The Professionals

on November 07, 1966 by BOXOFFICE Staff
   Two of the nation's top male draws, Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin, are here given a strong outdoors adventure story written by Richard Brooks, who also directed against magnificently stark Mexican backgrounds photographed in Panavision and Technicolor by Conrad Hall. With Jack Palance and veterans Robert Ryan and Ralph Bellamy in strong roles and the sultry Claudia Cardinale for feminine allure, this is top action fare that should do smash business. Laid during the 1917 Mexican Revolution, the picture starts off with a kidnapping premise but soon develops even greater intrigue and suspense right up to a surprise climax. Lancaster is at his shoot-em-up acrobatic best, Marvin is fine as an embittered Army vet, and Palance excels as a villainous Mexican bandit. All three might be typed, but their performances couldn't be bettered. The giant Woody Strode is another fighting character, while Ryan is effective in a quieter part. Miss Cardinale, who is tempestuous and completely unsympathetic, shares female honors with fiery Maria Gomez. Brooks, whose previous film was "Lord Jim," here never permits audience interest to lag. Maurice Jarre's haunting musical score is top-notch. A Pax Enterprises production.

   The name cast is the chief selling point, particularly Burt Lancaster, who has won film critics' awards for both "From Here to Eternity" and "Birdman of Alcatraz," and Lee Marvin, last year's Academy Award winner for "Cat Ballou." Claudia Cardinale, although her role is not a romantic lead, and Jack Palance are also popular.

   The Utmost in Excitement--Acted by a Cast of Top-Name Stars...The Excitement Is Adventure--The Adventure Is Classic.    [In Los Angeles on June 20, Columbia Repertory releases a new Panavision print of Richard Brooks' all-star western, which garnered Brooks two Oscar noms (for direction and adapted screenplay) after its November 1966 bow via Columbia. Here's what BOXOFFICE had to say in its Nov. 7, 1966 issue.]
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