IA #39: Lion of the Desert (1980)

 Lion of the Desert (1980) on IMDb

This Libyan movie, funded by Muammar Gaddafi’s government, depicts the country’s struggles to throw off Italian colonialism in the late 1920s. Oliver Reed stars as a Mussolini-appointed governor, and Anthony Quinn portrays the leader of the resistance.

Stuart Galbraith IV wrote on DVDTalk that the film “is a fascinating look inside a facet of Arab culture profoundly significant yet virtually unknown outside North Africa and the Arab world. Produced and directed by the late Moustapha Akkad, the film was notorious for reportedly losing most of its $35 million investment”. Now all that production value is available for us to watch as part of the Internet Archive Top 100.