The Professionals …
Three 1966 Academy Award Nominations:
Best Director: Richard Brooks
Best Adapted Screenplay: Richard Brooks
Best Cinematography: Conrad Hall
The film won two Motion Picture Magazine Laurel Awards in 1967, for Best Action Drama and Best Action Performance for Lee Marvin.
In Germany, it was one of only four movies to receive a Golden Screen award (the others were Doctor Zhivago, Merveilleuse Angélique and You Only Live Twice) in 1967.
“Maybe there’s only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys. Question is, who are the good guys?”
- Burt Lancaster / The Professionals
The Professionals …
Lee Marvin moves into full blown stardom – becoming a legitimate box office titan – in one of the greatest Westerns ever made (My Favorite) starring along side Western Film Greats Burt Lancaster, Jack Palance, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Claudia Cardinale, Ralph Belamy … What a cast!
Following Cat Ballou (Oscar) this is one of 4 Westerns remaining in Marvin’s Western filmography: Monte Walsh / 1970 (with Jack Palance); Paint Your Wagon / 1969 (with Clint Eastwood); Emperor of the North / 1973 (with Charles Bronson).
A true Western Star.
The Power of Projection
‘Projection’ they call it. Some actors have it. Most never will. It’s the ability to take a simple line of dialogue and make it sing; have impact; the knack of making a whisper into a shout. All the great Shakespearean actors have it: Olivier, Burton, Dench, Jacobi, O’Toole …
YET … out of the unwashed West emerged several notable thespians who entered the stage via a different door: Hollywood.
Among them was Burt Lancaster …
Watch Burt in this famous clip from The Unforgiven: (1961)
How many actors could pull that off?
Vera Cruz: Burt Pitches – Coop Catches
Vera Cruz also has some inspired dialogue: ‘one-liners’, verbal sparring, quotes – delivered by two masters: Cooper and Lancaster.
Coop meets Burt:
Coop meets Burt’s Gang: “Follow him boys. We was leaving anyways”
Burt straightens things out: “Anybody else string with Charlie?”
Tell me I’m wrong, but damned if that doesn’t look like a very young George Kennedy (uncredited) standing just to Charlie’s right.
Burt sums things up: “Looks like we tied up with the wrong outfit.”