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
Lee Marvin took it upon himself to keep the film's guns clean in the unpredictable desert conditions. See more »
Joe Grant states, while reading the biographies of the Professionals, that Fardan left Pancho Villa's forces in June 1915 and spent a year prospecting fruitlessly. Later, however, at the camp at the old church, after Dolworth states that he joined the Mexican revolution in 1911, Maria Grant states that no man was more loyal to the revolution than Fardan and that he and Dolworth stayed and fought for six years, implying that Fardan did not leave Villa until 1917. As Raza's lover and confidante, Maria should have known that Fardan (and Dolworth) were long gone from the revolution by 1917. See more »
God almighty, I've known heat before, but this is... I hate the desert. It's got no... pity.
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A rich Texas landowner (the elderly Ralph Bellamy) hires three men (Robert Ryan, Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin) to go into Mexico and return his beautiful wife (the ultra-erotic Claudia Cardinale) to him after she was kidnapped by a gang of ruthless thugs led by Jack Palance (made up to look Hispanic). The three accept the challenge, wanting to get paid handsomely of course, but as they advance and get closer to Cardinale a thin line develops and it becomes unclear if everything is really the way it appears to be. The scope of a quickly changing West before a backdrop of the Mexican Revolution only adds to a movie that nearly touches greatness. Writer/director Richard Brooks (Oscar-nominated in both categories) began to knock on the door with a potentially very dark Western here and in 1969 director Sam Peckinpah would knock that door down with the amazing "The Wild Bunch". Brooks, not known for this genre, created a legitimate winner here with this production. Sometimes though the characters lose out because of the beautiful cinematography by Conrad L. Hall (Oscar-nominated) and the fact that Cardinale is just illuminating when on the screen (she is the only actress with any substantial screen-time). Her amazing beauty overshadows all the males throughout. Thought-provoking, action-packed and highly interesting, "The Professionals" is a sometimes forgotten would-be masterpiece from the usually impressive genre. 4 stars out of 5.
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