Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Wind and the Lion

Posting about The Man Who Would Be King the other day reminded me to mention another excellent 1975 film (which also stars Sean Connery) -- John Milius' The Wind and the Lion. The overstory plays out like an existential game of chess between US President Teddy Roosevelt (superbly done by Brian Keith) and Riffian Berber sherif Mulai Ahmed er Raisuni / Raisuli (ditto. Sean Connery).

Most of the action takes place in 1904 Morocco, with Western imperialism as backdrop. It's an entertaining film, with much ado about machismo, honor and audacity. There's a remarkable scene in which a contingent of US Marines quick times through the streets of Tangier, barges into the Sultan's palace and guns down his fancifully-attired palace guard. The best or worst of American behavior wrapped into one highly charged moment, depending on how one looks at things.

Director/writer Milius is quite a character, real life fan of Teddy Roosevelt and a bit of a macho nationalist. More on some of his other work at some point -- including all sorts of tidbits like his coining of the line "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" and helping launch Arnold Schwarzenegger into superstardom via Conan the Barbarian.

The Wind and the Lion originally co-starred Faye Dunaway, but when she got sick during filming, Candice Bergen stepped into the role.
Today's Rune: Breakthrough.


the walking man said...

You're slipping old man, I actually have seen every movie you mentioned in the post!

I can definitely say you are a more acute observer of movies than I am. You gather all of the cultural and historical significance of a film where I just watch 'em, mindlessly I suppose, looking for a gut level response.

*shrug* I feel accomplished just in having seen todays picks en toto. ha ha ha



Charles Gramlich said...

I actually have this book but haven't read it.

Carlo said...

good Job! :)