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Wag the Dog

Director: Barry Levinson
Writers:Hilary Henkin and David Mamet
Director of Photography:Robert Richardson
Editor:Stu Linder
Music:Mark Knopfler
Production Designer:Wynn Thomas
Producers:Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Barry Levinson
New Line; R; 120 minutes
Release:12/97
Cast:Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson
Based on the book American Hero by Larry Beinhart


Wag the Dog
New Line
Wickedly funny, Wag the Dog leaves viewers wondering if there really was in fact a Gulf War, or at least one fought on Iraqi soil. Sharp writing, fast pacing and outstanding performances transform a simply plotted film into a sharply intelligent comic gem. Days before the presidential election, a Firefly Girl (something along the lines of a Girl Scout) accuses the President of molesting her inside the Oval Office. Oh, what to do? Presidential aide Winifred Ames (Heche) calls in fix-it guy Conrad Breen (De Niro), who suggests inventing a war to distract the public. This has to be a professional job, so Breen enlists perfectly coiffed Hollywood producer Stanley Motss (Hoffman) to create the project of his career. Too bad he'll never be allowed to take credit; it's perfect Oscar material. As is Wag the Dog. Though the situation at hand is outrageous, when you get right down to it, this could, and possibly has, happened, no matter how frightening the thought may be.


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