View Full Version : The Wind and the Lion
January 6th, 2004, 07:27 PM
I watched this movie last night on TCM. It is supposedly based on actual events. Takes place in 1904 Morocco and stars Sean Connery as a powerful Berber chieftain who kidnaps an American woman (Candace Bergen) and her two kids to extort rights for his people from the Moroccan sultan.
It backfires on him, as Britain, France, Germany, and Russia use the incident to try to grab territory in the region. Then Teddy Roosevelt (Brian Keith in a great performance) gets in on the act, using the press to turn Connery's character into the 'last of the Barbary pirates' to get US public support behind him (TR) in his bid for re-election.
German forces eventually capture Connery and have him prisoner in a fortress pending trial. Meanwhile, a US Marine contingent has landed and freed Candace Bergen, who insists they then free Connery (who she's fallen in love with). The Marines storm the German-held fort, killing dozens of the Kaiser's soldiers and freeing Connery. Its then implied that the US installs a new puppet sultan in Fez and has 'control' over Morocco.
A lot of this is obviously blatantly inaccurate, but it has the potential to be a good 'Earlier Great War POD', don't you think? At any rate, it was a pretty decent movie. :)
January 6th, 2004, 07:44 PM
Absolutely one of my all-time favorite American jingo-fest movies. Other than the fact that there was somebody (a British man, I believe) named Pedicaris kidnapped by a Berber chieftain and influence in Morocco was being contested between the French and Germans, it is pure fantasy. Given the time it was made (about the time of the Iranian hostage crisis) its portrayal of Islam was surprisingly positive and Connery made a great sympathetic Berber chief. The real bad guys are not the moslem "terorrists", but corrupt local rulers and the sissified Germans and French. And words do not do justice to Brian Keith's amazing portrayal of TR. I don't know if any of his many on screen ramblings were taken from actual writings or speeches, but I still pop this baby in my VCR whenever I wish we still had real presidents!
January 6th, 2004, 08:36 PM
According to Robert Osbourne on the TCM site, 'The Wind and the Lion' is supposed to be released on DVD today.
I also wondered if any of the TR speeches in the movie were based in actuality, especially the whole thing of comparing America to the grizzly bear, and the bit where he couldn't see out of his left eye after a boxing bout (!) and telling his daughter 'Let me know if someone's coming up on my left'. Not to mention that Brian Keith was a dead ringer for TR - amazing. The only other portrayal I've seen that came close to being as good was Tom Berenger as TR in 'Rough Riders'.
January 6th, 2004, 09:31 PM
The story is (very, VERY loosely) based on an essay by Barbara Tuchman, Pedicaris Alive or Raisuli Dead, first published in the August 1959 issue of American Heritage and collected in "Practicing History"
It is a great movie, in one scene Raisuli (Connery) gives a young boy a lifetime's worth of father figure images in seven seconds. The ending line is a classic, and worth watching the whole film for.
January 8th, 2004, 09:35 PM
Very good film. I think it is very loosely based on actual events; it would certainly not have been good for German-American relations if it had happened in real life. :D
David S Poepoe
January 9th, 2004, 05:09 AM
I must agree that Brian Keith made an absolutely fabulous Theodore Roosevelt. I really don't think I've seen a better portrayal. Not too many years ago I did attend a one man performance of Laurence Luckinbill as an older Theodore Roosevelt and he was good. What I find interesting is that one of Keith's last television movie appearances was in The Roughriders as President William McKinley in 1997, where I have to say he was entirely miscast.
January 18th, 2004, 12:17 PM
Enjoyable, but with as little historical accuracy as Milius's earlier CONAN THE BARBARIAN. If I remember correctly Pedicaris was in fact an elderly male Greek-American. Certainly not Candice Bergen. In fact I believe it turned out he wasn't even an American citizen though this was hushed up till recently to avoid embarassment. He'd renounced American citizenship during the Civil War. And casting John Huston as John Hay?
January 21st, 2004, 09:32 AM
IIRC Morocco was one of the first coutries to reconize the US after the Treaty of Paris. A TR president during 1905 GW1 over Moracco. How would the Sides come out. Given that it starts with the US Marines Fighting Germans.
theres no such thing as a Ex-Marine, just Former ones.
January 21st, 2004, 09:05 PM
Everybody forgets the French were there too, although I admit not explictly fighting the yanks. Just look for the silly red and blue uniforms. In fact it was the US and Islamic militancy against "Old Europe" :D
January 23rd, 2004, 04:05 PM
Very interesting movie- but I ain't never come across it myself. On TCM you say- yeah, I'll have to look for this flick on there ...
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