Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Professionals, The (1966)

Professionals, The (1966)

Four soldiers of fortune are hired to rescue the wife of a cattle baron, who is being held by a ruthless Mexican bandit. But, after a gruelling ride across frontier country to the bandit’s stronghold, the mercenaries discover their mission is not all that it seems.

Grittily shot in canyon country, bursting with violence and with pit stops for pithy philosophising, this is one of the last westerns one can call a “classic”.

With more than a passing nod to The Magnificent Seven (1960), made six years earlier, Richard Brooks’s action-filled addition to the genre was a box-office smash, repairing the damage that the flop Lord Jim had done to his reputation two years before.

Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan and Woody Strode are the magnificent four, flawed and fearsome, hired to rescue Claudia Cardinale from the clutches of manic Mexican bandit Jack Palance.

Prolific film composer Maurice Jarre provides a suitably evocative score.

Bill Dolworth
Burt Lancaster
Henry Rico Farden
Lee Marvin
Hans Ehrengard
Robert Ryan
Captain Jesus Raza
Jack Palance
Maria Grant
Claudia Cardinale
JW Grant
Ralph Bellamy
Jacob Sharp
Woody Strode
Joe De Santis
Rafael Bertrand
Jorge Martinez de Hoyos
Marie Gomez

Richard Brooks