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Thread: The Wind and the Lion: the Raisuli's Sword?

  1. #1
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    The Wind and the Lion: the Raisuli's Sword?

    Firstly, a Newbie says hello to everyone, wonderful forum here! Now, please forgive any terminological lapses:

    Does anyone know anything about the Raisuli's sword from The Wind and the Lion?

    I don't have any pics (no DVD out yet!), but essentially from what's left of my fevered observations many years ago it's a two-handed hilt with a fairly simple crossguard, the blade swells initially into a diamond shape and is slightly curved, and it seems to me the tip may have had a reverse cut to it.

    I've never seen anything like it before or since, and I've always wondered whether Milius had it designed and made for the film, or what?

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    Something like this?



    It's a Atlanta Cutlery product
    Paul
    The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. ;-)

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    That's an awesome "how to be a real man" movie.

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    Jay--yes it is, at the very least.

    Paul--a distant cousin perhaps. I will try to sketch out what I remember of it, or dig up a sketch I did long ago.

    As I recall the crossguard was more like projecting rod-shapes with flared ends, the grip seemed cylindrical, rather narrow, and was solidly wrapped in wire. The pommel seemed to be something like a tapered cylinder shape. There was the diamond-shaped flare of the blade above the guard, and the back-cut at the tip was perhaps a third the length of the one in your pic. I wonder how far off I am.

    Is there a name for this type of sword?

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    I think Jim Hrisoulas made a sword like this for someone, but can't be sure. I think they posted a picture a long time back... I can't remember who it was, but maybe they are still around and will post a pic if they see this...

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    Wind & the Lion sword

    Hi all, The sword your talking about was a great sword. Milius did have it made for the film and it used to hang on his wall until it was stolen. The sword is very similar to a middle eastern executioners sword, it had a long cylidrical grip of brass or bronze with a raised roped ferrul half way down the grip the guard was of traditional mammeluke design like a cross with rounded edges and a curved blade, overall length approx 48" You might try contacting Albion Arms as they were dealing with Milius for the repro of the Conan swords. Good Luck! Luke.
    Luke LaFontaine. Fight Choreographer / Stunt Coordinator

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    Re: Wind & the Lion sword

    Luke,

    Thank you for the info.! I wonder who made it for him. I managed to find a pic of this magnificent sword, and when I saw it I remembered how I learned as much as I knew about it--as a kid I had scaled a drawing from a picture in TV Guide.

    This is rather large so you can catch a sense of such detail as can be teased out of the photo. As you can see I did have several features wrong.

    Last edited by Andres S.; 12-27-2002 at 01:52 AM.

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    Some more info.!

    Well I did contact Albion. There are plans afoot to do this sword, possibly next year. That means probably pricing comparable to the Conan run unfortunately, but on the other hand it means being able to get one at all.

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    Raisuli's sword

    You may wonder why the Raisuli (a genuine historical character) carries a decidedly non-historical sword. It's because Milius (a fanatic Samurai movie buff) wanted to replicate the scene in Kurosawa's "Hidden Fortress" where Mifune jumps on a horse to chase down some bad guys and, because he has a two-handed katana, rides with his reins in his teeth while he hews away with both hands. Watch the two movies together sometime. The scenes are all but identical. Kurosawa's action sequences have been copied so many times it's incredible, yet most people never make the connection.

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    Hidden Fortress is another awesome movie. I was lucky enough to see it on the big screen some 20 years ago when we still had 'art houses'.

    Fascinating to learn more and more about this sword--thanks!

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    Synopsis

    In response to a query I had in the thread on this sword over in the Islamic Swords forum, I'm posting a rough description of this movie for those who haven't see it.

    The movie came out in 1975, it was directed by John Milius, the same guy that made the first Conan movie. In my view The Wind and the Lion is his best movie, a dramatic action epic with many light touches. It stars Sean Connery as the Raisuli (a great part for him), a Moroccan rebel and political/religious hero; Brian Keith as Teddy Roosevelt; and Candace Bergan as an American woman who along with her children is kidnapped by the Raisuli.

    The movie is set around 1900, I forget exactly when. The plot involves the kidnapping, American reaction thereto, the Raisuli's political goals and the actual repercussions of his actions, the growing mutual respect and fondness of the woman and the Raisuli for each other despite the huge cultural and indeed moral gap between them.

    The sword is the Raisuli's, it is a symbol of his position and of the code he lives by. In the movie the sword is used: in an execution; as a symbol of safety between the Raisuli and the woman; when the Raisuli goes into combat alone against several opponents (one of the most exhilirating scenes of its kind on film in my view, in great part due to Jerry Goldsmith's superlative score); during his duel with an opposing commander during the climactic action scene.

    The movie is a bit weird because it presents a sort of fantasy vision of situations whose realities some of us might not find as easy to accept or approve as the movie sets out to make them. But granting the premise, it is a remarkable story about personal honor, living by your code of values, and maybe a little about what really matters about life as events unfold and things don't go the way you planned.

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    Re: Synopsis

    Originally posted by Andres S.
    In response to a query I had in the thread on this sword over in the Islamic Swords forum, I'm posting a rough description of this movie for those who haven't see it.

    The movie came out in 1975, it was directed by John Milius, the same guy that made the first Conan movie. In my view The Wind and the Lion is his best movie, a dramatic action epic with many light touches. It stars Sean Connery as the Raisuli (a great part for him), a Moroccan rebel and political/religious hero; Brian Keith as Teddy Roosevelt; and Candace Bergan as an American woman who along with her children is kidnapped by the Raisuli.

    The movie is set around 1900, I forget exactly when. The plot involves the kidnapping, American reaction thereto, the Raisuli's political goals and the actual repercussions of his actions, the growing mutual respect and fondness of the woman and the Raisuli for each other despite the huge cultural and indeed moral gap between them.

    The sword is the Raisuli's, it is a symbol of his position and of the code he lives by. In the movie the sword is used: in an execution; as a symbol of safety between the Raisuli and the woman; when the Raisuli goes into combat alone against several opponents (one of the most exhilirating scenes of its kind on film in my view, in great part due to Jerry Goldsmith's superlative score); during his duel with an opposing commander during the climactic action scene.

    The movie is a bit weird because it presents a sort of fantasy vision of situations whose realities some of us might not find as easy to accept or approve as the movie sets out to make them. But granting the premise, it is a remarkable story about personal honor, living by your code of values, and maybe a little about what really matters about life as events unfold and things don't go the way you planned.
    Andres,
    This is a brilliant synopsis of "The Wind and the Lion", which I thought was an outstanding movie. I have been studying the swords and edged weapons of North Africa for some time now and have become completely fascinated by the history and cultures there. When this post came up over on the Islamic Sword Forum, asking if this sword , despite its obviously fantasy genre appearance, have any basis from actual historical examples, the question caught my attention.

    Ironically, this sword in the movie was suggested to me during research on a form of Moroccan sabre, now presumed to be of a form found in the 'Rif', the very location suggested in the movie. These sabres have cavalry sabre blades that are profiled at the tip in a curious wave shape that ends with a cusp form point, as seen on the 'movie sword of Raisuli'.

    The flared blade root is something that seems familiar on the fantasy swords form, but I have found that exact shape exists on the odd (and often huge) currency blades of the Congo. These were known to have been crafted by the Turumbu people there, and fashioned loosely after the European swords they saw. The stylized projections probably incorporated hilt and blade into one shape. These were used even recently by Kuba people of those regions.
    The same flared root shape found its way into weapons, one the copper daggers of the Kasai people of West Africa, and quite possibly others with the many flamboyant weapon forms that have hybridized throughout Africa.

    While my studies focus on authentic historical weapons, I am often intrigued by the fantasy weapon forms and the sources that may have inspired them. It would seem that historical weapons research even expands into fantasy in some cases, and that truth and fiction are sometimes closer than we realize.

    With best regards, Jim

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    Thank you!

    Jim,

    To me it is fascinating how believable this apparently fantastic creation remains--the success of its design is such that, even knowing that it is not real, it still 'feels' real to me. Perhaps someday we will be allowed to know the maker's process and learn whether research into the forms you spoke of informed its design.

    Thank you very much for your fascinating tour of these connections.

    Sincerely,

    Andres

  14. #14
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    ANCIENT thread alert!

    Since this does not seem to have been discussed anywhere online yet, I wanted to put some information up for posterity and to aid the unwary from thinking they had found a reference for details on this sword. A sword was put up for auction at the iCollector site in 2019 that was described as the 'hero' prop from the movie. The sword pictured was different in various details from the one seen in stills and in the movie. The sword was not sold.

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