The Professionals (1966)

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    Photo with the courtesy of Gorch

    Information from IMDb

    Plot Summary
    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

    Full Cast
    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)

    Writing Credits
    Frank O'Rourke (novel "A Mule for the Marquesa")
    Richard Brooks (written for the screen by)

    Original Music
    Maurice Jarre

    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).

    Audio/visual unsynchronised
    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.

    Revealing mistakes
    As the Professionals escape in the mine cars, there is an overhead shot in which the cable pulling the cars is visible.

    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Locations
    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

    Watch this Clip



    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Professionals is a 1966 American western starring Burt Lancaster,
    Lee Marvin, Claudia Cardinale, Robert Ryan, and Woody Strode.
    The supporting cast includes Jack Palance and Ralph Bellamy
    and the film was written and directed by Richard Brooks,
    whose screenplay was based upon the novel
    A Mule for the Marquesa by Frank O'Rourke.

    The movie received three Academy Award nominations
    and an enthusiastic critical reception.

    User Review

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • I've always been a sucker for "men on a mission" adventure movies, whatever the genre, and this is one the movies that caused that fondness.
    The team is selected in short order and off they go to use their skills in aid of a kidnapped damsel in distress.
    The actors, photography, dialogue, music score and director all contribute to making this a world class viewing experience.
    One concession to sixties' sensibility occurs when the four are scouting Raza's hideout from above. Marvin tells black Woody Strode to quiet the horses just before a woman bandit bares her breasts, thus preventing Strode from the exposure. Strode isn't the horse/mule expert though. Robert Ryan is and he should have been the professional called on for that chore. Can't be having that in the mid sixties!
    If you have the opportunity to see this on Blue Ray, jump at it.

    We deal in lead, friend.

  • Hi Bill, this one too has always been a favorite of mine just like the men on missions type movies. I still remember the first time I saw it--was shown on WTBS-Atlanta, and was just before Hurricane Allen blew through Kingsville (my hometown) and killed power for 2 weeks after flooding a some electrical-worker guy got electrocuted because he bent over and grabbed a down power line that was lying in a puddle of water.

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

  • OK. Take a look at the four heroes. If this movie were remade today, who would have the look that these guys have? The four goofs from the Hangover" movies?

    Any suggestions are welcome.

    We deal in lead, friend.

  • Great photos, Bill, nice gal, tough guys.
    I notice yours is the same shot I got in the opening post,
    but the gal's not in your photo.!

    Good question, who would play them today?
    Even if it is off-topic,
    let it run on this thread, as it still has the movie as it's essence.

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Watched this on blu ray recently for te first time in AGES! It's a great, great film even after all theses years. On top of that the blu ray transfer is superb!

    "Pour yourself some backbone and shut up!"

  • Great shots Bill and I only clicked like on a few of them because your probably tired of seeing all the likes in your account :lol:

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..