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on March 17, 2011
"Honour among mercenaries? Who would ever think it!" So says the "good looking" Sean Finn (Roger Moore) as the squad of 50 men four officers and four NCOs train for a raid in Africa. They are to rescue Julius Nimbani; "the best of the best" so that he can be returned to his country to bring decency to his tortured land. The film is about what happens in the rescue. Richard Burton (Welsh) is the colonel. Richard Harris (Irish) is the captain. Moore (English) and the under-rated Hardy Kruger (German but playing a racist South African) are the remaining officers. What captured matters for me was the whole business of camaraderie, friendship and even love; "...I love that scruffy bunch out there but most of all colonel, I love you!" said the sergeant major, after his leading another gruelling training session, having been offered an early ticket home before the fighting starts, which he declined. When the mercenaries are being recruited in London, one admitted that "being a plumber is not my line". "Why do you want to come Tosh?" asks the colonel. "It's what I do best. I love it!" Ronald Fraser (Scottish) captured the lighter side of matters. For those who know Africa, things will be recognised. For those who have experienced the best side of military service, this is a film to enjoy!

Ian Hunter.
Author of The Early Years E-Love E-Dreams E-World Three Interludes Love's Anatomy Conversations Pets: An Adults' Tale
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on March 25, 2012
A great cast was assembled here for this film: Richard Burton, Roger Moore, and Richard Harris certainly have all done better movies in their day, but it was their skills which made The Wild Geese enjoyable. Of the three, I think Harris comes off as the most sympathetic character; as his role is certainly the most fleshed out, his scenes with his young son are very poignant; and his talk with Faulkner (Burton) expressing his concerns the night before the mission show his fears and worries as not only a person, but as a father.

Richard Burton's Falkner is a mercenary who is being offered a contract by millionaire industrialist Stewart Granger. He must assemble, train and equip a group of mercenaries to rescue Julius Limbani (Winston Ntshona), a peaceful, well-loved African leader who has been deposed in a military coup. Burton does the job, but when the job is finished he and his mercenaries find getting out of Africa a whole lot more than they bargained for.

Roger Moore's Sean Finn is an enjoyable rogue, and adds a touch of humour to offset Burton's tough-guy leader role and Harris' over-thinking planner with a fondness for the 'underdog'.

Of course action adventure is old hat for Roger Moore. He was in his prime as James Bond when The Wild Geese was done. But Moore shows he can be quite serious here. None of the tongue in cheek deadpan that characterizes a Bond film.

The scenes dealing with the recruiting and training of the mercenaries come straight out of John Ford. So are the various types among the soldiers. Even the ones with the smallest of speaking parts are done so well, you can almost imagine their history with the unit as well as what they are like as men, as soldiers, as comrades.

I really enjoyed Kenneth Griffith's portrayal of the openly gay Medical Orderly Arthur Witty. Yes he's certainly stereotypical, but the point is he's accepted by the men who really don't care about his sexual orientation when in a fight and the going gets rough. Additionally, he turns out to be quite the John Wayne - badd-ass type hero in the end when confronted by the Zimbas and is alone covering his comrades escape.

The Wild Geese turned out to be very popular in its day, and Burton was going to do a sequel: Wild Geese II when he died in 1983. It might have been an interesting film had he done it since it would have paired him with Sir Laurence Olivier in that one.

In the end The Wild Geese is a great action/adventure film to be certain, but it's also about something much more - its about loyalty, tradition, and camaraderie. These men may fight for money, but they are fanatically loyal to the unit created and to each other.

As a final note worth mentioning, Joan Armatrading's title song: The Flight of the Wild Geese, is a great piece of work. Her lyrics are poignant, and the music is moving. When paired visually with the opening credits, it creates quite a stir of emotions, and the soundtrack to this movie is well worth the cost if you can find it.
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on January 23, 2017
My problem won't take away from the rating, but may make me actually buy a disc vs. what's available online via Amazon Video. The source for Amazon Video's streaming copy must be PAL sources. The audio pitch is too high. This was a theatrical film, I know good and well it should be 24fps, and my ancient VHS copy has the correct pitch, along with some soundtrack cuts I have. They match the pitch of my old videotape. Wish better care would be taken on sourcing films from masters that run at the correct framerate and pitch.
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on December 12, 2017
Too bad there's not very many of these 1970's Merc movies out there. I highly enjoyed watching this and add as many of these from this genre to my collection as possible.
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on April 25, 2017
this is a good movie. My husband saw it on Youtube and so I thought I would buy it since it was not at netflix. A decent movie with a great cast.
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on October 17, 2017
I saw this as a child and loved the movie! When I saw this, I had to get it--and was not disappointed. Still a classic! Great quality and shipped fast.
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on January 13, 2013
I was really happy to see this film newly released after a period where it was not easy to find. I remember watching this in the theater when it came out and I was a young soldier enjoying my life. The cast is great, the story is also great and the action better than most of others in the "Mercenary Genre" of war flim. Its funny to compare that when this was released the Mercenary mystique was popular and magazines like Soldier of Fortune and Gung Ho flew off the shelves. Now we use the term PMC (Private Military Contractor) instead of Mercenary and the world has turned many times over since then. The training scenes are amusing, the HALO jump is well shot, the Combat scenes are pretty damn good. Its fun to see Richard Burton and Richard Harris in their Golden Years running around and trying to keep up with the demands of their profession. Still....its a great film and the back stories of each of the main characters are worthy of mention. I can also mention that Reginald Rose, who was part of the making of this film, is a distant relative from Ireland and it was nice to see his name in the credits. Recommended. Enjoy!!
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on April 9, 2010
This is a great movie, a realistic portrayal of mercenary politics in late-70s to mid-80s southern Africa, and a generally fun male-oriented action film with enough real character development and poignancy to cause my fiancee to enjoy it and even burst into tears at the end. I have only one question: what happened to the nighttime scenes? Now I know how they do these things. Its filmed in daylight and then made to look like night using a dark filter. ANd that is precisely how it looked in the original film for the airdrop and the assault on the garrison prison compound. Unfortunately, in the process of remastering the film for this 30th anniversary edition, which is very thoughtfully put together, somebody forgot to re-apply the nighttime filter to the appropriate scenes and the effect is to totally spoil some of the best moments of the film. It looks absurd for this group of men to be moving in on a facility in broad daylight. Can someone please do something about this?
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on January 12, 2016
I would have given the movie 5 stars. However, the picture quality left something to be desired. The format is Blu-ray, the quality certainly is not. It looks like the VHS tape was simply transferred to a Blu-ray disc.
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on April 15, 2016
Plenty of bonus features. The movie itself is timeless and comparing it with the latest movies plagued with CGI and game console like action sequences is unfair. This is the mid 1970s so production may be crude but there is a lot of hard work. Great actors, a juicy script all the ingredients that make up a classic and timeless action movie. The only let down-no sub titles but overall the extra features make up for it. Get it now before they over price it.
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