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Feb
10

The Professionals

Grant (Ralph Bellamy) is a wealthy rancher who hires four mercenaries to retrieve his wife, Maria (Claudia Cardinale), from the clutches of the desperado Raza (Jack Palance) in this Western adventure set in 1917. Dolworth (Burt Lancaster) is a munitions expert who joins gunslinger Fardan (Lee Marvin), horse trainer Hans Ehrengard (Robert Ryan), and longbow master Jake (Woody Strode) when the men are offered 10000 dollars apiece for the safe return of Grant’s kidnapped wife. The cadre travels 100 miles into Mexico to retrieve the woman, whom they later discover wants to remain with Raza, but they decide to nab Maria anyway to make good on the money. Soon Fardan, Hans, and Jake are chased across the border by the enraged Raza and his equally deadly female accomplice Chiquita (Marie Gomez), while Dolworth stays behind to fight off Raza’s Mexican banditos. The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Direction (Richard Brooks), Best Screenplay (Brooks again), and Best Cinematography (Conrad L. Hall).
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