<p>Wind and the Lion, The (DVD)</p><p>Academy Award winner Sean Connery stars with Candice Bergen in this swashbuckling epic of an unstoppable desert fighter who collides with an immovable American woman--The Wind and the Lion. Morocco, 1904. A corrupt sultan has granted German troops control over the land, and Raisuli, the last of the Barbary pirates, leads the fight against the occupation. Now, in a plot to force American President Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Keith) to remove the sultan from his throne, Raisuli (Connery) kidnaps American widow Eden Pedecaris (Bergen) and her two children. But when this iron-willed pirate meets an equally iron-willed American woman, she reveals a whole new world of possibility to a man who can kill one moment and pray the next. And in the end, it is Pedecaris who leads the Americans to rescue the man who was once her captor, but who has become her friend.</p>
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The up-and-down career of director John Milius had no finer moment than The Wind and the Lion, a dandy adventure tale. It's based on fact: An American (played by Candice Bergen) and her two children were kidnapped in 1904 Morocco by a Berber tribe, an international incident settled by President Theodore Roosevelt's "big stick" military muscle. The film's sweep and swagger are unabashedly old-fashioned, even as Milius occasionally pokes fun at the grand characters. Some of the peripheral material is sloppy, but as long as Milius keeps his sights locked on the two powerful protagonists, he's dead-on: Brian Keith makes a gutsy Roosevelt, and Sean Connery is in splendid form (with Scots accent in place--got a problem with that?) as the dashing Berber chieftain. Perhaps overshadowed by John Huston's The Man Who Would be King the same year (Huston plays advisor John Hay in this one), Wind makes a marvelous companion piece. --Robert Horton
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