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  • The Wild Geese (1978) [BluRay] [720p] [YTS.AM]
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The Wild Geese (1978)

  • Action Thriller War
  • A British multinational company seeks to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. It hires a band of (largely aged) mercenaries in London and sends them in to save the virtuous but imprisoned opposition leader who is also critically ill and due for execution. Just when the team has performed a perfect rescue, the multinational does a deal with the vicious dictator leaving the mercenary band to escape under their own steam and exact revenge.

  • $10,000,000
  • Description

    A British multinational seeks to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. It hires a band of (largely aged) mercenaries in London and sends them in to save the virtuous but imprisoned opposition leader.

    The Wild Geese (1978) download

    The Wild Geese (1978) download

    The Wild Geese (1978) download

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    Yesterday we sat down to watch another oldie that I had seen when I was younger quite some years ago. I remember this movie being quite high on my list of movies that I appreciated as a kid so when I saw it coming it on Blu-ray I had to get it. It is still a decent film but I remembered it as better. The story is a fairly old a frequently reused one. Band of mercenary gets a mission by some person or entity of debatable reputation. Said person or entity double-crosses them, usually in a way which leaves them stranded and with a very short life expectancy. One or more of the mercenaries did not have his or hers imminent demise written into the script and thus ruins the plans, and usually the life, of one or more persons on the double-crossing side. Nothing wrong with a trusted and tried story as long as it is well done. In 1978 when this film was made I guess the actions scenes were considered fairly good. Today they are rather mediocre though. The mercenaries that are supposed to be experts are behaving in a fairly amateurish manner. The bridge attack scene is especially annoying in that these people just sit there waiting for the plane to make pass after pass instead of getting their behinds under cover. In a later scene Richard Harris is seen shooting at the bad guys together with a bunch of his fellow mercenaries but his gun is pointing in a 30 degree angle upwards. He might have hit some real geese but sure as hell not any of the bad guys. As so many films from the 70’s it also tries to make a political statement but that particular part is just boringly old today. A South African running around and calling the guy they are supposed to rescue for “kaffer” all the time because he is black is at best a historical curiosity, and a fairly boring one at that, today. Naturally a 5 minute, equally boring, speech from the black guy turns the South African guy. Boring and silly. That is not to say that the movie is a bad one. It is still worth watching. The first parts of the movie, when the main characters are introduced, is quite enjoyable. I especially liked the bad attitude of Col. Faulkner. I have always liked Richard Burton as an actor and he doesn’t disappoint in this movie. Roger Moore is of course always Roger Moore. Whether or not you like him is another story. Also, even though it is not up to today’s standards there are plenty of watchable action in the later parts of the movie. So I did enjoy my oldie movie evening but the movie was not as good as I remembered. But then that is maybe not too surprising when you re-watch a move that you first saw as a kid.

    The man is dead, Mr. Faulkner. Now only the spirit remains. Marvellously macho, a men on a mission movie proudly proclaiming that the old adage is indeed true, there is life in the old dog(s) yet. A notable cast of British and Irish thespians were rounded up and unleashed into a plot that required a band of mercenaries sent to extract an African President from some prison in the darkest part of Africa. The formula is tried and tested, the leader is a man made of stern stuff but carrying emotional baggage, his band of men assembled are a mixture of ex soldiers who have either fell on hard times or just haven't been able to let go of the army life that they feel was their calling in life. The latter of which causes great consternation amongst spouses and immediate family members. Director Andrew V. McLaglen lets it unfold in steady and unfussy time, structuring it in three stages. Stage one is getting to know the principal players, their fears, pet peeves and psychological make up, stage 2 is the re-training programme, where the good old boys wait to see who keels over from a heart attack first, then stage 3 is the mission, where blood will be shed, bodies will fall, treachery and racism are big irritants, and of course big sacrifices will have to be made during a whirl of explosions and politico pummelling. The screenplay, much like the actors playing the key roles, is very self aware to not take itself too seriously, it's also very funny at times, there is some absolute cracker-jack slices of dialogue here. The PC brigade and political historians beat themselves around their heads trying to flatten the appeal of The Wild Geese, it didn't work. Most action movie fans understood fully just what was going on, and it's the reason why today it still holds up as a perennial favourite on the British TV schedules. Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Roger Moore, Hardy Kruger, Jack Watson, Kenneth Griffith, Ronald Fraser and Percy Herbert, I salute you all. 8/10


    8 months ago

    A splendid old-fashioned action film, with all concerned giving it their best shot.A few people have objected to the average age of the actors in this film, from Burton to Kenneth Griffiths - but they don't seem to realise that the age of these mercernaries is the point. The Wild Geese is about a generation of men who demobbed from the Army after the Second World War, were unable to make peace work, and who sold their services as soldiers in the world's troublespots to the highest bidder. The late 1970's would have been the time of life that their age at last compromised their work, and the film is a recognition of the last of them.For me this film is like a beloved childhood toy, kept and never forgotten - when it aired recently on television I just didn't want it to end.Brilliant, gloriously sentimental and the anti-thesis of PC. 10/10

    8 months ago

    The Wild Geese surprised me in the theater back in the late 1970's. As a former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger and Vietnam vet, I had mixed feelings about it. But I keep watching it every couple of years and it has become one of my favorite films.Yes, it's a fanciful story, romanticizing the boring, grubby, dangerous lives of the very few mercenary soldiers in the world. But its daring small-unit tactics are actually pretty good, and they do illustrate the chaos and devastation a well trained special ops force can cause in an enemy's rear area. It also illustrates the ease with which such a small unit can be wiped out if the enemy can locate it and bring real forces to bear against it.And, interestingly, it shows very clearly the effectiveness of even a single small, armed airplane against an infantry unit unequipped with anti-aircraft capability. So whoever wrote and advised on this film had some genuine experience. There are many examples of true combat reality in various parts of the film.However, there are also some of the usual war-movie-making gaffes and there were some really silly, amateurish attempts at special effects in the theatrical release, most of which have been edited out in the cable movie versions. So it's still a mixed bag but overall very effective.The other aspects of this film are universally wonderful. It has a plausible enough story line once you've decided to accept the premise, and from there it progresses nicely indeed. Several of the subplots are intense and very moving, some are a little comical and some are downright funny. Burton's last line to Emile, "Let's talk about your father." is as fine a line as can be written.The depth of the cast is remarkable: dozens of very good actors, some speaking only one or two lines, but so well delivered! (There are also some awkward lines that just don't work at all. As I said, this film is a mixed bag.) Even in the small rolls, Jock, Tosh, Esposito, the village priest, Jesse and others, the quality just shines.The movie doesn't shy away from the unglamorous, gut-wrenching realities of the consequences of mercenary operations, either. There are some very troubling scenes about the responsibilities of leadership in such a unit.There is not another movie like The Wild Geese.I couldn't end without saying this one last thing. The theme song "The Wild Geese," sung by Joan Armatrading is simply marvelous. It is worth the price of admission, and is played in its entirety during the closing credits. I recommend that you close your eyes and just listen.

    8 months ago

    Having just watched wild geese on DVD for the first time in almost 20 years I'm actually amazed how well it stands up today in the sense that it really portrays well the image of of the mercenary and the mercenary mentality in general back in the 60's and 70's! Watching wild geese today is very nostalgic particularly if you remember seeing the movie at the time, but boy so much in the world has changed since then, it's nearly 30 years old. Back in 1978 southern Africa was one of the worlds hot spots now it is the forgotten continent and the biggest threat to Africa is not communism, mercenaries, black majority rule, wars but aids.As for the movie itself the character development at the beginning of the four major actors was well done! Faulkner himself puts it as well as any body when he says "when I'm not killing complete strangers I'm an out of work drunk" who does what he does purely for the money and doesn't care who signs the checks. Janders on the other hand has a conscience who wants to retire gracefully and just watch his son grow up. Fynn is a petty crook who has the right cold blooded streak required for being a mercenary because he has no problem killing people he does not like. Also, Coetzee a down on his luck Afrikaner who finds the confines of London not to his taste; he just wants to go back to South Africa and buy a farm. He realistically portrays the contempt that Whites had for blacks back then. The blacks were not ready for prime time and the whites were the ones that carried the blacks and made South Africa what it was. He did not like them but did not hate them, probably mistrusted them and feared them.The Secondary cast , Tosh, Witty and Sandy etc who obviously find retirement or life in civvy street dull and jump at the opportunity to to get the adrenalin flowing for one last time again come across as believable as a sorry looking bunch of middle aged misfits. As another reviewer points out mercenaries were often bored and out of work malcontents who found civilian life difficult to deal with. The prospect of a large pay check and some excitement was certainly a no brainier when stacked up against regular visits to the labor exchange or some poorly paid factory job! This part of the movie is interesting. If wild geese or something similar was to be made today you would have bunch of macho looking men, muscle bound,squared jaws probably in their late 20's and early 30's with state of the art equipment. Hollywood in particular has done a wonderful job in brainwashing modern audiences that special forces fit the above description but this is nonsense. Unfortunately this is what viewers expect or want to see and Hollywood whose primary motive is profit wants to portray this image to draw in the audiences. However the reality is nothing could be further from the truth. If you were to meet any special forces you would never believe they are special forces many of them look so inconspicuous. Secondly you should not get confused that all mercenaries were former special forces, many came from regular regiments did not have proper training nor good equipment to boot and more often than not resembled the type of oddballs that Wildgeese stereotyped so well.After they had been double crossed they only manage to escape from the Zimbas by fighting themselves to an air strip and stealing an aging Dakota whereby crash landing it in Rhodesia with only 13 members of the original outfit surviving. I can't tell you the amount of films over the years where the bad guys can't shoot straight, no not in wild geese, 37 perish.Yes you could say that the fighting was not really realistic and their uniforms were perhaps too clean at the end, remember it's a film, however in my opinion no movie can be realistic about war or close quarters combat, I don't care what people say about Black Hawk down or Saving Private Ryan.It's good entertainment, good characters(Richard Burton was very believable as Faulkner), plenty of politically incorrect dialog, action and a none fairytale ending with the loss of Jaunders who was probably the most likable of all the characters. In addition Limbani who in 1978 was playing a sort of Nelson Mandela type character who was prepared to reach out to the whites; Coetzee understands that he may have a point, white and blacks need each other for the continent to survive. Funnily enough 10 years on Mandela was released from prison and the rest is history, how right Wildgeese was back then. I expect Wildgeese to be broadcast on the History channel some time in the future as it is part of history now! Lastly, as for the DVD it's been digitally restored and re-mastered and simply looks great. Some may complain that it's not real wide-screen with the top and bottom being sliced off to give that impression but I would have to say that it did not in any way spoil the movie.The extras are great too, about the London premier, making of wild geese as well as a commentary from Euan Lloyd and Roger Moore. Note: some have questioned why it was a 30th anniversary DVD when the movie was released in1978. My guess is that most of the cast have died and the surviving cast and crew are getting up there ---- -- -- do it now when you can!!


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