6.3/10
7,179
64 user 42 critic

The Dogs of War (1980)

Mercenary James Shannon, on a reconnaissance job to the African nation of Zangaro, is tortured and deported. He returns to lead a coup.

Director:

John Irvin

Writers:

Gary DeVore (screenplay), George Malko (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Walken ... Jamie Shannon
Tom Berenger ... Drew
Colin Blakely ... North
Hugh Millais Hugh Millais ... Endean
Paul Freeman ... Derek
Jean-François Stévenin Jean-François Stévenin ... Michel (as Jean François Stevenin)
JoBeth Williams ... Jessie
Robert Urquhart Robert Urquhart ... Capt. Lockhart
Winston Ntshona ... Dr. Okoye
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... The Captain (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
Harlan Cary Poe Harlan Cary Poe ... Richard
Ed O'Neill ... Terry
Isabel Grandin Isabel Grandin ... Evelyn
Ernest Graves Ernest Graves ... Warner
Kelvin Thomas Kelvin Thomas ... The Black Boy
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Storyline

Jamie Shannon is a soldier of fortune -- a mercenary who will stage a coup or a revolution for the right price. He is hired by British mining interests to scout out Zangaro, a small African nation with rich mineral deposits but a brutal and xenophobic dictatorship. Arrested soon after his arrival, Shannon is imprisoned as a spy, badly beaten, and tortured. While in prison he meets one of the country's leading intellectuals, Dr. Okoye, also imprisoned by the regime. Eventually released, he returns to London and is subsequently offered to opportunity to secretly invade Zangaro's capital and lead a military coup. Shannon accepts, but quietly has his own agenda to pursue. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Cry 'Havoc!' And Let Slip The Dogs Of War


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cães de Guerra See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Juniper Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print) | (cut) (1988) (video release) | (cut) (1981) (cinema release)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

African and Central America sequences were filmed in Belize City, Belize, in Central America. See more »

Goofs

When Shannon meets with Endean and Bobi, in subsequent shots his necktie moves from the left to right side of his shirt. See more »

Quotes

Shannon: [to the other mercenaries] Remember; you have to make it home to get paid.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There are several versions of this movie. In the UK a 118 min version was released, in the USA a version of 102 minutes. There are versions released in some countries that have a length in between those two. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beauty (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries
Sung by Gillian McPherson
Music by Geoffrey Burgon
Poem by A.E. Housman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hazards of the Soldier of Fortune profession.
29 July 1999 | by yenloSee all my reviews

Taken from the Frederick Forsyth novel of the same name. The screenplay is not as good as the book, which went into detail about mercenary operations but does do a good job in telling a mercenary tale. Christopher Walken leads a team of Soldiers of Fortune to overthrow a corrupt and brutal coastal African government. Unlike 1978's The Wild Geese this shows a more sinister side of the hazards of being a mercenary. One point in the film in order to make money Walkens character Shannon takes a contract to do a "Recon" mission on a country. He goes alone and nearly loses his life. When he returns to the states his doctor gives him a rundown on the many wounds and diseases he's had over the years attributed to his profession. Another point Shannon tells a group of Army regulars that Mercenaries only provide support and tactics and it's actually their fight. If they fold in combat the hired soldier can find themselves in a bad situation. Plenty of explosions along with small arms warfare that includes a unique grenade launching submachine gun weapon. If you're a war film fan you'll enjoy. Other mercenary films to check out are 1968's Dark of the Sun and the above mentioned The Wild Geese.


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