The Professionals Reviews

  • Feb 26, 2019

    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? Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Jack Palance , Claudia Cardinale The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Direction (Richard Brooks), Best Screenplay (Brooks again), and Best Cinematography (Conrad L. Hall). Exciting explosive sequences, good overall pacing and acting overcome a sometimes thin script. Underrated all-star western.

    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? Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Jack Palance , Claudia Cardinale The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Direction (Richard Brooks), Best Screenplay (Brooks again), and Best Cinematography (Conrad L. Hall). Exciting explosive sequences, good overall pacing and acting overcome a sometimes thin script. Underrated all-star western.

  • Nov 26, 2018

    Lee Marvin leads a small group of adventurers into Mexico to rescue Texas railroad man Ralph Bellamyâ(TM)s wife who has been kidnapped by Mexican rebels (formerly fighting for Pancho Villa). The wife is Claudia Cardinale and the chief rebel is Jack Palance (both playing Mexicans). The âgood guysâ? are Marvin, Burt Lancaster, Woody Strode, and Robert Ryan. I felt as though I had seen this before (but I donâ(TM)t think I had). Perhaps Peckinpahâ(TM)s The Wild Bunch (1969), another all-star affair with Robert Ryan, was coming to mind. Lee Marvinâ(TM)s other epic action films mostly take place in WWII (not in Mexico); heâ(TM)s as stony as ever here though. Burt Lancaster seems to be rollicking through the film, as though he was still in a 1950s costume drama, half grinning at the predicaments they find themselves in. Strode and Ryan have less to do and their characters are less developed (if any of these characters are actually developed). At any rate, I pondered whether there was still an audience for this sort of tough guy adventure film (the kind that has a fair amount of sexism thrown in, just because), the sort of uncritical Dad film of the days gone by, resting easily on shorthand and schematics in order to stitch the action sequences to the plot. The action sequences arenâ(TM)t too bad, some suspense is built, and things blow up. Naturally, there is also a twist: the band doesnâ(TM)t quite honour their contract with Bellamy â" but they do stand for honour as a principle.

    Lee Marvin leads a small group of adventurers into Mexico to rescue Texas railroad man Ralph Bellamyâ(TM)s wife who has been kidnapped by Mexican rebels (formerly fighting for Pancho Villa). The wife is Claudia Cardinale and the chief rebel is Jack Palance (both playing Mexicans). The âgood guysâ? are Marvin, Burt Lancaster, Woody Strode, and Robert Ryan. I felt as though I had seen this before (but I donâ(TM)t think I had). Perhaps Peckinpahâ(TM)s The Wild Bunch (1969), another all-star affair with Robert Ryan, was coming to mind. Lee Marvinâ(TM)s other epic action films mostly take place in WWII (not in Mexico); heâ(TM)s as stony as ever here though. Burt Lancaster seems to be rollicking through the film, as though he was still in a 1950s costume drama, half grinning at the predicaments they find themselves in. Strode and Ryan have less to do and their characters are less developed (if any of these characters are actually developed). At any rate, I pondered whether there was still an audience for this sort of tough guy adventure film (the kind that has a fair amount of sexism thrown in, just because), the sort of uncritical Dad film of the days gone by, resting easily on shorthand and schematics in order to stitch the action sequences to the plot. The action sequences arenâ(TM)t too bad, some suspense is built, and things blow up. Naturally, there is also a twist: the band doesnâ(TM)t quite honour their contract with Bellamy â" but they do stand for honour as a principle.

  • Jun 13, 2018

    The all-star cast says it all ! A Classic Western that rates in my top 10

    The all-star cast says it all ! A Classic Western that rates in my top 10

  • Sep 07, 2017

    The Professionals is an incredible film. It is about a a wealthy rancher who hires four mercenaries to retrieve his wife, Maria from the clutches of the desperado Raza. Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin give excellent performances. The screenplay is good but a little slow in places. Richard Brooks did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the action and adventure. The Professionals is a must see.

    The Professionals is an incredible film. It is about a a wealthy rancher who hires four mercenaries to retrieve his wife, Maria from the clutches of the desperado Raza. Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin give excellent performances. The screenplay is good but a little slow in places. Richard Brooks did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the action and adventure. The Professionals is a must see.

  • Jul 15, 2017

    When my lovely girlfriend is not around..is sleeping ..or busy ...or elsewhere ...is when I catch up with Westerns and such...especially culty classics ..especially especially with top notch casts..Lee Marvin would be enough ..Burt Lancaster would be enough ..shux even Ralph Bellamy would be enough If ur into this sort of thing..enjoy too..if not..that's ur problem

    When my lovely girlfriend is not around..is sleeping ..or busy ...or elsewhere ...is when I catch up with Westerns and such...especially culty classics ..especially especially with top notch casts..Lee Marvin would be enough ..Burt Lancaster would be enough ..shux even Ralph Bellamy would be enough If ur into this sort of thing..enjoy too..if not..that's ur problem

  • Feb 02, 2017

    It seemed to start off strong, but then fell a little flat. The story could have had more to it. You can't fault Lee Marvin or Burt Lancaster as their acting was as good as you could ask for. The best thing the film has going for it is its rich cinematography. It truly is a well-filmed Western. (First and only viewing - 2/16/2017)

    It seemed to start off strong, but then fell a little flat. The story could have had more to it. You can't fault Lee Marvin or Burt Lancaster as their acting was as good as you could ask for. The best thing the film has going for it is its rich cinematography. It truly is a well-filmed Western. (First and only viewing - 2/16/2017)

  • Aug 04, 2016

    Feels overly familiar considering the popularity of so many of the "guys on a mission" movies in the 60's, but its entertaining plot, memorable northern Mexico landscape, and sharp direction make for an enjoyable romp despite the familiar terrain.

    Feels overly familiar considering the popularity of so many of the "guys on a mission" movies in the 60's, but its entertaining plot, memorable northern Mexico landscape, and sharp direction make for an enjoyable romp despite the familiar terrain.

  • Jul 25, 2016

    The Professionals (1966) C-117m. ??? D: Richard Brooks. Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Jack Palance. Far-fetched yet exciting western with all-star cast. Texas millionaire Palance hires four adventurers to rescue his kidnapped wife from notorious Mexican bandit. Impressively staged action scenes and glorious Widescreen photography make this a worthwhile diversion. Shot by Conrad L. Hall.

    The Professionals (1966) C-117m. ??? D: Richard Brooks. Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Jack Palance. Far-fetched yet exciting western with all-star cast. Texas millionaire Palance hires four adventurers to rescue his kidnapped wife from notorious Mexican bandit. Impressively staged action scenes and glorious Widescreen photography make this a worthwhile diversion. Shot by Conrad L. Hall.

  • Jun 29, 2016

    It makes a certain kind of sense to impose winking machismo on your average western-loving audience. In a genre so often mulled over by its own seriousness and gun-toting self-regard, its toughness almost hedonistic in its revelry, it's nice to be bombarded by larky adventurousness not doused by sunburnt graveness. So while I half-expected 1966's "The Professionals" to instead be a typical spaghetti western based on the presence of Claudia Cardinale (of "Once Upon a Time in the West" stardom), I consider it to be a welcome surprise that it's humorous and explosive rather than dusty and spitefully misanthropic. It's an all-star genre picture with much in common with buddy pictures a la "Ocean's Eleven" and "The Italian Job," in which a charismatic group of morally ambivalent anti-heroes go to great lengths to grant the wishes of either a well-paying employer or themselves. In "The Professionals," motivation is an effect of the former, plus $1,000 apiece for those involved (big money in the 1910s it takes place in). Tasked by a wealthy rancher (Ralph Bellamy) to save his sexy young wife (Cardinale) from an alleged kidnapper (Jack Palance), a team of criminals (Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode), led by Rico Fardan (Lee Marvin), a hotshot gunslinger, embarks on a bullet ridden quest to get the girl. Expectedly, there's a good chance that that girl doesn't much want to be saved -- it's hard to trust a self-serving old man with a trophy wife in the first place -- and "The Professionals," punchy and stubborn, is driven by jolts such as this one. Because it's an adventure that knows something about the art of the double-cross and the art of the gunfight, our shifting loyalties only add to the movie's warm-heartedly rugged spirit. Written and directed by Richard Brooks, it's popcorn entertainment minus the unnecessary extra butter, to-the-point but never insulting to our intelligence nor our expectations. It's one of the high points on his career, and is definitively among the defining films of its likable ensemble. When you peruse what makes "The Professionals" work best, though, you'll notice that it isn't just the cast doing the heavy lifting (though they do a lot). Also key to the film's ultimately remarkable success is how well it conjoins masculine wit, ballsy action, and convincing locale. It deserves to be immodest, cheap even -- I always suspect movies with all-star casts to be more hungry for money than respect on the part of audiences and critics (which still could be the case) -- but "The Professionals" is gritty and smart, an excellent instance of the wonders professional action can do for the most escape driven caper seekers of unpretentious viewers.

    It makes a certain kind of sense to impose winking machismo on your average western-loving audience. In a genre so often mulled over by its own seriousness and gun-toting self-regard, its toughness almost hedonistic in its revelry, it's nice to be bombarded by larky adventurousness not doused by sunburnt graveness. So while I half-expected 1966's "The Professionals" to instead be a typical spaghetti western based on the presence of Claudia Cardinale (of "Once Upon a Time in the West" stardom), I consider it to be a welcome surprise that it's humorous and explosive rather than dusty and spitefully misanthropic. It's an all-star genre picture with much in common with buddy pictures a la "Ocean's Eleven" and "The Italian Job," in which a charismatic group of morally ambivalent anti-heroes go to great lengths to grant the wishes of either a well-paying employer or themselves. In "The Professionals," motivation is an effect of the former, plus $1,000 apiece for those involved (big money in the 1910s it takes place in). Tasked by a wealthy rancher (Ralph Bellamy) to save his sexy young wife (Cardinale) from an alleged kidnapper (Jack Palance), a team of criminals (Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode), led by Rico Fardan (Lee Marvin), a hotshot gunslinger, embarks on a bullet ridden quest to get the girl. Expectedly, there's a good chance that that girl doesn't much want to be saved -- it's hard to trust a self-serving old man with a trophy wife in the first place -- and "The Professionals," punchy and stubborn, is driven by jolts such as this one. Because it's an adventure that knows something about the art of the double-cross and the art of the gunfight, our shifting loyalties only add to the movie's warm-heartedly rugged spirit. Written and directed by Richard Brooks, it's popcorn entertainment minus the unnecessary extra butter, to-the-point but never insulting to our intelligence nor our expectations. It's one of the high points on his career, and is definitively among the defining films of its likable ensemble. When you peruse what makes "The Professionals" work best, though, you'll notice that it isn't just the cast doing the heavy lifting (though they do a lot). Also key to the film's ultimately remarkable success is how well it conjoins masculine wit, ballsy action, and convincing locale. It deserves to be immodest, cheap even -- I always suspect movies with all-star casts to be more hungry for money than respect on the part of audiences and critics (which still could be the case) -- but "The Professionals" is gritty and smart, an excellent instance of the wonders professional action can do for the most escape driven caper seekers of unpretentious viewers.

  • Jan 13, 2016

    Great western with a fantastic cast, back from a time when they knew how to make westerns. This plot would be used again 10 years later for The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, but not with the same sense of style. Loved that Jack Palance was a sympathetic not-really-villain here. Great fun flick.

    Great western with a fantastic cast, back from a time when they knew how to make westerns. This plot would be used again 10 years later for The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, but not with the same sense of style. Loved that Jack Palance was a sympathetic not-really-villain here. Great fun flick.