Thursday, July 24, 2014

Flick Pick: The Wind And The Lion

The Wind And The Lion
(MGM, 1975)

One of my favorites among this whole collection is writer-director John Milius' brilliant magnum opus, a fictionalized account of real events in Morocco in 1904, when America was moving to center stage in world affairs. It was a critical and box office success, doubling an amazing range of locations in Spain for both African and American scenes. Connery makes the perfect Berber pirate, Candace Bergen is a beautiful handful as the lady in distress, and Brian Keith is the living embodiment of Teddy Roosevelt. The action is everything you'd expect in anything from Lawrence Of Arabia to any Indiana Jones adventure, and everything in between, the Jerry Goldsmith score is sweeping - and was nominated for an Oscar - and the scene of Marines storming the palace at Fez is so inspiring it's used to this day as a motivational lecture opener both at Annapolis, and at Marine Corps OCS at Quantico - which is where I first saw it. It's a pity they don't use it to explain the facts of life to new presidents.

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