The Wind and the Lion (1975)
Trailer-The Bridge On The River Kwai, China Syndrome
|Year Of Production||1975|
|Running Time||117:25 (Case: 119)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (55:18)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||John Milius|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Released in the same year as The Man Who Would Be King, this little-seen epic starring Sean Connery is a first class adventure film from Writer / Director John Milius. Milius, a military history buff in his spare time, uses an obscure factual incident as a catalyst to spin a tale of heroism and honour. Sean Connery is Mulay Achmed Mohammed el-Raisuli the Magnificent, an Arab chieftain determined to prevent the European powers from gaining a foothold in Morocco at the turn of the 20th Century. To this end, the Raisuli kidnaps an American Widow (Candice Bergen) and her children, thus setting in motion a chain of events that could ignite war.
The Wind And The Lion is an excellent action adventure, with stunning cinematography, epic battles, a rousing score and Sean Connery at his charismatic best. On paper, casting the Scottish thespian as an Arab leader might seem bizarre, but on screen the decision is nothing short of inspired. Connery is simply one of the great screen stars of the last 50 years and his presence transcends any limitations his familiar Scottish burr might inflict. Not to be outdone, both Candice Bergen as the widow and Brian Keith as President Theodore Roosevelt add further class to the proceedings with exceptional performances. In fact, one of this film's greatest virtues is its cast, with not a weak link to be found anywhere.
The film's heart lies in the relationship of The Raisuli and the widow Pedecaris. Intelligently written, their relationship goes from contempt to respect and affection without ever becoming overly sentimental or trite. As a writer, Milius has proven he is a force to be reckoned with. Apocalypse Now, Clear and Present Danger, Conan The Barbarian, Magnum Force and Jeremiah Johnson have all sprung from the pen of this gifted screenwriter. So it is not surprising that the screenplay found here is of equal quality. As a Director, Milius is capable of producing rousing adventures when given the chance, Conan The Barbarian being the most obvious example of Milius' gift for high adventure filmmaking. Conan would later cement Milius not only as a cult figure, but as a talented director able to produce visceral thrills and epic storytelling. The Wind And The Lion is cut from the same cloth as Conan, and although not as accomplished as the Cimmerian adventure it is a rousing tale all the same.
The Wind And The Lion is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2:35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness levels are strong, with no aliasing or edge enhancement issues. Shadow detail is adequate and never loses depth. Grain was at the barest minimum and there were no low level noise problems.
Colours were natural, and in some cases vividly lush, showcasing cinematographer Billy Williams' colour palette to best effect.
What impressed me the most was the almost total lack of film artefacting that you would expect for a film of this vintage. First rate.
The RSDL layer change is at the 55:18 mark and is well placed.
The film has been given five audio tracks in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. All are Dolby Digital 2.0 surround tracks.
Dialogue is always clear, and never drowned out by background noise. There were no audio sync issues.
The film's music is by the legendary Jerry Goldsmith, and it is absolutely thrilling. An epic film deserves an epic score. Thankfully, Goldsmith provides us with a great one.
Surround channel usage is minimal. I could not detect any directional effects. The score is the only sound to be consistently heard from the rear channels.
The subwoofer was somewhat lacking and needed stronger reverberation to enhance both the score and the action scenes.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on a 5.1 remastered audio soundtrack, an audio commentary from John Milius, a Vintage Featurette and the film's trailer.
The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on nothing. The R1 version is the way to go.
The Wind And The Lion is a first class High Adventure film made with meticulous attention to detail. The cast and production values are superb, and the score by Mr Goldsmith thrills from the opening titles. It simply doesn't get better than this. The disc is a mixed bag. The picture quality is superb, but the audio is a let down. We get zero extras compared to the R1 counterpart. A real missed opportunity.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||LG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie|