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on September 9, 2012
The Professionals (Richard Brooks, 1966, 117')
The Professionals is a western starring Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode and Claudia Cardinale. 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. Music by Maurice Jarre, cinematography Conrad Hall, and editing by Peter Zinner.
In the latter period of the Mexican Revolution, an arrogant Texas millionaire (Ralph Bellamy) hires four adventurers to rescue his kidnapped wife (Cardinale) from a notorious Mexican bandit (Palance). After crossing the Mexican border, the team tracks the bandits to their hideout. After much fighting, the four professionals, with Cardinale and Palance, reach the US border to be met by Bellamy and his own men. Bellamy tells them that their contract has been satisfactorily concluded, even before Cardinale is safely handed over to him.
As Cardinale tends the wounded Palance on the ground, Grant callously turns to one of his men and says, "Kill him." But before the man can shoot, the gun is shot out of his hand by Lancaster who tells Bellamy he has not earned the right to kill a man like Palance. The four professionals then step in to protect Cardinale and Palance. Cardinale, apparently, never was kidnapped from Bellamy by Palance after all.
The professionals collect the wounded Palance, put him on a carriage and, with Cardinale at the reins, send both back to Mexico. Bellamy loses his (arranged marriage) wife, the professionals their reward. The professionals follow the departing carriage to Mexico. A movie where all is right, not only the morale: directing, acting, pacing, timing. Cinema as an art.
The movie received three Academy Award nominations and an enthusiastic critical reception.
152us - The Professionals (Richard Brooks, 1966, 117') - 10/9/2012