The Professionals (1966)

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    There are 108 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Hawkswill.

    • The Professionals (1966)



      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

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- The Professionals (1966)

      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
      4 soldiers of fortune, one kidnapped wife, one explosive mission.
      26 June 2010 | by JohnRouseMerriottChard (United Kingdom)

      The Professionals comes out of Columbia Pictures and it is based around the novel A Mule for the Marquesa by Frank O'Rourke. Written and directed by Richard Brooks it stars Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Jack Palance and Claudia Cardinale. A Panavision and Technicolor presentation it features cinematography by Conrad L. Hall and Maurice Jarre scores the music.

      One of the stand out Oaters from the 1960s that is often forgotten in light of what was to come from Sam Peckinpah three years later. Tho far more light hearted than Bloody Sam's Magnum Opus that was The Wild Bunch, Richard Brook's film has many similarities. Themes of friendship, loyalty, disillusionment and of course the changing of the Old West all get dealt a hand here. With Brooks and his team upping the action stakes in a ball of explosions, gun fights and verbal jousting. Hell the film is even a touch risqué with nudity, sex and a wife in distress that is not as saintly as one would expect.

      Set in 1917 on the Mexican-Texas border after the Mexican revolution, The Professionals' only real problem is its thin story. But Brooks is not interested in going too deep with his plot, he's more concerned with playing it for thrills and back slapping camaraderie. Which works magnificently due to the impressive cast that has assembled for the movie. Marvin plays it restrained as Henry 'Rico' Fardan, the weary leader of the group sent into Mexico to "rescue" Claudia Cardinale's (sultry but some fluctuating accent issues) Mrs. Maria Grant from the clutches of Palance's (excellent) Bandido supreme Jesus Raza. Lancaster is a whirlwind of testosterone as explosives expert Bill Dolworth, while Ryan and Strode are smooth background characters as the conscientious Hans Ehrengard & muscular tracker and bowman, Jake Sharp, respectively. The only complaint in the characters comes with Ralph Bellamy's Joe Grant, the apparently fraught husband who sets the men off on their mission. He's in the beginning and the end but it's just not enough screen time to grasp his make up and the character therefore is underdeveloped.

      Hall's photography is exceptional as he shoots on location at Death Valley, Lake Mead and the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. The browns are smooth on the eye and the capturing of the odd rock formations a real treat. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work, as was Brooks in the Best Direction and Best Screenplay categories. The shoot actually suffered some serious problems such as dust storms and flash floods, thus causing severe delays. But the end result was worth it for the film was a success at the box office. The public promptly lapped it up, yes it's a bit close to the knuckle sometimes, but there's never a dull moment in it. It's a ripper. 8/10
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- The Professionals (1966)

      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.
    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- The Professionals (1966)

      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..
    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- The Professionals (1966)

      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

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

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