Wag the Dog*

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Wag the Dog*

  • 1997 ----- color ----- 97 min ----- dvd
  • (Directed by Barry Levinson, screenplay by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet based on the novel American Hero by Larry Beinhart; with Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Willie Nelson, Andrea Martin, Kirsten Dunst) A desperate White House team, eager to fend off impending negative publicity about the President, hires a political fixer (De Niro) who recruits a hotshot Hollywood producer (Hoffman) to stage a nonexistent war, simply to distract the public. The hungry press looks for any lead, convenient misinformation is created by the latest Hollywood fakery ("all developed by the new James Cameron film") creating images and merchandise all instantly packaged. And it must be real, because it's on TV. David Mamet's script never questions the morals or the absolute secrecy needed to pull this thing off. He and director Barry Levinson have enough truth in the story to make you wonder what is real news and what is just promotion the next time you see CNN. [Full-screen and letterboxed] (Restricted to use on University of Washington campuses only)
  • Topics: (Advertising, Communications, Literature: American, Marketing, Motion Pictures: Features, Political Science: American, Television)