Rough, Tough and Ready
Academy AwardÂ® winners Burt Lancaster (1960 Best Actor in a Leading Role, Elmer Gantry) and Lee Marvin (1965 Best Actor in a Leading Role, Cat Ballou) headline the top-notch, rip-roaring Western action/adventure, The Professionals. Four soldiers of fortune are hired by a wealthy Texan oil baron (Ralph Bellamy) to rescue his kidnapped wife (Claudia Cardinale), who's been spirited across the Mexican Border by a band of mercenaries led by Jesus Raza (Jack Palance, Academy AwardÂ® winner, 1991 Best Actor in a Supporting Role, City Slickers). The four rugged professionals, each regarded as a specialist in his selected field - an expert marksman and tracker (Woody Strode), the explosives master (Lancaster), horse handler (Robert Ryan) and one skilled in tactics and weaponry (Marvin) - make their way across the treacherous landscape to retrieve the beautiful kidnappee, but discover all is not what it seems in the explosive climax. Excellent performances from an all-star cast, Maurice Jarre's haunting musical score and surprising plot twists make The Professionals a true classic.
The Professionals garnered three Academy AwardÂ® nominations; two for Richard Brooks (Best Direction and Best Adapted Screenplay) and another for the esteemed Conrad Hall (Best Cinematography). The filmmakers received the same nominations the following year for the true crime classic, In Cold Blood.