The Wind and The Lion was released to theaters in 1975. It was written by and directed by the master director John Milius, director of Red Dawn (the inspiration for the 2012 film). It has an ensemble cast that acts in stellar fashion. It fictionalizes a real kidnapping that happened in 1904. Milius made several changes to the story to make it more cinematic. As I am not familiar with the historical incident, I will only speak of the movie.
In 1904, Morocco is controlled by a young Sultan and the Bashaw of Tangier (Vladek Sheybal). To the eyes of Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli (Sean Connery), they are a corrupt lot, allowing the Germans, the French, and the British to take territory. As such, he kidnaps Eden Pedecaris (Candice Bergen) and her two young children William (Simon Harrison) and Jennifer (Polly Gottesman). He vows not to harm them but demands some territory and some prisoners to be released to him.
In the United States, President Roosevelt (Brian Keith) is outraged at the kidnapping and orders a battalion of Marines to Morocco saying, “Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead!” The Moroccans are not happy with the American involvement and neither are the other great powers.
From afar, Raisuli admires Roosevelt and the feeling is mutual. They discuss each other’s weaponry to their various allies. Even after Raisuli hears of Roosevelt’s chant, he still finds him noble, showing curiosity about his Winchester rifle. As he learns to play chess with Mrs. Pedecaris, he constantly tells her that she is a lot of trouble.
As Eden stays with the Raisuli, she and her children begin to admire him and though he is cruel to his enemies, he is kind to allies and even to his hostages. As the days in the Moroccan landscape grow longer, Eden begins to question whether Raisuli is the savage she originally thought.
I am curious what the social junkie whiners (or SJWs) would say of this classic film. Will they praise it for its positive portrayal of Muslims and advocacy for non-interventionism in their society? Or would they blast it for its “Hollywood whitewashing” casting and its utter disdain for governments as the source of all corruption?
As for me, I found The Wind and The Lion a fantastic adventure. The story was truly brought to life and Milius’ master storytelling was really at its best. Sean Connery shined as Raisuli, Candice Bergen was fantastic as Eden, and Brian Keith was masterful as President Roosevelt. The sets were unreal. It was made before the time of CGI, so the crew had to rely on retro film making techniques. The filming took place in Spain and the beauty of it was not lost on me. It is truly a brilliant piece of cinema.
FAVORITE QUOTE: To Theodore Roosevelt, you are like the Wind and I like the Lion. You form the Tempest. The sand stings my eyes and the Ground is parched. I roar in defiance but you do not hear. But between us there is a difference. I, like the lion, must remain in my place. While you like the wind will never know yours.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, violence
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie reviews of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Doctor Strange. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.