DIRECTED & PRODUCED BY RICHARD BROOKS
COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION
Photo with the courtesy of Gorch
Information from IMDb
A rich Texan, J.W. Grant, selects three men and invites them
to his private train to offer them a contract:
Rescue his wife who has been kidnapped by a Mexican revolutionary.
The leader of the men, Rico, decides they would be a better team
if Grant would hire one more man, an explosives expert.
Grant quickly agrees and soon the four are off to complete
the contract. However, while on the trail, they discover
some interesting facts, like has Mrs. Grant 'really' been kidnapped?
Written by AzRanger
Burt Lancaster ... Bill Dolwort
Lee Marvin ... Henry 'Rico' Fardan
Robert Ryan ... Hans Ehrengard
Woody Strode ... Jake Sharp
Jack Palance ... Jesus Raza
Claudia Cardinale ... Mrs. Maria Grant
Ralph Bellamy ... Joe Grant
Joe De Santis ... Ortega
Rafael Bertrand ... Fierro
Jorge Martínez de Hoyos ... Eduardo Padilla - Goatkeeper (as Jorge Martinez de Hoyos)
Marie Gomez ... Chiquita
José Chávez ... Revolutionary (as Jose Chavez)
Carlos Romero ... Revolutionary
Vaughn Taylor ... Grant's Banker
David Cadiente ... (uncredited)
Vincente Cadiente ... (uncredited)
Elizabeth Campbell ... Mexican Girl (uncredited)
Don Carlos ... Bandit (uncredited)
Leigh Chapman ... Lady (uncredited)
Roberto Contreras ... Bandit (uncredited)
Dirk Evans ... Man at Door (uncredited)
Foster Hood ... (uncredited)
Darwin Lamb ... Hooper - Grant's Associate (uncredited)
Eddie Little Sky ... Jake's Prisoner (uncredited)
John Lopez ... Mexican Servant (uncredited)
John McKee ... Sheriff (uncredited)
Henry O'Brien ... (uncredited)
Philip L. Parslow ... Deputy Sheriff (uncredited)
Frank O'Rourke (novel "A Mule for the Marquesa")
Richard Brooks (written for the screen by)
Conrad L. Hall
The cast and crew stayed in Las Vegas while working on this project. Actor Woody Strode wrote in his memoirs that he and Lee Marvin pulled several pranks, including shooting an arrow at the famous smiling cowboy neon sign damaging it briefly.
During the filming of the scene where Maria attempts to escape through a canyon wired with dynamite, Claudia Cardinale's stunt double was badly injured during the explosion. Cardinale, who had never ridden a horse before, performed the stunt herself for the final cut, and escaped uninjured.
The "French 75" mentioned in the dialog refers to the 75mm field gun artillery piece, Model 1897, issued by France to America's National Guard during World War I and also used by the Mexican army.
After Burt Lancaster ambushes Jack Palance's men and shoots Jack Palance. Palance shouts out for "Francisco". The following shot of a dead Francisco also shows a horse having a bowel movement in the background.
The shooting was plagued by many complications including rain, snow, sleet, the blazing sun, intense desert heat and even a flash flood.
Lee Marvin was drunk throughout a lot of the filming, and was in fact so drunk during a scene atop a giant rock that assistant director Tom Shaw intervened out of fear that Burt Lancaster would "take Lee Marvin by the ass and throw him off that mountain".
Plans for a remake were announced in 2000 but as of 2011 haven't been followed through. Among the people attached were screenwriter Bruce Feirstein and director John Woo.
The newspaper tacked to the wall of Grant's railroad car (visible as he is looking at the files of the men he is hiring) proclaims that Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata have entered Mexico City. This sets the opening of the story in December of 1914 (the Villistas and Zapatistas occupied the city on the 6th of that month).
Just after Ehrengard is told to "say only what I tell you," Padilla's mouth moves, but no words come out.
When the team makes it back to the train after capturing Mrs. Grant Claudia Cardinale and the ambush is waiting for them, Ehrengard Robert Ryan is initially shown from inside the train car sitting facing sideways to the open door of the train car, then from outside he is shown with his back to the door of the train, then back to inside and he is sideways again.
As the Professionals escape in the mine cars, there is an overhead shot in which the cable pulling the cars is visible.
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Valley of Fire State Park - Route 169, Overton, Nevada, USA
Indio, California, USA
Columbia/Warner Bros. Ranch - 411 North Hollywood Way, Burbank, California, USA
(opening town scenes)
Death Valley National Park, California, USA
Lake Mead, Nevada, USA
Mecca, California, USA
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