156 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Release This on DVD, Please
My all time favorite movie and the best movie you've never seen is "The Wind and the Lion" (1975). Written and directed by John Milus (who later wrote "Apocalypse Now" and directed "Conan The Barbarian"), it stars Sean Connery, Candice Bergen, Brian Keith, and John Houston. Connery is a Berber chief, Risuli the Magnificent, who kidnaps...
Published on October 31, 2000 by Michael Puttre
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Long-Winded "Lion"
It's easy to see why "The Wind and the Lion" (1975) was overshadowed by the far-superior "The Man Who Would Be King." Writer-director John Milius' ambitious romantic adventure is curiously uninvolving - marked by a painful lack of chemistry between Sean Connery and Candice Bergen (roles originally intended for Omar Sharif and Julie Christie). Among the film's few virtues...
Published on April 6, 2011 by Scott T. Rivers
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156 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Release This on DVD, Please,
My all time favorite movie and the best movie you've never seen is "The Wind and the Lion" (1975). Written and directed by John Milus (who later wrote "Apocalypse Now" and directed "Conan The Barbarian"), it stars Sean Connery, Candice Bergen, Brian Keith, and John Houston. Connery is a Berber chief, Risuli the Magnificent, who kidnaps American Candice Bergen in Morocco in 1906 (or so). Connery wants to force the European powers out of Morocco, which at that time is occupied by the British, French, and Germans, each with different interests. Brain Keith is President Teddy Roosevelt (and he really is) who sends the Marines to Morocco "to get respect." In the end, the Americans and Connery's Berbers make common cause against the Germans.
For me, Brian Keith as Teddy is worth the price of admission all by himself. This movie is well-written, funny, has great line after great line, super characters, and some rousing battle scenes. Plus, the kids can watch it. You really can't go wrong with "The Wind and the Lion." I only wish they'd release it on DVD...
88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance is alive and it's name is Connery!,
The Wind and the Lion is a fabulous, old-fashion adventure film with something for everybody: dashing leading man (Sean Connery), plucky, pretty (let's not forget smart) leading lady (Candice Bergen), a terrific supporting cast (which includes Brian Keith (as Teddy Roosevelt) and John Huston (yes, the director), gorgeous scenery and action aplenty! I remember seeing this on a date with an ex-marine (he loved the Marines and fight scenes, funny thing) in 1975, when it was first released in theaters and seeing this video brought back all the excitement I felt for it this movie. Connery is so sexy...you can't help but be swept away! Bergen is the perfect foil for Connery; able to hold her own on the screen with him. Their comedic reparte' is so endearing. I still can recite some of the lines by heart! The cinematography is epic, the sound track, monumental (I bought the CD! ) The director obviously had a field day with this (you'd never guess he was a ex-marine! ) If you're looking for a historically accurate movie...pass this by, but if you're looking for a little old-fashion adventure, give this one a try. There is violent content, but no inappropriate language or nudity (the closest to nudity you'll find in this is when Sean has his shirt off.) Go on...give yourself over to a little adventure! Grab your popcorn, your significate other and ride back in time with the Raisuli. Mrs. Pedicaris, I'm glad you're a lot of trouble!
66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rousing Adventure with a Touch of Romance,
By A Customer
Well, I wait patiently for this movie to be released on DVD. In the meantime, I keep the VCR so I can watch this movie for the umpteenth time. In many ways, this screen adaption of actual events seems more appropriate to be viewed in these times. The movie is a VERY loose depiction of actual events: the kidnapping of an American businessman in Morocco. Look beyond that and you will find a story that reflects admirably on the antagonists. Candice Bergen plays the (subtle) potential love interest of the Raizuli, and well, Sean Connery, is Sean Connery, in the best tradition of a Scostman playing an Arab. Anyway, Brian Keith's portrayal of Teddy Roosevelt makes you wish he were still alive so you could vote for him in the next election. This is one of my all time favorites and it makes you feel good to be an American (not wanting to be jingoistic or anything). The movie does depict an era when international politics was not so seemingly complicated as they are now. The portayal of Arab Muslims is fair: good and bad traits, as in all people on this planet. The depiction of the Marines coming ashore, is well, one of the best (unintentional) recruiting tools for the USMC. I understand these scenes use (still?) to be shown at USMC Officer Candidate School. This is a truly enjoyable film.
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Wait For The DVD,
I first saw The Wind and the Lion when it came out in theaters. Always a big fan of sweeping adventure stories, this one became an instant favorite. Though years have passed and movie action has become even more lavish and intense, nothing has ever dimmed this jewel in my eyes. In fact, the years have made the romance more poignant and the irony more telling. Forget history: Pedicaris was a man. Forget stereotypes: the Berber is the hero. This is a romantic adventure of the highest order: remember the little boy who dreams of becoming a Barbary Pirate. As that marvelous score swells up around you, and Sean Connery leans down from the galloping horse, grabbing not the boy, but the gun he is carrying, you can feel the boy's disappointment at not being carried along for the next adventure.
There are many levels at work in this film. The genius of John Milius is such that the Roosevelt era of "gunboat diplomacy" can be seen as both the crowing of young America as it was forcing its way into World politics, and as a reflection of the debacle of Viet Nam that was the end result of such bullish behavior.
In its examination of relationships between men and women, the human foibles of men looked upon as leaders, and the brutal reality of the human condition, this movie is right on target. But, in the end, it is a romance, a dream of what could be -- but usually isn't. The good guys survive, but they all show that they have paid a heavy price for having played the game.
MGM will be doing all movie fans a favor when they bring this out on DVD.
46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rousing historical adventure with a dash of romance,
This review is from: The Wind and the Lion (DVD)
The Wind and the Lion has finally come to DVD, and it's a fine production that thankfully boasts an engaging commentary track from director and scripter John Milius, an underappreciated Hollywood maverick (who is also terrific fun along with Ahnold S. on the "Conan the Barbarian" Collector's Edition commentary).
Times change and times stay the same ... when I saw this on its initial release, Arabs/Muslims were definitely the Bad Guys (it was the mid-Seventies, the Israelis and their neighbors were coming off another war, there were lines for gasoline, and rampant inflation caused by skyrocketing oil prices was wrecking the world's economy) but the post-Vietnam mood in the US was very much against all manifestations of foreign military intervention. This film was discordantly out of place in the prevailing attitudes. Then things cooled off, the Middle East didn't seem to be as threatening after awhile, and America began to start sending soldiers abroad again (carefully, against enemies who couldn't really fight back). Now, in the last decade, we've come full circle in many ways. Once more the Islamic world is a bogeyman and "robust", even pre-emptive, military intervention is an official doctrine of the Bush II crowd. This film ought to be wildly popular now -- for all the wrong reasons.
Milius is an unapologetic but conflicted imperialist, as he ruefully but honestly notes in his commentary track. On the one hand, he glories in naked American power (personified in this movie in the figure of the bearish Teddy Roosevelt, played masterfully by Brian Keith), but on the other, he recognizes that it is el Raisuli (Sean Connery) and his Moroccan bandits/jihadists whjo are the true heroes of the story, fighting patriotically to rid their country of foreign invaders. While Milius never resolves this conflict within himself, it does enable him to portray both sides honestly and respectfully, and even see the humor in the opposing attitudes: it is sometimes not clear if the hawkish American diplomats and soldiers, soberly toasting "World War", are meant to be buffoons or are in deadly earnest, the humor is so dry and the acting so sincere. A little of both, in all likelihood, just like Roosevelt, who is whimsically shown in constant physical activity while pursuing a shrewd, if belligerent, approach to foreign affairs.
Connery's Raisuli (based on a real figure) makes a marvelous freedom fighter. He's proud, passionate, fearless, and incorruptible, which is why he's probably doomed in the end, as the film's coda implies. His feelings toward his captive (Candice Bergen's Eden Pedecaris) grow into an abiding but chaste love (which is reciprocated), a subplot that hearkens to the grand old romantic adventure movies of old but that is never allowed by Milus to distract from the central storyline of action and intrigue. Some people seem to think that "Big Tam's" alleged Scottish accent is intrusive -- I do not hear this myself; to my ears Connery makes a very convincing Muslim, and besides, I have read on good authority that Arabic-speakers are the world's best imitators of the Scottish accent, so the casting makes a curious sort of sense.
TW&TL is full of movement and sweeping panoramas, with the Spanish locations subbing for Morocco used to good effect. The cinematography is superb, and truly shines in this widescreen release, and it is accompanied by one of Jerry Goldsmith's most stirring and evocative soundtracks. Milius' dialogue is economical and never too anachronistic (always a problem in most period movies); he creates believable larger-than-life characters and leavens the swashbuckling with deft humorous touches. Viewers will come away with many favorite lines that will enter their everyday conversation (e.g., "Real men prefer to fight with swords, so they can see each other's eyes," "You like-y speech-y?", "Why spoil the beauty of the thing with legality", "It goes double for Berbers", "The ease of others is not the concern of the Sultan", and "You've made this fine specimen of a grizzly look like a hairy cow").
It's all a tremendous spectacle, full of dash and glory, from the last few "innocent" years before the vaunting anthems of the European powers were muted by the mud of trench warfare and imperialism lost its attraction to a war-weary Old World. (Whether America will follow in its footsteps remains an open question.) Milius, a devotee of Kurosawa and a keen student of the military arts, directs some of the finest combat sequences ever to grace the screen. Bergen is surprisingly effective (it's hard to imagine Faye Dunaway in this role, as the commentary suggests nearly happened), the support players render sterling service, and there's even an unexpected touch of poetry at the end. Stand-out cinema entertainment that leaves you thinking, laughing, and applauding at the same time.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites,
I've been a fan of this movie since I saw it in 1975 at the age of seven. A nod to the great old movies of the forties and thirties with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Errol Flynn. Only with some modern sensibilites added in. It's a great adventure movie. Sean Connery is perfect as the rebellious tribal leader who is also a brave and honorable man. Brian Keith has a field day as Teddy Roosevelt and Candice Bergen is the right mix of feisty heroine and vunerable leading lady Additionally,there is some outstanding support work done by John Huston and others.
For those who are military history buffs and collectors of old firearms this movie is a visual treat.It's also a real slam bang action/adventure movie, a bit of a romance and even a political commentary piece. While it may be true that it plays fast and loose with historical fact it's a forgivable sin. This movie isn't trying to recreate the actual events, instead it's trying to recreate the mythical aspects of the late Imperial age. A time period which has taken on larger than life aspects. People were no more capable, evil or heroic a century ago than people are today, but somehow we think/remember them being that way. That's why I think this film still appeals to so many, I know that's what it is for me.
56 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rousing desert swashbuckler with a touch of romance!,
This review is from: The Wind and the Lion (DVD)
Sean Connery was searching for a way to establish himself away from James Bond, and this movie went a long way to do so. You can see why the character attracted Connery, a strong powerful male, a bit of a hold over in a changing world. It's based on a true story (though the kidnapee was an overweight man in the real world), but in Hollywood it is Candice Berger (at her most beautiful) and her son and daughter, who are taken by Connery. He is a rebel with a cause, fighting his brother who is being corrupted by every foreign power imaginable. The country is run by a very young man, thought the real power sits with The Bashaw of Tangier (Vladek Sheybal doing his usual droll performance to perfection). In order to make a statement, Mulay Achmed Mohammed el-Raisuli the Magnificent (Connery) kidnaps Berger and her two kids. Thus starts a battle of will between Connery and Brian Keith (Teddy Roosevelt) - the wind and the lion. You even get John Houston is a great role, providing a riotous touch of humour.
Candice is no missish miss, but is capable to handling herself and her fear, while the children view it as a great adventure.
However, the romance between Connery and Berger (though lightly done), really hurts in today's political world. Many won't view the taking of hostages or the killing of Berger's household during her abduction quite in the shame light after the many more recent hostages takings in the Middle East nor the 911 attack. So the topic might now sit so well in this day and time.
Shame because it is John Milus (directed and wrote) at his best, Connery at his most playful and fun tale, if you can divorce yourself from the realities of kidnapping and murder.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling desert adventure,
This review is from: The Wind and the Lion (DVD)
Anyone who loves old-fashioned "swords in the desert" epics will adore this sweeping romance (with a touch of politics added in for good measure). It is the turn of the century, Europe has divided most of the world into its colonies, and American is just beginning to assert its own influence under charismatic president Teddy Roosevelt (played with tremendous energy by Brian Keith). Connery plays a dashing and well-spoken Berber chieftain who kidnaps an American woman (Candice Bergen) to spark rebellion in the Middle East against the French and the Germans. But this brings in the Americans, and good old Teddy sees a great opportunity to tweak the noses of Europe, get relected, and face down an "honorable" foe like Connery's Berber chieftain.
The desert scenes are all fantastic and filled with romance of the Arabian Nights, the thunder of horses hooves -- all of it scored with Jerry Goldsmith's thrilling music and shown in beautiful widescreen on the DVD. The action scenes are incredibly exciting, especially a scene of Connery taking on a band of kidnappers single-handed. In general, the Middle Eastern characters are treated with respect and fairness. The American scenes with Keith's Roosevelt are intelligent and well written and shed light on America's changing position in the world. (Yes, this is based on a real event, although much has been changed. It doesn't matter: it's a fiction that sheds much light on the actual world situation.)
Alltogether, this is a sweeping, superb adventure film that MUST be seen on DVD for the full effect. It has action, subtle romance, two great performances, and a bit of thoughtful politics in it to give you something to think about when it's all over.
Also recommeded from the same period: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING. Another great Sean Connery period adventure film.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great adventure although bad history.,
The Wind and the Lion is a film that is greater than the sum of it's all star cast. Brian Keith, Sean Connery, John Huston and Candice Bergen are the principle figures in the film but they are supported by a very capable second team of character actors
that gives even more depth to the film. The actual events portrayed are only somewhat accurate. This might be viewed as a "what if" type of film.
Sean Connery as Rizuli, the "Lord of the Rif" is outstanding and quite different from his mostly James Bond casting up until that point. While classes as a bandit, he is also the uncle of the Sultan of Morocco - a quite immature young man as portrayed. in the film who has great memories of his times with his "uncle". It was an early, and possibly unintentional example, of the convoluted nature of Mid-East and African politics. Connery portrays a man of great dignity and personal honor who, in a way, although classified as a bandit, is likeable and charming. He grows on you - from the first scene all the way until the voice over narration at the end. He exhibits and exudes majesty.
John Huston as John Hay is another exceptional portrayal. He is shown doing his best to prevent an all out war but I think one can see the grandstanding going on for the sake of the diplomatic corps then in Washington. He makes the typical "Ugly American" mistake of assuming that the Japanese Military Attache' does not speak English and is put in his place quite nicely by the attace' at a luncheon.
Brian Keith is terrific as Theodore Roosevelt and gives not only a fine perfromance of the man, but captures the spirit of America then and now. The analagy to the grizzly bear is quite effective and moving. His problems with the fitting of his rifle are quite amusing as well as his difficulty in getting them resolved. One would think that even in the 1900s the President could get better customer service than was portrayed. His problem with his vision is portrayed in a very interesting way and depends on the young girl playing Alice Roosevelt to make it work. Roosevelt and the family at the rifle range is well done - musical selections played by the Marine band to the accompaniement of rifle fire makes a nice contrast and could be seen as pointing out the contradictions in Roosevelt as a person.
Candice Bergen is fine as Eden Pedicaris, even though historically 100% wrong. The person she portrayed was actually a man who was a naturalized American citizen who was Greek originally. She is a bit of a Murphy Brown charecter even in 1975, but does it well. Yet what makes her role work is the fine performances by the young boy and girl who represent her children. The children give Bergen greater scope to show her charecter. The children even start to undergo something of a "Stockholm Syndrome" as they start to become comfortable with their captors - the boy is given a dagger by one of the guards and looks at Connery as something of a father figure.
The hurly-burly of Moroccan politics is protrayed quite well. The German cavalry and French infantry are shown in great force. The US intervention is one of those moments that makes you want to sit and cheer as the Marines take on first, the Moroccan Army and then later the German cavalry. The meeting between the US diplomats in Morocco and the Navy and Marine representatives is an excellent portrayal of diplomats wanting a military sloution without getting into any fighting.
This is a movie that has just about something for everyone, even for those who viewed or view the United States as less than benevolent power, but, for the vast majority of us, it was an entertaining film that portrays versatility of Connery, Bergen, Houston and Keith in a way not usually seen. I recommend it for everyone but bearing in mind that its actual relation to history is tenuous at best - Theodore Roosevelt, John Hay and Rizuli existed but this portrayal is totally fictional. But still it is worth several viewings.
Five years after writing this review, I think of some of the things that the character of Theodore Roosvelt is saying and wondering if someone had a crystal ball and was looking 30 years into the future. Listen to the words about America and it's audacity and then think of Iraq. American certainly charged into that country with audacity and made a lot of enemies in the process.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie combined with great actors, story and actions...,
This review is from: The Wind and the Lion (DVD)
This is a movie where most people would have a hard time not liking it. Its has everything anyone wants, unspoken romance, actions and intelligent script. I did have some problem with Sean Connery as the Berber chieftain but he played the role well and if a Berber were taught English by a Scotsman, he would sound just like Connery. Brian Keith played Teddy Roosevelt to a perfection. I think Keith had all the best lines of the movie and many of things he said about our nation sounds more real today then ever before. Candice Bergan was wonderful as well and there was a definite chemisty between Bergan and Connery that make the movie work.
There might be one stick that get stuck in many people's throats and that is that Sean Connery plays a very honorable man of Islam. When his character stated that Raisuli don't make war on women and children, he sounded bit insulted that a true warrior of Islam might be considered to scooped so low. A true patriot in his own eyes, Connery's portrayal of an Islamic leader run contarary to what many Americans see today, especially after 9-11 and many Islamic terrorist attacks directed at women and children. (I was told that this movie is quite popular in Islamic nations for Connery's portrayal of a true and honorable warrior of Islam.)
The DVD of this movie proves to be a must-buy for me. Its in anamorphic widescreen and at least for my basic TV, it looked very good. The audio is in 5.1 DD but its not very active as you hope to be. Still the sounds are pretty clear and background material are separated nicely. There are your director's commentary and making of the movie feature included but that is all from the extra feature department.
Considering that this movie was made in mid-1970s when America's power was ebbing after the Vietnam War and we were in an "anti-pro-active" stage, this story of Berber chieftain kidnapping an American woman and her children which generated a pure imperialistic response from the United States, must have been a rarity to hit the screens at that period.
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The Wind and the Lion by John Milius (DVD - 2005)
In stock on March 9, 2015