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Wag The Dog Movie Review Summary

Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Willie Nelson, Kirsten Dunst, William H. Macy, Woody Harrelson, Merle Haggard, James Belushi,

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Wag The Dog

When a sex scandal threatens the re-election campaign of the U.S. president, his advisor Conrad Breen (De Niro) brings in a top Hollywood producer (Hoffman) to manufacture a war that will distract the voters. Strictly for TV, they create a conflict in Albania, complete with a young actress (Dunst) playing an Albanian peasant girl fleeing the bombs. As the fiction grows, so do their problems, particularly with a drunken "war hero" (Harrelson) with unsavory habits and a prison record. Screenwritten by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet based on the Larry Beinhart novel _American Hero_, the story is both unnervingly plausible and funny (filmed in 1997, it eerily anticipated the Clinton scandals to follow: the film's sex scandal involves a campfire girl who wears a black beret, and Clinton threatened Iraq when domestic developments got too hot for him!), but none of the characters is particularly likable, and the tale smugly goes over the top toward the end. Soundtrack by Mark Knopfler, with supporting appearances by Anne Heche, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Denis Leary, and Willam H. Macy.
This report prepared by David Loftus



A sex scandal breaks about a president up for re-election, and a hot-shot Hollywood producer is brought in to create something that would take the public's mind away from it. He and the president's spin doctor create a fictional war in Albania on television. As everything they do is countered by the president's challenger and other forces, they get deeper and deeper into their own fiction. Scathing indictment of the political system. Willie Nelson has an amusing supporting role as a songwriter.
This report prepared by Zorikh Lequidre








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Script Analysis of Wag The Dog

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Plot & Themes

Comedy, primarily    -   Yes Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Polit/Social/Race/Gender activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   fighting government corruption Comedy or Parody about    -   political satire Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   politician

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   producer/director Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   Midwest    -   California Desert?    -   Yes City?    -   Yes City:    -   Washington D.C. Misc setting    -   fancy mansion    -   theater    -   bar

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only Any profanity?    -   Some foul language If lots of song/dance...    -   lot of singing Is this movie based on a    -   book

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