Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Professionals (1966)

Synopsis: Lee Marvin leads some dangerous dudes into hostile territory for a dangerous mission….oh, wait – that’s the Synopsis for The Dirty Dozen. Um…. Intrepid adventurers break into a fortress to save a damsel in distress…no, that’s Star Wars….and Krull… and Conan the Barbarian. Um…. Rugged mercenaries attempt a rescue operation….no, that’s The Wild Geese. Ok, violent Americans venture into pre-WWI Mexico to….no, that’s The Wild Bunch
Blurb From the DVD Jacket: "Rough, Tough, and Ready." 
What Did I Learn?: 1) Nothing’s harmless in the desert – unless it’s dead. 2) Certain women have a way of changing boys into men and some men back into boys. 3) Dynamite in the hands of a fool means death. 4) To die for money…is foolish. 
Really?: 1) Jeez….Claudia Cardinale isn’t given much to do in her role besides shriek at our heroes. [Spoiler Alert!] 2) The mercenaries load Maria and Raza into a carriage and send them on their way, knowing they can’t collect the big reward? Ok, maybe I can understand Dolworth (Lancaster) and Fardan (Marvin) doing that, but what about their colleagues? Come to think of it, I was struck by how well everyone works with each other from the get-go, and there aren’t any spats between them. 
Rating: The Professionals is adventure with a capital A. The story is fun and compelling, and it’s a pleasure to watch Marvin and Lancaster play a couple of grizzled tough guys. My only complaint – and it’s a quibble, really – is that we learn very little about Jake (Woody Strode) and Ehrengard (Robert Ryan), even though they’re half of the four-man team. Still, highly recommended. 10/10 stars.

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