Genre Guesstimation – The Professionals (1966)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Catherine of Thoughts All Sorts. We will be reviewing our favorite Westerns set in the “old West” – so, that excludes Contemporary Westerns i.e. No Country for Old Men, Hud, Desperado, Junior Bonner etc.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Jan by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Catherine!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Western Movies…

professionals“Maybe there’s only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys. Question is, who are the good guys?” – Dolworth

Number of Times Seen – 1 (19 Jan 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A rich ranchers hires four men to travel into Mexico to rescue his kidnapped wife.

My Take on it – Once again, I found a new Western to try out for this series by doing some research on the subject.

I had never even heard about this film before and was surprised because of the amazing cast.

Loved the way that Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin play characters who seem to be a bit different from what they usually played, but they still managed to pull the characters off because they felt so genuine and believable.

Was quite surprised that Jack Palance played the villain because he was practically unrecognizable, yet still does a superb job here.

Really loved the way that this film felt like a fantasy quest a la Dungeons and Dragons because in order to complete the mission, they needed to gather four “specialists” in different field to band together to get the job done.

This story stays realistic the whole way through and you never know what will or can happen to any of the characters whether they be good guys or bad guys because the script doesn’t adhere to any kind of rules.

The one issue with this film is the pacing which is a bit off, and it’s quiet unfortunate that it doesn’t go more smoothly.

Bottom Line – Great premise.  Loved the way that this in some ways feels like a fantasy adventure because of the way it is presented to us.  Cast is superb with Palance somewhat unrecognizable as the villain. Really enjoyed how both Lancaster and Marvin feel miscast here but still come off great.  Like all great Westerns, we get a realistic feel the whole way through and never know which of the heroes or villains will make it in the end because there are no real rules.  The pacing is a bit iffy and it’s too bad it didn’t move more smoothly. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – During the filming of the scene where Maria attempts to escape through a canyon wired with dynamite, Claudia Cardinale’s stunt double was badly injured during the explosion. Cardinale, who had never ridden a horse before, performed the stunt herself for the final cut, and escaped uninjured.  (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? –  Comes really close. Great story, great characters but something about the pacing just keeps it from being considered among my favorites.

Rating – Globe Worthy


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5 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – The Professionals (1966)

  1. Ah! Glad you found this one. I am long overdue to give it another watch. I think we should just make it Western Year 😉

    I believe this one was influenced by Vera Cruz (I reviewed earlier this month) in terms of the amoral characters and cynicism towards violence. (Courtesy Wikipedia)


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