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Mona Lisa (1986)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  13 June 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 9,608 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 69 critic

George has just been released from prison, and manages to get a job driving a call girl from customer to customer. Initially they don't get on; he doesn't fit in with the high class customers Simone services. Will they ever get on?



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Title: Mona Lisa (1986)

Mona Lisa (1986) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Cathy Tyson ...
Jeannie (as Zoe Nathenson)
Rod Bedall ...
Joe Brown ...
Pauline Melville ...
George's Wife
Hossein Karimbeik ...
John Darling ...
Hotel Security
Bryan Coleman ...
Gentleman in Mirror Room
Robert Dorning ...
Hotel Bedroom Man


George, after getting out of prison, begins looking for a job, but his time in prison has reduced his stature in the criminal underworld. The only job he can find is to be a driver for Simone, a beautiful high-priced call girl, with whom he forms an at first grudging, and then real affection. Only Simone's playing a dangerous game, and when George agrees to help her, they both end up in a huge amount of trouble with Mortwell, the local kingpin. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She was a tart. He was an ex-con. And she was about to shatter his life forever. See more »


Crime | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 June 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Мона Лиза  »

Box Office


$5,794,184 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The meaning and relevance of this movie's Mona Lisa (1986) title is, according to the film's synopsis publicity, "a film about a song, about a painting, about a woman; about men, and the images they make of women, the stories they need do tell themselves, to keep them mystic, unfathomable, anything but real...". See more »


When George and Thomas talk about nuns in disguise, George's cup changes hands between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Jeannie: [at her front door, to George] Yeah? Do you want mum?
See more »


Featured in The 59th Annual Academy Awards (1987) See more »


By Victor Young and Edward Heyman
Used by permission of Chappell Music Limited
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Original sound recording exclusive owned and controlled by Capitol Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

An 80s classic
28 November 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Mona Lisa is a classic 80s low budget thriller that combines raw power with an emotional storyline resulting in an acting masterclass from a virtually faultless cast. Bob Hoskins is mesmerising from the very opening seconds of the film, playing lonely naive chancer George. He has just been released from prison after 7 years for taking the rap for a crime committed by local gangland boss Denny Mortwell (Michael Caine). Caine soon gets George back on the payroll, as an exclusive chauffeur for high class call girl Simone (Cathy Tyson). But George helplessly falls for Simone and gets sucked into her secret agenda for trawling London's seedy underworld - mainly prostitution. The film is a masterpiece from director Neil Jordan - easily his best work to date and has never been bettered - and the cast benefit greatly from an impeccable script. Jordan's ear for dialogue is never more evident than here - especially in Geroge's conversations with his only true friend Thomas (Robbie Coltrane). Anyone who thought Hoskins couldn't better his performance in The Long Good Friday in 1979 should take a look at this. He is simply astonishing and your eyes never leave a single scene he is in. But no review would be complete without paying tribute equally to the unearthed gem that is Cathy Tyson. Bearing in mind she was barely 20 when this movie was shot, she is incredible opposite Hoskins and whilst she has had more of a TV career since, it is surprising (and perhaps a shame) that she has never had perhaps the vehicle or opportunity to scale such heights again. However, Kate Hardie is also deserving of special mention as a fellow hooker, and her great portrayal in this movie has shamefully been totally overlooked over the years. Caine's cameo appearance is also menacingly good, and he plays the seedy villain with chilling ease. Throw in the great location work around London's Soho and Brighton, and a great tune from Genesis, and you get a presentation every bit as high class as Tyson's Simone is meant to be.

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