“A Spartacus-style, David vs. Goliath tale… the battle scenes are on a spectacularly extravagant scale.” – DVDTalk.com
A star-studded historical epic in the tradition of “Spartacus” and “Lawrence Of Arabia”.
Directed by Moustapha Akkad (The Message), the legendary producer behind the “Halloween” movies, and starring a trio of Oscar winning actors in Anthony Quinn (Lust For Life; Viva Zapata!; Lawrence Of Arabia; Zorba The Greek), Rod Steiger (In The Heat Of The Night) and John Gielgud (Arthur; Gandhi; The Elephant Man), alongside the equally legendary Oliver Reed (Gladiator).
The year is 1929 and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini faces a 20-year-long war waged by Bedouin patriots who are resisting Italian colonisation and the establishment of “The Fourth Shore” – essentially a re-birth of a Roman Empire in Africa. Hoping to crush the rebellion, Mussolini appoints the ruthless General Rodolfo Graziani, a man who would come to be known as the “Butcher of Fezzan”. Leading the resistance is Omar Mukhtar, a teacher by profession but a guerrilla by obligation, one who has committed himself to fighting a bloody war than he knows cannot be won in his lifetime. As tanks and airplanes are deployed in the desert for the first time, the Bedouin realize their primitive weaponry is no match for the might of the Italian Army. But, driven by courage and inspired by their leader, they continue to fight on.
Famously bankrolled by one Muammar Gaddafi to the tune of $35 million (which was a huge budget for any movie back in 1981), “Lion Of The Desert” is epic in every sense of the word, with every single penny of the budget up there on the screen in some of the most impressive action and battle sequences ever filmed. The stellar cast of Hollywood and British movie veterans and Akkad’s masterful direction add icing to the cake.
- “Spectacular… virtually an unending series of big battle scenes.” – NEW YORK TIMES
- “Stunning.” – ASSOCIATED PRESS
- “A grand epic adventure that’ll stand as a highpoint in the producing career of Moustapha Akkad.” – FILM THREAT
- “A fascinating look inside a facet of Arab culture profoundly significant yet virtually unknown outside North Africa and the Arab world… engrossing, an epic with much to recommend it.” – DVDTALK.COM