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The Professionals
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The Professionals (1966) More at IMDbPro »

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The Professionals -- In this rip-roaring Western classic, four soldiers of fortune seek out an oil barron's kidnapped wife. Nominated for three Academy Awards(r).


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Up 20% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frank O'Rourke (novel)
Richard Brooks (written for the screen by)
View company contact information for The Professionals on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 November 1966 (USA) See more »
It Captures The Flavor Of A Brawling Lusty Mexico! See more »
An arrogant Texas millionaire hires four adventurers to rescue his kidnapped wife from a notorious Mexican bandit. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the most beautifully shot and under-watched Western classics. See more (84 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Burt Lancaster ... Dolworth

Lee Marvin ... Fardan

Robert Ryan ... Ehrengard

Woody Strode ... Jake

Jack Palance ... Raza

Claudia Cardinale ... Maria

Ralph Bellamy ... Grant
Joe De Santis ... Ortega
Rafael Bertrand ... Fierro
Jorge Martínez de Hoyos ... Eduardo Padilla - Goatkeeper (in opening credits) (as Jorge Martinez De Hoyos: in closing credits) (as Jorge Martinez de Hoyos)
Marie Gomez ... Chiquita
José Chávez ... Revolutionary (as Jose Chavez)
Carlos Romero ... Revolutionary

Vaughn Taylor ... Banker
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Cadiente ... (uncredited)
Vincente Cadiente ... (uncredited)
Elizabeth Campbell ... Mexican Girl (uncredited)
Don Carlos ... Bandit (uncredited)
Leigh Chapman ... Lady (uncredited)
Roberto Contreras ... Bandit (uncredited)
Dirk Evans ... Man at Door (uncredited)
Foster Hood ... (uncredited)
Darwin Lamb ... Hooper - Grant's Associate (uncredited)
Eddie Little Sky ... Jake's Prisoner (uncredited)
John Lopez ... Mexican Servant (uncredited)
John McKee ... Sheriff (uncredited)
Henry O'Brien ... (uncredited)
Philip L. Parslow ... Deputy Sheriff (uncredited)
Ron Veto ... Mexican soldier (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Brooks 
Writing credits
Frank O'Rourke (novel "A Mule for the Marquesa")

Richard Brooks (written for the screen by)

Produced by
Richard Brooks .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Maurice Jarre 
Cinematography by
Conrad L. Hall (director of photography) (as Conrad Hall)
Film Editing by
Peter Zinner 
Art Direction by
Ted Haworth  (as Edward S. Haworth)
Set Decoration by
Frank Tuttle 
Makeup Department
Jackie Bone .... hairdresser
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (as Robert Schiffer)
Production Management
Lee Lukather .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tom Shaw .... assistant director
Art Department
Joe LaBella .... property master (as Joseph La Bella)
Sound Department
Del Harris .... sound effects
Jack Haynes .... sound
William Randall .... sound (as William Randall Jr.)
Charles J. Rice .... sound supervisor
Kay Rose .... sound effects
Special Effects by
Willis Cook .... special effects
Chuck Gaspar .... special effects (uncredited)
Boyd Cabeen .... stunt double (uncredited)
John Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Tony Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
John Hudkins .... stunts (uncredited)
John McKee .... stunts (uncredited)
Bobby Somers .... stunts (uncredited)
Ron Veto .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Harry Sundby .... chief electrician
Bobby Byrne .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jordan Cronenweth .... assistant camera (uncredited)
William A. Fraker .... camera operator (uncredited)
Michael A. Jones .... assistant chief lighting technician (uncredited)
John Livesley .... key grip (uncredited)
Charles Rosher Jr. .... camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jack Martell .... wardrobe
Music Department
Maurice Jarre .... conductor
Maury Winetrobe .... music editor
Leo Arnaud .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
John Franco .... script supervisor
Cheryl Leigh .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Dominic Santarone .... caterer (uncredited)
Ruth Santarone .... caterer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for violence and nudity (re-rating) (1999)
117 min | UK:123 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording) | Mono
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (orginal rating) | New Zealand:PG | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/16 (R-14) (re-rating) | Portugal:17 (original rating) | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (2003) | USA:PG-13 | USA:Approved (PCA #21227) (original rating) | USA:PG-13 (re-rating) (1999) | USA:GP (1970) | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The cast and crew stayed in Las Vegas while working on this project. Actor Woody Strode wrote in his memoirs that he and Lee Marvin pulled several pranks, including shooting an arrow at the famous smiling cowboy neon sign damaging it briefly.See more »
Revealing mistakes: At the end of the scene when they are sitting on a ridge line talking about battles and promises, Farden exits the shot. Dolworth puts his cigar in his mouth and puts his binoculars to his eyes backwards, small lenses out.See more »
Bill Dolworth:We've been had, amigo.See more »
Movie Connections:


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27 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
One of the most beautifully shot and under-watched Western classics., 3 September 2006
Author: A_Roode from Halifax, Nova Scotia

There are so many remarkable things about 'The Professionals.' Conrad Hall was the Director of Photography and was nominated for an Oscar -- he didn't win but he should have. The 1967 Oscar ceremony threw as many awards as it could to 'A Man For All Seasons.' I love watching big, beautiful, widescreen westerns and this is one of the best shot. Hall's use of camera filters, his incredible dust storm and his location scouting were all impeccable. I don't pretend to understand the mechanics of camera photography. I do know, however, when something looks gorgeous. 'The Professionals' is a stunningly beautiful film and it is a shame that it doesn't get a greater audience today.

The second remarkable thing is the quality of the cast. The top seven actors and actresses billed were top grade lead or supporting actors at one point in their careers: Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Jack Palance, Claudia Cardinale and Ralph Bellamy. It would be interesting to try and add up the number of Oscar nominated pictures and performances that the above group compiled throughout their careers. Even if these seven weren't enough, they get wonderful support from the gorgeous Maria Gomez and reliably ubiquitous Jorge Martinez De Hoyos. Jorge Martinez De Hoyos is a classic Mexican "Hey! It's That Guy!" supporting actor and I always welcome seeing him in a picture. He makes much out of a minor part as the goat keeper who wants to 'help.' The lead performances are terrific and well written. This may well be my favorite Woody Strode performance. He (as seemed to happen for him) doesn't get a lot to say, but the value of his character to the group of four professionals is unquestioned and undeniable. When Marvin wants an assault to look like an attack by the Federales, Lancaster may be the guy with the dynamite, but it is Strode firing explosive arrows that makes it happen. Some of his best work where he is a featured player. And I love that when the question of race is brought up by Bellamy, Marvin snorts with contempt that he would have trouble working with a consummate professional of any colour. Strode doesn't lead, but this was a very positive part and showed white and black relying on each other to get a mutual job done. Of the other leads I would add that Lancaster has the best part (much of the humour, action and girls), Marvin is amazing, and Claudia Cardinale is so stunning a beauty it hurts to look at her.

A tougher part was for Robert Ryan. He was maybe too good of an actor for a part that wasn't well written. Ryan is game but I thought his part as the horse handler wasted him. In his later years Robert Ryan was quite sick and he was sick during this production. I don't think he was the problem though. His character is sick for much of the film but as a person, one gets the impression that Ryan was still quite robust. His character doesn't seem to fit in as well or have anything to do. He is adrift. Maybe part of it comes from playing a character who values animal life over human. I say again though that in this movie he is good, but not right for the part.

'The Professionals' is an adventure film and Western filmed in the style of 'The Magnificent Seven' and a model itself for 'The Wild Bunch' which followed. It straddles the worlds of old Western and new Western. It has a moral ambiguity and over-arching plot which makes me think of the film as a kind of Western/Film-noir. When you look at the cast though, Lancaster, Marvin, Bellamy, Palance and of course Ryan were all noir stalwarts of varying degree. Maybe some of that quality is what attracted them to the script.

This is a great Western that doesn't quite reach the top tier where films like 'The Wild Bunch' sit, but it is high on the second level for me. The ending may not strike some as satisfying and I've seen it argued that this was an attempt with other Westerns to illustrate American interventionist foreign policy of the time. Those conclusions can be discussed by others because I think of the assault on the Hacienda, the time-buying duel in the canyon, Burt's use of explosives in the pass and a terrific opening credits instead. This is a great Western that has been unduly forgotten. I really wish it has won the Oscar for cinematography -- Oscars can make films more marketable and enduring. If you're a fan of Westerns, you're no fan until you've watched 'The Professionals.'

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