The Professionals. 1966. USA. Written and directed by Richard Brooks. With Claudia Cardinale, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan. DCP courtesy of Sony Pictures. 117 min.
Featuring an all-star cast and stunning widescreen Technicolor cinematography by the great Conrad Hall, Richard Brooks’s underrated Western anticipates Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969) and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) with its gripping action sequences and its themes of loyalty and heroism. A ragtag band of mercenaries storms into revolutionary 1917 Mexico to rescue the wife of a wealthy Texas rancher (Claudia Cardinale), only to discover that she has fallen for her bandit kidnapper.