Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Wind and the Lion, The (1975)

Wind and the Lion, The (1975)

Based on a true-life incident, The Wind and The Lion tells how rebel chieftain Raisuli (Sean Connery) – the last of the Barbary pirates – kidnaps a rich American woman, Eden Pedecaris (Candice Bergen) and her children and keeps them hostage until a ransom is paid.

The time is 1904, the place Morocco. The incident provokes the new American president, Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Keith) into using dramatic gunboat action, completely shattering the intentions of the European countries who are trying to get a permanent foothold in the territory. At the same time, it gives him an ideal issue on which to fight his forthcoming presidential campaign.

Where this movie is so successful is in the way it contrasts sweeping action with intelligent, thought-provoking dialogue, callous diplomacy with a boy’s hero-worship of the Arab chieftain who is his captor, and a civilised woman’s fascination with someone who is completely different to anyone she has known before.

There are shades of The Sheik (1921), moments of humour, inevitable reminders of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and moments of brilliance from Brian Keith who makes Teddy Roosevelt a brave, pathetic, reckless character who stubbornly goes ahead with what he believes to be right, no matter what the consequences: “Why spoil the beauty of the thing with legality?” he says when contemplating the invasion.

Excellent performances from the rest of the cast, splendid desert vistas and a majestic music score from Jerry Goldsmith make this movie something of a rare experience.

Sean Connery
Eden Pedecaris
Candice Bergen
Theodore Roosevelt
Brian Keith
John Hay
John Huston
Geoffrey Lewis
Captain Jerome
Steve Kanaly
The Bashaw
Vladek Sheybal
Sherif of Wazan
Nadim Sawalha
Admiral Chadwick
Roy Jenson
Alice Roosevelt
Deborah Baxter
Quentin Roosevelt
Jack Cooley
Kermit Roosevelt
Chris Aller
William Pedecaris
Simon Harrison
Jennifer Pedecaris
Polly Gottesman
Von Roerkel
Antoine Saint-John
Gayaan The Terrible
Luis Barboo
Darrell Fetty
Marc Zuber
Sir Joseph
Billy Williams
Edith Roosevelt
Shirley Rothman
Henry Cabot Lodge
Larry Cross
Elihu Root
Alex Weldon

John Milius