew V. McLaglen
Certificate15 years and over
Year1978
ScreenWidescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic
LanguagesEnglish
Duration2 hour and 9 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.