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The Wild Geese

Euan Lloyd's uppercase actioner, centered on a caper by mercenaries in Africa, attempts to be a cornucopia of tried boxoffice hooks but ultimately fails to meld its comedy, adventure, pathos, violence, heroics - or even its political message - into a credible whole.

Euan Lloyd’s uppercase actioner, centered on a caper by mercenaries in Africa, attempts to be a cornucopia of tried boxoffice hooks but ultimately fails to meld its comedy, adventure, pathos, violence, heroics – or even its political message – into a credible whole.

Reginald Rose’s adaptation of Daniel Carney’s story – about mercenary toughguys who parachute into the African bush to snatch a deposed African president for reinstatement to suit British business interests – is routinely predictable and, in the end, cornily incredible.

Roger Moore’s shootouts with the Mafia in London and Hardy Kruger’s neat killing of three sentries with cyanide-tipped arrows is good ‘traditional’ escapism. Then, as if to contemporize the film, Peckinpah-fashion, the screen’s suddenly filled with bloody graphics and four-letter words.

Winston Ntshona is well cast as the deposed president Limbani though much of his ‘message’ dialog is unnecessarily and unpalatably heavy for what’s presumably designed as a riproaring blood and guts actioner.

The Wild Geese

UK

  • Production: Rank. Director Andrew V. McLaglen; Producer Euan Lloyd; Screenplay Reginald Rose; Camera Jack Hildyard; Editor John Glen; Music Roy Budd
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1978. Running time: 132 MIN.
  • With: Richard Burton Roger Moore Richard Harris Hardy Kruger Stewart Granger Jack Watson
  • Music By: