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Lion vs Bear
on March 3, 2014
When an American National ,Eden Pedecaris (Candice Bergen) is kidnapped in Morocco it sparks an international crisis. She is grabbed by Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli, Ruler of the Rift,(Sean Connery) who is the commander of a band of Berber insurrectionists who cuts a dashing figure dressed all in black on a black horse. He is opposed to the young Sultan Abdelaziz and his uncle, the Raisuli's brother, the Bashaw (Pasha) of Tangier, whom Raisuli considers as corrupt and beholden [ruled by] to the Europeans, France, Germany and Britain-and to show Morocco is powerless. Naturally Teddy Roosevelt (Brian Keith) is outraged, especially politically as he is campaigning for president, and needs an issue. But there is a poker game atmosphere between the two: Raisuli to Mrs Pedecaris, " what kind of gun does he use?" in answer "a Winchester." Roosevelt asks the same, but corrects somebody who calls the Moroccan a Arab, "he's a Berber." He is constantly badgered by his Sec. of State, John Hay (John Huston.)
Roosevelt sends the South Atlantic Fleet under Admiral French and they lay at anchor at dockside. Things go no where. Finally Consul Gunmere (Geoffrey Lewis), and Admiral French listen to a plan by a brash young Marine Captain Jerome (Steve Kanaly)-to hell with the Europeans-let's capture the Bashaw.
The next sequence of events are the best and most exciting of the movie. You see platoons of marines and sailors at attention, then, "fix bayonets, right face, (finally) double time march." All you see is a column of men in blue, holding rifles at port arms and at a fast in unison lock step. In sight of the Bashaw's palace you hear "quick time, March." As soon as they are within 50 yards of the palace, Captain Jerome spreads them out and has has several ranks kneel. With the palace guards completely lost looking at the Americans then at each other you hear "fire!" What guards? Then "charge!" The place is completely over run but the Bashaw never stops eating, even when a dead body falls on him, he just pushes it off. Captain Jerome walks up to him, points his sword and says, "you sir are my prisoner" then puts his sword back in the scabbard. The Bashaw says, "you are a dangerous man and your president Roosevelt a madman." The captain comes to attention, salutes and says, "yes sir."
That is a mere sketch of a truly great movie that is a wonderful tale. Its well over two hours and you love every bit, a true classic. Pick it up, its well worth the price.