HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Wild Geese, The
Year: 1978
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Sir Roger Moore, Hardy Krüger, Jack Watson, Ronald Fraser, Stewart Granger, Winston Ntshona, Patrick Allen, Kenneth Griffith, Barry Foster, Frank Finlay
Genre: Action, War, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Col. Faulkner arrives in typically aggressive mood at the lavish residence of Sir Edward Matherson and is informed of the plan; a small team of mercenaries will infiltrate a heavily guarded compound and extract Julius Limbani, the imprisoned leader of the opposition in war torn Africa. Accepting the mission he insists on recruiting a couple of old mates, Rafer Janders and Shawn Fynn. Once reunited they enlist a mix of old friends and battle hungry individuals then begin their training, finding themselves on the receiving end of the drill instructor from hell in the shape of another of Faulkner's old comrades, RSM Sandy Young. Then it's on to the mission and that's when the trouble really starts.

The voice of Joan Armatrading is heard over Maurice Binder's opening credits as classic British movie The Wild Geese begins. Based on the book by Daniel Carney, the film is reminiscent of classics like The Dirty Dozen, but is inherently British and all the better for it. These men are no Hollywood heroes; they look grizzled, battle weary, with faces that have seen a lot of action, seen a lot of their friends die in pointless conflicts. Now in an age where the line between right and wrong is blurred these men fight for the one cause that has remained: money. This theme underpins the entire film, with behind the scenes deals affecting the situation out in the field. These soldiers are pawns in a far bigger game, which is motivated by profit, and it is clear that there will not be a happy ending for all concerned.

What secures this film in the status of classic is the casting, with three acting giants of British cinema taking the lead roles. Heading the list is Richard Burton as the cynical, hard drinking mercenary Col. Faulkner. He is superb, dominating the screen at all times and as usual he attacks his dialogue with gusto, throwing his lines out like bullets. Faulkner is a man who has seen it all, a man who doesn't suffer fools gladly and has few morals and Burton appears to be having fun with this character who is appealingly disagreeable. Rafer Janders, expertly played by Richard Harris, is a counterpoint to Burton's apparent immorality and the emotional core of the movie. He is a disillusioned man, a man who once fought for a cause but now tries to forget his past life and concentrate on spending time with his son. Although quite opposite to Burton it is a testament to their acting that you believe these two are firm friends, a friendship forged in the heat of battle no doubt. Completing the trio is Irishman Shawn Fynn who tends to act before he thinks. Sir Roger Moore brings Fynn to life with a harder edge than James Bond, the character he was also playing at the time. Although he doesn't seem to get enough screen time he is a fitting addition to the roster of The Wild Geese, as is German actor Hardy Krüger in the pivotal role of South African Lt. Pieter Coetze. Winston Ntshona is also on hand to lend suitable gravitas to the proceedings with his portrayal of Limbani a man of peace in a battle scarred country. A man who, despite everything, still has a sense of hope for the future of his country.

The whole film is peppered with familiar faces from the British film industry, Stewart Granger brings an arrogant air to the role of Sir Edward Matherson and Jack Watson is truly unforgettable as Sandy Young. But even the greatest of actors can come unstuck with poor material, happily the script is full of unforgettable dialogue – "my liver is to be buried separately, and with honours" – and in particular a monologue delivered by Richard Burton which is a definite highlight of the movie. The film is efficiently directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, a man who worked with the legendary John Ford he never lets the pace flag, and assisted by John Glen creates some memorable set pieces, from the tense covert infiltration to full scale battles. All this is accompanied by the suitably militaristic themes conjured up by film composer Roy Budd, a name familiar to fans of Get Carter. It fits the film perfectly during the action sequences as well as in some of the more emotional moments when he uses subtler cues.

The Wild Geese is a classic slice of seventies action adventure, with a cast of UK movie legends, support from a host of familiar faces, memorable dialogue and impressive action scenes. Amidst the bullets and blood the script does shoehorn in some political issues concerning Africa, which may be slightly unpalatable to a modern audience. But it doesn't really intrude on the telling of a great action adventure. As the saying goes: "they don't make 'em like this anymore!"
Reviewer: Jason Cook

 

This review has been viewed 9081 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: