There are untold numbers of movie gems that seem to have been forgotten. But recently, several of these are beginning to get the recognition they have long deserved. The Professionals is one of these long forgotten gems.
A very rich man (Ralph Bellamy) hires four “professionals” to go into Mexico and get his kidnapped wife (Claudia Cardinale) back. Henry ‘Rico’ Fardan (Lee Marvin) is the leader of the four. He and Bill Dolworth (Burt Lancaster) fought together in the Mexican Revolution with Raza (Jack Palance), the kidnapper. Fardan had a Mexican wife who was killed. Dolworth is only interested in women, money, and adventure. Jake Sharp (Woody Strode) is a tracker and the under-appreciated Robert Ryan plays Hans Ehrengard a horse expert. The four men go deep into Mexico trying to avoid Raza’s men (of which there are many), get the girl, and make it back to the States. Seems straight-forward enough, but there is a slight twist to the plan.
The Professionals is a great action movie and western with interesting characters. There could have been more conflict between the four, in fact there was opportunity for some serious confrontation when one decision endangers the mission, but they are professionals and they just let it go and carry on with the what they have set out to do. This movie touches on bonding, and friendship as well as loyalty to more than one’s self. Highly recommended.