The Professionals - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Professionals Reviews

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½ December 30, 2018
enjoyable western with a great cast & story
November 26, 2018
Lee Marvin leads a small group of adventurers into Mexico to rescue Texas railroad man Ralph Bellamy‚(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 ‚good guys‚? are Marvin, Burt Lancaster, Woody Strode, and Robert Ryan. I felt as though I had seen this before (but I don‚(TM)t think I had). Perhaps Peckinpah‚(TM)s The Wild Bunch (1969), another all-star affair with Robert Ryan, was coming to mind. Lee Marvin‚(TM)s other epic action films mostly take place in WWII (not in Mexico); he‚(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 aren‚(TM)t too bad, some suspense is built, and things blow up. Naturally, there is also a twist: the band doesn‚(TM)t quite honour their contract with Bellamy ‚" but they do stand for honour as a principle.
June 13, 2018
The all-star cast says it all ! A Classic Western that rates in my top 10
September 7, 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.
July 15, 2017
When my lovely girlfriend is not sleeping ..or busy ...or elsewhere 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
February 17, 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)
September 11, 2016
Standard western finds a bunch of mercenaries trying to rescue a woman from a desperado. I thought it was very average, its definitely no Dirty Dozen the western or anything like that.
August 4, 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.
July 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.
July 6, 2016
A different kind of western, not bad.
½ June 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.
January 20, 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.
December 6, 2015
Great movie. Great dialog.

La RevoluciŘn is like a great love affair. In the beginning, she is a goddess. A holy cause. But... every love affair has a terrible enemy: time. We see her as she is. La RevoluciŘn is not a goddess but a whore. She was never pure, never saintly, never perfect. And we run away, find another lover, another cause. Quick, sordid affairs. Lust, but no love. Passion, but no compassion. Without love, without a cause, we are... *nothing*! We stay because we believe. We leave because we are disillusioned. We come back because we are lost. We die because we are committed.
September 7, 2015
to be honest, i got a bit bored
August 11, 2015

Set in Mexico in 1917, a band of American adventurers (played by Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan and Woody Strode) is hired to rescue the wife (Claudia Cardinale) of a wealthy man (Ralph Bellamy)from the clutches of a Mexican bandit (Jack Palance).
When follow them as they set out into the bandit's territory, and see what they discover there...

Good action drama. Essentially a western, if it is set in 1917. Not exactly a classic though - plot is rather basic with an overly sentimental and trite ending.

Performances are mostly decent, though none are brilliant. Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin are solid in the lead roles. Good work too from Woody Strode, though Robert Ryan is fairly subdued and his character a tad irritating. Worst of the lot is Ralph Bellamy - a rather one-dimensional performance.

Did Jack Palance play the villain in every 60s movie? It seems like it.

Always good to see Claudia Cardinale...
June 6, 2015
I really enjoyed watching this one again, it looks stunning on Blu-Ray as it was shot by Oscar winning cinematographer Conrad Hall. It's a fun, fast-paced Western with a great cast that includes: Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Jack Palance, Claudia Cardinale and more. It's really a well made film and entertaining film. Highly recommended!
April 24, 2015
Solid western, really liked the interplay between Lancaster and Marvin. Man, was Claudia Cardinale beautiful! News flash, I know, but wow. The title feels like it could have been the name of 95% of Howard Hawks' filmography.
Super Reviewer
March 15, 2015
The set-up of rough guys getting hired to free a kidnapped woman seems somewhat generic for Western films of that era, but the movie takes a few unexpected turns on the way. The action is plenty and filmed decently enough, the landscapes are absolutely gorgeous. Of course it still feels a bit dated but overall it's still a pleasant and entertaining experience from a time long gone.
½ February 14, 2015
A terrifically fun popcorn western! Written and directed by Richard Brooks, whom I've only recently come to appreciate, it's an action packed story about train baron Ralph Bellamy hiring a group of professional to rescue his kidnapped wife, Caludia Cardinale, from across the border from Mexican revolutionary Jack Palance. Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan and Woody Strode, form something of an old west A-Team, where each member is a specialist in a particular area (firearms, tracking, explosives, etc.). The four leads make for a dream team of cast and Brooks delivers some terrific action sequences. Maurice Jarre provides a rousing Elmer Bernstein-like score and Conrad L. Hall delivers some gorgeous potography (assisted by Jordan Cronenweth as an assistant cameraman and William A. Fraker as a camera operator). I suppose the only thing stopping this film from getting five stars is that there's not a lot of deep subtext to the film, though I suppose there is a bit of 1960s anti-establishment to the film. Still, it's a wildly entertaining western, with snappy dialogue by Brooks, plenty of action, a great cast that includes a reportedly perpetually drunk Marvin.
½ February 5, 2015
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars; Grade: B; Gesture: One Thumb Up; Status: Somewhat Good (Fresh); Emoticon: :-}.
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