Empire - 09/01/2008
"Burt Lancaster is on terrific form as one of four grizzled mercenaries..."
A wealthy rancher, Frank Carter (Ralph Bellamy), hires four tough gunslingers to rescue his wife (Claudia Cardinale), who is being held captive by Captain Rasa (Jack Palance), one of Pancho Villa's most desperate revolutionaries, in this dynamic and hard-hitting Western set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution of 1917. The wild West commando team consists of a dynamite expert (Burt Lancaster), an ex-revolutionary and munitions expert (Lee Marvin), a horse specialist (Robert Ryan), and a tracker (Woody Strode). On their mission to return Carter's highly prized wife, they track the Mexican revolutionaries through rough and rugged desert terrain, determined to outsmart, outshoot, and outride anyone they come across--until they meet the the charismatic Rasa and discover that Carter's seductive wife is in love with the Mexican outlaw and has no intention of returning with the band of "professionals." Based on the novel A MULE FOR THE MARQUESA by Frank O'Rourke, this beautifully rendered Western features a star-studded cast delivering finely crafted and charismatic performances. Burt Lancaster is at his acrobatic and mercurial best as the rowdy gunslinger.
Description by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment:
Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin headline the top-notch, rip-roaring Western action/adventure, THE PROFESSIONALS. Four soldiers of fortune are hired by a wealthy Texan oil baron (Ralph Bellamy) to rescue his kidnapped wife (Claudia Cardinale), who's been spirited acress the Mexican Border by a band ofmercenaries led by Jesus Raza (Jack Palance). The four rugged professionals, each regarded as a specialist in his selected field - an expert marksman and tracker (Woody Strode), the explosives master(Lancaster), horse handler (Robert Ryan) and one skilled in tactics and weaponry (Marvin) - make their way across the treacherous landscape to retrieve the beautiful kidnappee, but discover all is not what it seems in the explosive climax. Excellent performances from an all-star cast, Maurice Jarre's haunting musical score and surprising plot twists make THE PROFESSIONALS a true classic. THE PROFESSIONALS garnered three Academy Award(r) nominations; two for Richard Brooks (Best Direction and BestAdapted Screenplay) and another for the esteemed Conrad Hall (Best Cinematography). The filmmakers received the same nominations the following year for the true crime classic, In Cold Blood.
When a millionaire hires a group of mercenaries to rescue his wife, Maria, from a local Mexican leader, the old soldiers discover that the kidnapper is their old ally, Raza. Once they dig around a bit deeper, they find that they've been duped--and that Maria is not Raza's captive at all: The two are actually lovers. The realization comes too late, however, for the old comrades have prepared for a final showdown.
Based On A Novel |