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This review is from: The Wind and the Lion [VHS] (VHS Tape)
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.