The Professionals

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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We’ve taken you behind the scenes of Cowboys & Aliens and into the mind of director Jon Favreau, and today we dig deeper into the films that the filmmakers talked most about during the set visit. Cowboys & Aliens may be the only Steven Spielberg film that Steven Spielberg isn’t directing. From the conversations I shared with Jon Favreau and co-screenwriter Bob Orci on the set of the film, a select group of movies kept returning to the fold as titles that had a lot to do with the shaping of tone and storytelling. A theme quickly emerged. While Executive Producer Steven Spielberg was busy inviting the filmmakers to private screenings of new prints of The Searchers, the filmmakers were drawing on their childhood love of Amblin and the films of Spielberg himself. Still, even though it lacks diversity in the directorial column, this is one seriously formidable list of inspirational films.

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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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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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