Wag the Dog

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The only reason they come to see me is that I know that life is great—and they know I know it.
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Wag the Dog is a 1997 film about a Washington spin doctor who distracts the electorate from a presidential sex scandal by hiring a Hollywood producer to create a fake war.

Directed by Barry Levinson. Written by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet.
A comedy about truth, justice, and other special effects.

Conrad 'Connie' Brean

  • "A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow."
  • All combat takes place at night, in the rain, and at the junction of four map segments.
  • "What difference does it make if it's true? If it's a story and it breaks, they're gonna run with it."
  • "54, 40 or fight. What does that mean?...Remember the Maine...Tippecanoe and Tyler, too...They're war slogans Mr. Motss. We remember the slogans, we can't even remember the fucking wars. Y'know why? Cause its show business. That's why I'm here. Naked girl, covered in Napalm. Five marines Raising the Flag, Mount Suribachi. V for Victory, Y'remember the picture, fifty years from now, they'll have forgotten the war. Gulf War? Smart bomb, falling down a chimney. Twenty-five-hundred missions a day, 100 days, one video of one bomb Mr. Motss. The American people bought that war.
  • War is show business. That's why we're here."

Stanley Motss

  • It's okay, he's not dead. [gunshot] Uh, strike that.
  • This is NOTHING.
  • "...this is nothing. This is nothing. D'you ever shoot in Italy? Try three Italian starlets wacked out on Benzedrine and grappa, this is a walk in the park..."
  • "This is nothing. ...piece of cake. Y'know, producing is being a Samurai Warrior. They pay you, day in, day out, for Years, so that, ONE DAY, when called upon, you can respond, your training At Its Peak, and save the day."
  • "The war ain't over til I say it's over. This is my picture. You think you're in a spot? You think this is a tight spot? Try making the Hunchback of Notre Dame when your three lead actors die, two weeks from the end of principal photography."
  • No no no no no, fuck freedom.
  • This is the greatest work I've ever done in my life - because it's so honest.
  • This is politics at its finest.
  • That's right. During the filming of 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,' three of the horsemen died two weeks before the ending of principle photography. This is nothing, this is nothing. This is... this is... this is act one- The War.

Johnny Dean

  • Albania's hard to rhyme
  • I was just on my way to get drunk.

Dialogue

Cain: But there isn't a B-3 bomber.
Brean: Where'd you go to school, Kid. Wellesly?
Cain: Dartmouth
Brean: Then show a little spunk. There Is no B-3 Bomber. General Scott, the best of your knowledge, is not in Seattle to talk with Boeing...

Ames: It won't hold, Connie, it won't prove out.
Brean: We don't need it to prove out. We need it to distract them for two weeks til the election.

Stanley Motss:: The President will be a hero. He brought peace.
Brean:: But there was never a war.
Stanley Motss:: All the greater accomplishment.

Brean:: What's the thing people remember about the Gulf War? A bomb falling down a chimney. Let me tell you something: I was in the building where we filmed that with a 10-inch model made out of Legos.
Stanley Motss:: Is that true?
Brean:: Who the hell's to say?

Stanley Motss:: As long as he gets his medications, he's fine.
Winifred Ames:: What if he doesn't get them?
Stanley Motss:: He's not fine.

Winifred Ames:: Why Albania?
Brean:: Why not?
Winifred Ames:: What have they done to us?
Brean:: What have they done FOR us? What do you know about them?
Winifred Ames:: Nothing.
Brean:: See? They keep to themselves. Shifty. Untrustable.

Tracy Lime:: What would they do if I did tell someone?
Brean:: Come to your house and kill you.

Stanley Motss:: It's all, you know, thinking ahead thinking ahead.
Brean:: It's like being a plumber.
Stanley Motss:: Yea, it's like a plumber: do your job right and nobody should notice. But when you fuck it up, everything gets full of shit.



Unsorted

  • "Johnny, I got a lot of people here who are a little depressed because the war just ended, please give me a new song."
  • "No, I think a Calico kitten."
  • "I hate it when they meddle."
  • "It's a pageant."
  • "What exactly is it that you do for the President?"
  • "I'm working on it"
  • "King, King, I got a thing here, a product placement, gonna have a bigger back-end than Hattie McDaniel."
  • " Good. Good. Good. Looking Good, bring-it-all-back-home. Lassie barks twice 'n' it's time to take out the garbage."
  • "I like the night life. I like to boogie"

Cast

Dustin Hoffman - Stanley Motss
Robert De Niro - Conrad Brean
Anne Heche - Winifred Ames
Denis Leary - Fad King
Willie Nelson - Johnny Dean
Andrea Martin - Liz Butsky
Kirsten Dunst - Tracy Lime
William H. Macy - CIA Agent Charles Young
John Michael Higgins - John Levy
Suzie Plakson - Grace
Woody Harrelson - Sergeant William Schumann
Michael Belson - President


External links

Wikipedia
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