Burt Lancaster

Burt Lancaster. Lee Marvin. Robert Ryan. Woody Strode. Jack Palance. Ralph Bellamy. Claudia Cardinale. An incredible line-up was utilized to the fullest degree possible (117 degrees in the desert heat) in Richard Brooks’s The Professionals. It’s a stellar men-on-a-mission story where a group with 100 proof women, 90 proof whiskey and 14 carat gold on its mind gets rounded up to save a young wife from the marauder that’s taken her across the border into Mexico.

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Elmer Gantry is an all-American boy. He’s interested in money, sex, and religion. This barn-burner of a drama was directed by Richard Brooks and stars Burt Lancaster in a role that won him his only Oscar. It’s the story of a con man who realizes that shouting loudly about the Lord is the best con he can possibly pull (and it might just get him into the habit of Sister Sharon (played by Jean Simmons)). In perhaps the only time in film history until Fight Club, the author of the novel, Sinclair Lewis, actually told Brooks to take the criticisms of the book and use them to make the movie better. Maybe that’s why they denounced the author by name in one of Gantry’s signature sermons. Plus, the mother from The Partridge Family plays a woman of ill repute. How can you beat that?

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by examining a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today. Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t get a posse of famous actors together to hunt us down in Mexico. Part 5 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Daring Enterprise” with one of the best Westerns ever made, The Professionals.

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Burt Lancaster plays Bill Saunders – a man who accidentally kills a man in a bar brawl. On the loose, he takes up with Nurse Jane Wharton (Joan Fontaine). When someone recognizes him, the black mail is on, and Saunders has to choose between the woman he’s come to love and his own life.

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Blood, sweat, and snake oil. Burt Lancaster delivers the role of a lifetime while selling us all on Old Time Religion.

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oam-killers

Ernest Hemingway’s famous short story The Killers is a cynical prelude to an unavoidable murder and has inspired two feature films since its first publication. The 1946 old ass version was directed by Robert Siodmak in typical film-noir style and was Burt Lancaster’s film debut.

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published: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.29.2014
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published: 10.27.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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