The Wind and the Lion is an adventure movie directed by John Milius, starring Sean Connery as a Berber brigand who kidnaps an American family, based on a real life incident that occurred in 1904. It also stars Brian Keith as Theodore Roosevelt.
In 1904, Ion Perdicari and Cromwell Varley, the son of Perdicari's mistress, were kidnapped by Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli. The incident attracted international attention, notably that of Theodore Roosevelt. Perdicari reportedly became friends with Raisuli, and both he and Cromwell survived the incident.
In the film, the Perdicaris are changed to a woman (played by Candice Bergen) and her son and daughter. They are kidnapped by Raisuli (played by Connery) as part of his war against his brother, the Bashaw of Tangiers, who he sees as under the thumb of various European powers. Back in America, Theodore Roosevelt uses the incident to help his re-election campaign. Unable to retrieve the hostages by negotiation, American military forces are sent in, and eventually they decide to take control from the Bashaw and stage their own negotiations. Raisuli retreats to a castle in the Rif, where they are isolated from invading forces. As time goes on, the Perdicaris grow to like the Raisuli, especially after he rescues them from other bandits. Eventually, the Americans are successful in brokering a deal with Raisuli, but things do not go as planned and and a final confrontation occurs involving French, German and Moroccan and American military forces, in addition to Raisuli's.
The scene in which U.S. Marines march through the streets of Tangiers is reportedly used for instructional purposes by the USMC today, because of how well the drill formations are done.
Several locations used in the film had also been used in the filming of Lawerence of Arabia.