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Author Topic: The Professionals (1966)  (Read 21367 times)
stanton
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« Reply #105 on: February 03, 2017, 01:41:22 PM »

It started off looking like a Calvary, Walt Disney Movie...

That's even odder than thinking that Major Dundee is a comedy.

Ulzana's Raid is very well the opposite of any Disney movie.

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« Reply #106 on: February 03, 2017, 01:48:44 PM »

That's even odder than thinking that Major Dundee is a comedy.

Ulzana's Raid is very well the opposite of any Disney movie.

I wouldn't know because i turned it off after a couple of scenes...lol

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stanton
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« Reply #107 on: February 03, 2017, 01:53:51 PM »

I wouldn't know because i turned it off after a couple of scenes...lol

Watch it, it is a demanding film, unusual, sometimes shocking.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #108 on: February 03, 2017, 02:09:42 PM »

I wouldn't know because i turned it off after a couple of scenes...lol

In all your typical Cowboy/Cavalry vs Indian Westerns before this film you seem to always have this chase scene where a wagon/stagecoach is chased by a horde of Native Americans, usually you have someone in the wagon/stagecoach shooting down the chasing natives.

In the first chase in the film a soldier is driving a woman in a wagon they get chased by a group of natives, they show what anybody with a lick of common sense would probably always ask, why don't the indians shoot one of the horses?

They shoot one of the horses, the wagon stops abruptly. The Apaches approach the wagon, the soldier takes out his revolver, and shoots himself in the head rather than get tortured.  The woman is left to a fate "worse" than death, as they used to say.

Disney it's not,  Afro

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« Reply #109 on: February 03, 2017, 02:49:51 PM »

Ok. I'll go back and watch it..

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stanton
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« Reply #110 on: February 03, 2017, 04:39:53 PM »



In the first chase in the film a soldier is driving a woman in a wagon they get chased by a group of natives, they show what anybody with a lick of common sense would probably always ask, why don't the indians shoot one of the horses?

They shoot one of the horses, the wagon stops abruptly. The Apaches approach the wagon, the soldier takes out his revolver, and shoots himself in the head rather than get tortured.  The woman is left to a fate "worse" than death, as they used to say.


Actually the scene ends a bit different, but I won't spoil it here. That's a very, very powerful scene. And a shocking one. Especially as the scout later explains that the soldier did right.

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« Reply #111 on: February 03, 2017, 04:52:19 PM »

Actually the scene ends a bit different, but I won't spoil it here. That's a very, very powerful scene. And a shocking one. Especially as the scout later explains that the soldier did right.

Yea you could be right it's been a while since I've screened it.  Wink

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« Reply #112 on: May 13, 2017, 01:15:59 PM »

It's been years since I've last seen this, but I generally have the same thoughts as I did outside of not giving the first hour or so nearly enough credit. It's almost perfect.

After watching Jaws recently and seeing that movie perfectly follow the unofficial Leone action rule where every action scene needs to be bigger than the last...The Professionals fails pretty badly in this regard. The great action scene in the middle of the movie is way too good and towers over the disappointing gunfight near the end.

That brings us to the conclusion, which has been rightly ripped in this thread. Normally, I'm not as harsh as the typical SLWBer when it comes to 'cop-out' endings like Red River, but this one is really hard to defend. I get that they finished their job and maybe that's all that mattered, but this could have been such a better movie if Palance's character and the Professionals joined together (or had to join together) earlier in the movie. This also could have solved the action problem in the second half of the movie by undertaking a bigger mission etc.

But once the movie slows down, Claudia Cardinale (who looks stunning in HD, I highly recommend the bluray) steps into the picture and gives things a fresher feel, but the movie is heading towards a disappointing conclusion and you feel that. Even with the disappointing second half (or everything after the big action set piece), the pace is totally on point. The Professionals has the pacing of a truly great movie, also the cinematography is excellent, the desert has rarely looked prettier with the tones of the rock formations, mountains, etc. The score is good as well.

Even with the bad ending and somewhat disappointing second half, I'd still give this an 8.5/10 because the photography, pacing, cast (even though Robert Ryan's character wasn't properly utilized) are all so good. And even the pacing doesn't suffer once the movie takes a less interesting direction, it at least still flies by.

B+/A-

Sidenote: I'd say Claudia Cardinale has never looked better in a color movie than here. For B&W my pick would be Girl With a Suitcase.


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« Reply #113 on: May 14, 2017, 12:24:09 AM »

I love it!

4 soldiers of fortune, one kidnapped wife, one explosive mission.

The Professionals comes out of Columbia Pictures and it is based around the novel "A Mule for the Marquesa" written by Frank O'Rourke. Written and directed by Richard Brooks it stars Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Jack Palance and Claudia Cardinale. A Panavision and Technicolor presentation it features cinematography by Conrad L. Hall and Maurice Jarre scores the music.

One of the stand out Oaters from the 1960s that is often forgotten in light of what was to come from Sam Peckinpah three years later. Though far more light hearted than "Bloody Sam's Magnum Opus" that was The Wild Bunch, Richard Brook's film has many similarities. Themes of friendship, loyalty, disillusionment and of course the changing of the Old West all get dealt a hand here, with Brooks and his team upping the action stakes in a ball of explosions, gun fights and verbal jousting. Hell! The film is even a touch risqué, with nudity, sex and a wife in distress that is not as saintly as one would expect.

Set in 1917 on the Mexican-Texas border, just after the Mexican revolution, The Professionals' only real problem is the thin story. However, Brooks is not interested in going too deep with his plot, he's more concerned with playing it for thrills and back slapping camaraderie. Which works magnificently due to the impressive cast that has assembled for the movie.

Marvin plays it restrained as Henry 'Rico' Fardan, the weary leader of the group sent into Mexico to "rescue" Claudia Cardinale's (sultry but some fluctuating accent issues) Mrs. Maria Grant from the clutches of Palance's (excellent) Bandido supreme, Jesus Raza. Lancaster is a whirlwind of testosterone as explosives expert Bill Dolworth, while Ryan and Strode are smooth background characters as the conscientious Hans Ehrengard & muscular tracker and bowman, Jake Sharp, respectively. The only complaint about the characters comes with Ralph Bellamy's Joe Grant, the apparently fraught husband who sets the men off on their mission. He's in the beginning and the end of the pic, but it's just not enough screen time to really grasp his make up and thus the character is rendered as underdeveloped.

Hall's photography is exceptional as he shoots on location at Death Valley, Lake Mead and the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. The browns are smooth on the eye and the capturing of the odd rock formations a real treat. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work, as was Brooks in the Best Direction and Best Screenplay categories. The shoot actually suffered some serious problems such as dust storms and flash floods, thus causing severe delays. But the end result was worth it for the film was a success at the box office. The public promptly lapped it up, yes it's a bit close to the knuckle sometimes, but there's never a dull moment in it. It's basically a ripper of a good time. 8/10

Own collection, Region 2 DVD.

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« Reply #114 on: May 15, 2017, 09:07:38 AM »

I love it too. It stands in between the classic Western and the new breed of Western of the 60s.

The cast is great. So much testosterone flying around.  Afro

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