Wag the Dog (1997) quotes

Director
Barry Levinson.

Cast
Dustin Hoffman.
Robert De Niro.
Anne Heche.
Woody Harrelson.

Shortly before an election, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover up a Presidential sex scandal.

This is NOTHING.
– Stanley Motss

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean

I’m in show business, yes? Why come to me?
– Stanley Motss
Well I’ll tell you why, Mr Motss. ’54-40-Or Fight’, what does that mean?
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean
It’s a slogan, it’s from the, uh…
– Stanley Motss
‘Remember the Maine’!
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean
Oh yeah, that’s from – that’s gotta be from the, uh…
– Stanley Motss
‘Tippecanoe and Tyler Too’!
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean
No, that’s not, uh…
– Stanley Motss
They’re war slogans, Mr. Motss. We remember the slogans, we can’t even remember the fucking wars. You know why? That’s show business. That’s why we’re here. Naked girl covered in Napalm. ‘V for Victory’. Five Marines raising the flag, Mt. Suribachi. You remember the picture 50 years from now, you’ll have forgotten the war. The Gulf War, smart bomb falling down a chimney. 2500 missions a day, 100 days. ONE video of ONE bomb Mr. Motts, the American people bought that war. War is show business – that’s why we’re here.
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean
And what do you for the President?
– Stanley Motss

Look at that! That is a complete fucking fraud, and it looks a hundred percent real. It’s the best work I’ve ever done in my life, because it’s so honest.
– Stanley Motss

It’s all, you know, thinking ahead thinking ahead.
– Stanley Motss
It’s like being a plumber.
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean
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.
– Stanley Motss

The war isn’t over ’til I say it’s over. This is my picture – this is NOT the CIA’s picture. You think you’re in a tight spot now? Alright, Conrad, try making The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse – tell ‘im, King.
– Stanley Motss
Three of the horseman died.
– Fad King
Hear what he’s saying? Three of the horseman DIED. Two weeks before the end of principal photography. This is NOTHING. This is nothing, this is – this is – this is just, “Act One, The War”. Now we really do need an Act Two.
– Stanley Motss

What would they do to me if I did tell someone about this?
– Tracy Lime
They could come to your house in the middle of the night and kill you.
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean

What difference does it make if it’s true? If it’s a story and it breaks, they’re gonna run with it.
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean

You watched the Gulf War, what do you see day after day? The one smart bomb falling down the chimney. The truth? I was in the building when we shot that shot – we shot in a studio, Falls Church, Virginia. One-tenth scale model of a building.
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean
Is that true?
– Stanley Motss
How the fuck do we know? You take my point?
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean

When it’s cooking, it’s cooking.
– Stanley Motss

Who killed Kennedy? I read the first draft of the Warren report. It said he was killed by a drunk driver.
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean

I’m working on it.
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean

This is politics at its finest.
– Stanley Motss

You take the fruit of forty years – hard lessons, mistakes – and you call it wisdom.
– Stanley Motss

Haven’t had this much fun since live TV!
– Stanley Motss

Stanley, don’t do this. You’re playing with your life here.
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean
Fuck my life! I want the credit.
– Stanley Motss

I bet you’re great at chess.
– Stanley Motss
I would be if I could remember how all the pieces moved.
– Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean