Wind and the Lion

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Released 1975

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Movie Summary

Director:
John Milius
Released:
1975
Rating:
PG

The Wind and the Lion (1975) derives - loosely - from a true story which took place in Morocco in 1904. Morocco is a turbulent country where Berber revolutionaries fight to topple a corrupt government dominated by the weakling Sultan's chief minister, the Bashaw. The leader of the Berbers is the notorious Raisuli, the Bashaw's brother. He kidnaps an American widow, Eden Pedecaris, and her two young children, as a ploy to spark international action against Morocco. In the US, President Theodore Roosevelt, who is campaigning for re-election and hopes to score political points, dispatches a squadron to Tangier to retrieve the kidnapped family and display America's new military prowess. When a hostage exchange does not go as planned, the American troops face a battle with Moroccan, French, and German soldiers that will not only decide the fate of the Raisuli, but also America's role as a new world power.

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    • TRIVIA (2)

      • John Milius cast Deborah Baxter in the role of Alice Roosevelt because of his admiration for her performance, some ten years earlier, in Alexander Mackendrick's film A High Wind In Jamaica, which he regards as the best film ever made about children. This was Ms. Baxter's only subsequent movie role.

      • The English diplomat who is killed in the opening sequence of the film is played by its cameraman, the celebrated cinematographer Billy Williams.

    • QUOTES (6)

    • NOTES (1)

      • This film takes its plot from a real incident in 1904. However, no children were kidnapped, and the American who was taken prisoner by the Raisuli was a middle-aged man, Ion Pedecaris. (He did form an admiration and friendship for his captor, and was returned unhurt). There was no attack by American troops on the Sultan's palace, nor any battle with French or German soldiers. However, the phrase, "Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead!", really was coined by Theodore Roosevelt.

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    Themes

    Historical