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The Professionals - 1966 Western

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Rita Hayworth
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The Professionals - 1966 Western

Postby Rita Hayworth » February 3rd, 2012, 12:18 am

The Professionals - 1966 Western
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Directed by Richard Brooks ... has three Oscars Nominations: Best Cinematography, Color, Best Director, and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

I watched this movie on Turner Classic Movies and Movieman1957 had asked me to write up a review and I haven't started a thread for a long time. Chris, this movie is fast paced, excellent writing by Richard Brooks and the acting of Burt Lancaster as Dolworth and Lee Marvin as Farden was good. Outstanding Photography in this movie and I would put this movie one star below with "The Wild Bunch in 1969" and on par with "Death Rides a Horse in 1967".

I would give this movie 3.5 stars out of 5. Because this movie does not get recognized as a great western. To me, this movie is grossly underrated. It's deserved to be recognized more. I would highly recommend this movie ...

This is kind of a western that I like because its showcased lot of actors in a different settings that you normally don't see.

I like Woody Strode's character as an Indian by the name of Jake Sharp. He was an excellent supporting character and I felt that Ralph Bellamy's character as Mr. Grant was a little too old to be the husband (that hired the Professionals) to locate and find Mrs. Maria Grant ... that played by Claudia Cardinale ... but nevertheless he did a great job anyway.

Jack Palance and Robert Ryan did a good job as Jesus Raza and Hans Ehrengard respectfully. I wished they had more lines. Seriously folks.

Here is a You Tube Trailer ...
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv-ITJBpWvI[/youtube]

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movieman1957
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Re: The Professionals - 1966 Western

Postby movieman1957 » February 3rd, 2012, 9:39 am

Thanks for the commentary. I think it's a fine, exciting film too. With such a great cast I would have thought it would be more highly regarded outside of the circle of movie fans.

I like these that show a more realistic atmosphere. It's a "dirty" western. It's hot, it's grimy, it's sweaty and it all shows.

SPOILERS

I love the ending. The idea that after all they went through to complete the job there is still an underlying sense of right and wrong. They've been had and they don't like it. They do the right thing. It's not all about the money.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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tinker
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Re: The Professionals - 1966 Western

Postby tinker » July 4th, 2013, 7:09 pm

I saw this again whern I had not seen it for years and thought it better than I remembered. Maybe I think from an evergrowing appreciation of Lee Marvin as an actor and a screen presence.

I know its been said before but at least in the older westerns of the time the male characters looked like men not little boys with beards.

The story was simple enough and had alot of holes in it ( I could never see Jack Palance and Claudia Cardinale as childhood sweethearts) but it also had some beautiful scenery and filming. At what point did someone get the idea that jumping the camera around and cutting the action every 5 seconds was "better" than lingering and allowing the actors and the scenery to do their jobs. You only have to look at his film to know they got it wrong.

There was a terrific scene with Jack Palance and Burt Lancaster when Palance badly wounded does a monologue on why people fight revolutions and wars. Vietnam era film I guess. Some things have changed for the better though. There is an awful and pointless line about whether Lee Marvin's character could work with a negro (Woody Strode) and Strode's character called the white characters Mister. Also Claudia Cardinale's character was a "whore" because she left her husband.

Because I can never resist noticing, some other old friends were in the movie. Some of the horses used in many universal westerns of the time. I noticed one I always call Stripe a roman nosed bay that was used in nearly every western in late fifties and sixties had a bit of a starring role. Woody Strode rode Trampas's Buck (the one Trampas rode in the first couple of years) and one of the villians rode the mare that Steve Hill in the Virginian in the ride in. A big bay thorougbred type with a stripe. She must have been worth a fortune because she was used for all the galloping stunts, including jumping from a horse onto a train. I remember in an episode of The Virginian Ben Johnson rode her when he had to do quite a bit of roping. I know I have watched to many westerns when I recognise the horses as much as the character actors. And I am not certain but I think Burt Lancaster may have been riding Alamo which was John Wayne's old horse (John Smith bought him to use in Laramie) and after that he was ocassionally used in films although John Smith owned him until Alamo died.

Spoiler alert.

The film and Lee Marvin had a great last line.

Grant: You're a b******.

Marvin: Yes but I'm an accident of birth. You're a self made man.


dee

PS. Not to sure why this came up wher it has. I just used an old thread that had western forum on it

dee
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. (William Butler Yeats )
How did I get to Hollywood? By train. (John Ford)

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Vienna
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Re: The Professionals - 1966 Western

Postby Vienna » July 5th, 2013, 2:05 am

Only thing that bothers me about The Professonals is how little Robert Ryan has to do.

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tinker
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Re: The Professionals - 1966 Western

Postby tinker » July 5th, 2013, 7:27 pm

It did seem he was there almost to fill out the numbers. I wonder if they cut alot of his role out.

dee
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. (William Butler Yeats )
How did I get to Hollywood? By train. (John Ford)

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pvitari
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Re: The Professionals - 1966 Western

Postby pvitari » July 9th, 2013, 8:11 am

Sidebar:

Tinker, here is Ben on that mare. The Virginian episode was "Dangerous Road." The roping sequence was quite notable -- he roped Doug McClure and then pulled him into town. :) More screencaps on my Ben webpage of course! ;)

Image

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tinker
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Re: The Professionals - 1966 Western

Postby tinker » July 9th, 2013, 6:19 pm

Paula

Thank you. That is a terrific picture. That is the horse. She was in nearly every western made around Universal. I don't know what company it was that supplied the horses. Probably not Fat Jones (Ben Johnson's Father in law) I think his company was still operating then. Fat Jones always insisted every horse used came form his stable and quite a lot of the western stars used their own horses, so the horses would not have been his (or his companies) I am not certain he was a live at that stage.

She must have been a very good horse. Only the best for Ben!!!


dee
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. (William Butler Yeats )
How did I get to Hollywood? By train. (John Ford)


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