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The Professionals (1966)

An arrogant Texas millionaire hires four adventurers to rescue his kidnapped wife from a notorious Mexican bandit.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

Frank O'Rourke (novel), Richard Brooks (written for the screen by)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Rafael Bertrand ... Fierro
Jorge Martínez de Hoyos ... Padillia
Marie Gomez ... Chiquita
José Chávez José Chávez ... Revolutionary (as Jose Chavez)
Carlos Romero Carlos Romero ... Revolutionary
Vaughn Taylor ... Banker
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Storyline

A rich Texan, J.W. Grant, selects three men and invites them to his private train to offer them a contract: Rescue his wife who has been kidnapped by a Mexican revolutionary. The leader of the men, Rico, decides they would be a better team if Grant would hire one more man, an explosives expert. Grant quickly agrees and soon the four are off to complete the contract. However, while on the trail, they discover some interesting facts, like has Mrs. Grant 'really' been kidnapped? Written by AzRanger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It Captures The Flavor Of A Brawling Lusty Mexico! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

13 December 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Die gefürchteten Vier See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavispe, Sonora, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$19,537,346
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many scenes were filmed in the Coachella Valley, Death Valley and Nevada's Valley of Fire. The train scenes were shot on the Eagle Mountain Railroad (EMRR), a private, isolated rail spur located in the desert 50 miles east of Indio, California. The 52-mile line was owned by the Kaiser Steel Corporation and used to haul iron ore until 1986. Scenes were filmed on or near the railroad in January-February 1966. The movie makes extensive use of retired Great Western Steam Locomotive No. 75, which stands in for both an American and a Mexican locomotive. It was built in 1909 for the Great Western Railway in Colorado and was retired from service in 1965. It was then purchased for movie-making purposes and, for the next 34 years, made appearances in many well-known films. Eventually No. 75 was sold to the Heber Valley Railway in Heber City, Utah in 1999. The scenes where the four Professionals cross the border under a wooden bridge at the beginning and end of the movie were filmed at the first railroad bridge north of "Ferrum" in California. Since the movie was set around 1910, the large steel bridge over the Salt Creek Wash was actually repainted to appear as a wooden bridge. Other scenes were shot at "Gravel Pit" and "Summit." An ex-Southern Pacific caboose and a couple of old wooden boxcars were used along with a Kaiser Steel flatcar for the various trains seen in the movie. A portion of the movie Tough Guys (1986), also starring Burt Lancaster, was filmed on the EMRR. See more »

Goofs

When the team makes it back to the train after capturing Mrs. Grant Claudia Cardinale and the ambush is waiting for them, Ehrengard Robert Ryan is initially shown from inside the train car sitting facing sideways to the open door of the train car, then from outside he is shown with his back to the door of the train, then back to inside and he is sideways again. See more »

Quotes

Bill Dolworth: Nothing is for always. Except death. Ask Fierro. Ask Francisco. Ask those in the cemetery of nameless men.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Dream of Jeannie: Jeannie, the Hip Hippie (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Chiquita's Dance
Written and Performed by Orchestra Maurice Jarre
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Damned Bunch.
25 November 2011 | by bobsgrockSee all my reviews

Though not as perceptively grim in tone and style as Sam Peckinpah's epitaph The Wild Bunch, Richard Brook's The Professionals almost certainly inspired the former and was also one of the last great westerns Hollywood ever produced. Made at a time when the 'classical' era was waning, Brooks went entirely nostalgic, creating a story about John Wayne-like characters completely loyal to their cause but also flawed in many ways.

The cast is superb. The exotic beauty of Claudia Cardinale is great fodder for the main cast of Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan and Woody Strode. Although Ryan and Strode have considerably less screen time, the relationship between Lancaster and Marvin is terrifically fleshed out along with Brooks' steady hand guiding the entire process of four men on the hunt to rescue a millionaire's kidnapped wife only to realize all is not as it seems.

Despite the fact that this film will forever be compared to the ones it inspired like The Wild Bunch or The Dirty Dozen, it should be admired on its own terms. It is a very entertaining and satisfying film with solid writing, acting, directing and editing along with some stunning cinematography of the American southwest. Compared to today's films, who could ask for anything more?


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